Overview

The circumambulation of Mt. Kailash is an important pilgrimage for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Hindus perform a 'parikrama; Buddhists call it a 'Kora'. You are welcome to do either of these, or simply makes a trek around the peak. Tibetan Buddhists believe that a single kora washes away the sins of one life and that 108 circuits secure nirvana in this life. Devout Tibetans often make the 52 KM circuit in a single day. Indian Pilgrims make the circuit in three days, but this also is rushed, particularly since the circuit, though mostly level, involves the crossing of a 5630m pass. A four day trek is far more enjoyable and rewarding.

Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims make a clockwise circuit of the peak. Bon-po tradition is to circumambulate in the opposite direction. As you circle Kailash by the traditional route, you'll meet followers of Bon-po making Kora in the opposite direction.

The most pious of the pilgrims are those who prostrate themselves around Kailash, lying flat on the ground, then rising, walking to the point that their hands touched and repeating the process. It's an awesome spectacle to meet a group of pilgrims performing this feat.

There is also an 'inner Kora' that passes two lakes to the South of Kailash. Tradition dictates that only those who have made 13 circumambulations of Kailash may follow this inner route. This tradition is so important to Tibetans.


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