Photo Friday: Mount Kailash

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017

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Sometimes called “the third pole,” the Tibetan Plateau is a remote and mysterious place with numerous mountains and glaciers. Among the region’s many mountains, the most sacred is Mount Kailash, a holy place for four religions: Bön, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The Tibetan people believe that Gang Rinpoche (Kailash’s Tibetan name) is their spiritual home. Worshiping the mountain and its surrounding lakes is an integral part of their culture. Every year, people travel from around the world on challenging pilgrimage treks to the mountain and its holy sites. Many of them carry out circumambulations, walking around the entire mountain.

Mount Kailash and surrounding peaks are home to many glaciers, including cirques and hanging glaciers, that feed the rivers and lakes of this sacred area. Four rivers, the Indus, Sutlej, Karnali, and Brahmaputra, source within 50 miles of Mount Kailash. A recent book, “The Way to the Sacred Land,” was jointly published by the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) in Yunnan, China and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal. It discusses the traditional cultures and local species of the Kailash sacred landscape. The book emphasizes the importance of the region for providing herbs and other plants that are important elements in traditional medicine.

See images from the book below, along with a bonus image from another source. And you can read more about the traditional culture and its relation to landscape and local species.

 

Kailash Mansarovar (Source: Praveena Sridhar/Creative Commons).

Mount Kailash near Mansarovar (Source: Praveena Sridhar/Creative Commons).

 

The major scenic sites in the Kailash sacred landscape are Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Mount Gurla Mandhata and Lake Rakshastal. (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land)

The major scenic sites in the Kailash sacred landscape are Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, Mount Gurla Mandhata and Lake Rakshastal. (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land)

 

Prayer flags at Mount Kailash (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

Prayer flags at Mount Kailash (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

 

Pilgrims at Mount Kailash (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

Pilgrims at Mount Kailash (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

 

Lake Manasarovar in front of Mount Kailash, Tibet (Source: Torsten Dietrich/Creative Commons).

Lake Manasarovar in front of Mount Kailash, Tibet (Source: Torsten Dietrich/Creative Commons).

 

The Mt. Gurla Mandhata (source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

Mount Gurla Mandhata (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

 

The Tibetan landscape near Mount Kailash (Source:

The landscape at Surong County in Ngari Preferecture near Mount Kailash (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

 

Delphinium brunooionum (musk larkspur) as seen by pilgrims performing kora (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

Delphinium brunonianum growing near a path taken by pilgrims (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

 

Plants at the Kailash Landscape (source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

Wildflowers and berries of the Kailash region (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

 

A pilgrim at Mount Kailash (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

A pilgrim at Mount Kailash (Source: The Way to the Sacred Land).

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