|The sacred abode of Lord Shiva |
Mount Kailash is one of the world’s most sacred spots. Kailash is considered as abode of Shiva Parvati ji. The peak of Kailash is the most beautiful among all the Kailash peaks. According to a legend devi, devtas danavas, vakshas, kinners, gandharvas, apsaras, yogi, munis, siddhas and humans considered it as a centre of devotion from ancient times. Kailash which is 22,028 feet above sea level is difficult to access. Pilgrims who intend to visit this holy sacred place have to cross many mountain ranges to reach there. According to Hinduism, Lord Shiva the destroyer of ignorance and illusion, resides at the summit of a legendary mountain named Kailash where he sits in a state of perpetual meditation along with his wife Parvati.
The Sacred Kailash as par Vishnu Purana states that it has four faces and are made of Crystal,Ruby,Gold,and Lapis.It is a pillar of the world and is located at the heart of six mountain ranges symbolizing a Lotus.
In Jainism Kailash is also known as Meru Parvat or Sumeru.The Buddhists believe that Mount Kailash is the home of Buddha Demchog who represents supreme bliss.The Bon, a religion which predates Buddhism in Tibet,maintain that the entire mystical region and the nine story Swastika mountain are the seat of all spiritual power.Every year thousands pilgrims make a pilgrimage to Kailash following a tradition of dating back thousands years and believe that circumambulating mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The peregrination is made in a clock wise direction by Hindus and Buddhists.The path around Mount Kailash is 52 kms long.Some pilgrims bend down, kneels, pray, and then crawl forward on hands and knees to the mark made by their fingers before repeating the process.It is a common and popular belief that the stairways on Mount Kailash lead to heaven.
The sacred mountain lies near Sacred Lake Manasarovar and lake Rakshastal in Tibet that is now in China.The sacred mountain lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia, the Indus river,the Sutlej river,the Brahmputra river and Karnali river a tributary of the sacred river Ganga.
Enroute to sacred Mount Kailash there lies the sacred lake Mansarovar which is the highest fresh water lake in the earth. Situated at the foot of mount Kailash in Tibet-Hindus and Budhhists consider it as the holiest lake present in the earth and so it is an important pilgrimage spot for them. As per Hindu belief mansarovar was created by lord Brahma. He created the beautiful lake as he wanted to provide a suitable place to his 12 sons for performing austerities and rituals. As the lake(sarovar) was a creation of Lord Brahma’s mind(manas) so named mansarovar. Hindus believe that a walk around the mount Kailash followed by a dip into the cold waters of lake mansarovar removes sins of lifetimes and bestows salvation. There is also a belief that devi devtas gandharvas apsaras yogi munis siddhas also descend from heaven in the Brahmahurat i.e., from 3 am to 5 am to take a holy bath in this sacred lake and during this period no other creature can take holy dip in the holy lake. This myth was clarified by a pilgrim of our Jammu and Kashmir state who happened to visit Kailash. According to him he along with some devotees were camping near the lake mansarovar.
They made up their mind to take a holy dip in the brahmahurat. So according to him in the morning at about 3.30 am he along with his two friends opted to take a dip in the lake nearby. No sooner did they stepped out of their tent a hurricane surrounded them and made them to sit there and wait till the hurricane disappeared but it didn’t and lasted up to one hour and more making them unable to have a dip in the holy lake at that time. According to him, slowly the hurricane vanished and to his amaze he saw some small creatures having human faces moving towards Mount Kailash after taking dip in the holy waters of sacred Mansarovar. They were believed to be devi devtas apsaras and rishi munis. After observing this he along with his two friends moved to nearby tent where some devotees were camping and asked them about the amazing happening they saw but to their utmost surprise the pilgrims who were camping in another tent showed ignorance about any hurricane or witnessed any creatures in the holy lake but the pilgrims who saw this all from his eyes chanted om namah shivay and narrated this story to us. As per Shakt granth the hands of sati had fallen here and as a result of it Mansarovar was created. Therefore it is also considered as one of the 51 shakti peeths. Here one can often see rajhamsa and ordinary hamsa. A rajhamsa is a pure white swan and an ordinary hamsa is of grey colour. Their red beaks are very tender. It is believed that Lord shiva in the form of swan swims in this lake. During summer melting ice falls down and produces loud sound similar to that of a mridanga. Pilgrims visiting Mansarovar during summer feel hypnotized, listening to the divine music. The sacred lake Mansarovar is also believed to be the place of Lord Vishnu who along with Mata Lakshmi rests on Lord sheshnaag ji in the sacred waters of this lake. It is also known as kheer sagar where mata lakshmi and Vishnu ji reside.
Taking a holy dip in the icy waters of this sacred lake and drinking this holy water is believed to relieve the devotees of the lifetime sins as per Hindu mythology.
Next to Mansarovar there is another lake called Rakshastal. It is spread over the area of 225 sq. Kms. Here demon king ravana worshipped lord shiva that’s why it is called Rakshastal.
Every year thousands of pilgrims from india, Nepal, Tibet and around the globe perform pilgrimage to this sacred yatra and complete the most difficult pilgrimage with the blessings of God. Every devotee believes that it is the consent of lord shiva to allow pilgrims to the sacred yatra during the years and one who performs the sacred pilgrimage this holy yatra is the luckiest one considered on this earth.