The most holy and mystical mountain in the Himalayas, Mt. Kailash has been a holy site to the adherents of Hindu, Bon, Buddhist and the Jain religion for centuries. Geographically situated in the middle of six mountain ranges symbolizing the Lotus, Mt. Kailash is said to be the eternal adobe of Lord Shiva, the God of all Gods in Hinduism; the place where the first Jain Tirtahnkara, Rishabhadeva attained liberation from rebirth, the navel of the universe and home of Buddha Demchok who represents supreme bliss in Buddhism; and the place of all spiritual power in the Bon religion.
The four major rivers of the Indian subcontinent, Indus, Brahmaputra, Karnali and Sutlej, along whose banks the earliest civilizations arose in the Indus valley thousands of years ago originate from Lake Mansarovar in Mt. Kailash, the highest fresh water lake in the world. So, it is no wonder that Mt. Kailash, Lake Mansarovar and its sister lake Rakshastal has been the holiest pilgrimage site for the inhabitants of the region whose waters still sustain much of the Indian subcontinent.
The circumambulation of Mt. Kailash and the water of Lake Mansarovar is believed to wash away all sins of the pilgrims and devotees have endured this long and arduous pilgrimage for thousands of years. Due to the terrain and the abrupt rise in altitude, the penance for the pilgrimage considered one of the hardest is also one of the greatest path to salvation.