Hindus, Buddhists; Jain and Bon followers see 6714m high Kailash as the holiest mountain in the world.
It is considered to be the axis of the cosmos, from which four rivers, the Indus, Brahmaputra, Sutlej and the Karnali have their source and flow into the four directions. The ritual circumambulation of the mountain is part of the pilgrimage around Lake Manasarowar. The order is not important. You will start your trip "Trails of Enlightenment" at Lake Manasarowar. Stepping on its shore and taking a bath, or drinking from the water cleans the sins of a hundred rebirths. The trail around the lake is a serene experience in crystal clear environment. In summer, wild geese and Himalayan swans swim on its waters. Six of the eight gompas have been rebuilt. On a rock high above the lake is Gosul Gompa, which offers a splendid view.
We follow the canyon-like Sutlej in western direction. In midst a fantastic scenario of ochre colored castles and towers lie the 900 years old ruins of Tsaparang, the capital of the old kingdom of Guge. We drive on to Darchen, where we begin our mythical journey around Kailash; the parikrama (Skt.) or kora (Tib.).
Kailash resembles a huge natural temple. Stones, springs and hills along the way have a deeper religious meaning to the pilgrims. The trail leads through a golden-yellow steppe into the valley of the holy river and through canyons before the ascent to its highest point, Dolma La (5636m), starts. Pious wanderers mumble their prayers and ring their brass bells in front of the holy rock in which, according to legend the goddess Dolma disappeared after she had guided the first pilgrim here. To pilgrims it is the symbolic passage through the gates of death after which one is cleansed and prepared for a good rebirth.