Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is considered one of the most sacred pilgrimages in India. Mount Kailash, near Indo-Tibet border, is sacred to four religions, Hinduism
and Tibetan Bonpo faith.
Hindus regard it as Mount Meru, the divine center of the universe and the abode of Lord Shiva
. For the Buddhists, it is the navel of the world. For the Jains, Mount Kailash is the place where their first Tirthankar
, attained enlightenment. Followers of the ancient religion, Bonpo, believe it to be the spot where their founder, Shanrab, descended from heaven.
Parikrama or circumambulation is the most important ritual connected with this yatra
. The parikrama of Mount Kailash covers a distance of about 52 kms, and that of Mansarovar
, 75 kms. A complete parikrama of Mount Kailash and a dip in Mansarovar are said to wash away all the sins and liberate one from the cycle of birth and rebirth, according to the Hindu scriptures. The Buddhists also regard Manasarovar as sacred. Queen Maya, mother of Buddha
, is believed to have been brought to Mansarovar for a purifying dip in order to prepare her for the conception of Buddha.
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is considered to be one of the most arduous treks of the world. Arrangements are made for the yatra from India by the Government of India in tandem with the Government of China. The journey takes one through the Himalayas in both India and Tibet. The best time for the yatra is from the mid-May to mid-October.