Mount Kailash, also known as the stairway to heaven, has over the centuries intrigued climbers, scientists the most. The 22,000 ft mountain, which makes a part of the Himalayan range from the Tibetan Plateau, is said to be unclimbable as only one person has managed to reach the top of it.
One’s curiosity about the mountain shall grow further on learning the fact that 1000s of mountaineers have had climbed Mount Everest (29,030 feet), which is the tallest mountain in the world but never been able to summit Mount Kailash.
Why is that so? Well, these facts about mount Kailash might help you get the answer.
1. Home to Shiva
As per Hindu legends, Mount Kalish is home to Lord Shiva and his family; making it a holy pilgrimage site. Devotees, who have ever been around the mountain, claim that they feel supernatural forces around it.
2. Unclimable Might
Every year, 1000s of pilgrims enter Tibet to reach the holy Mt. Kailash. Among the pilgrims, only a few manage to finish circumambulating the hallowed peak. And among those few even fewer manage to reach its top but with no luck.
3. Ashtapada for Jains
Jains call the peak Ashtapada and they also believe that first of the 22 Tirthankaras, Rishaba, that they preach, achieved liberation at the mountain.
4. Forbidden Summit
In Hindu mythology, climbing Mt. Kailash is a forbidden act for it is quoted as trespassing the sanctity of the mountain and disturbing the energies residing there. A story related to the same is about a monk, Milarepa, who once dared to venture far enough to reach the top of the mount. But when he returned he warned everyone of not bothering the God resting high up in the peak.
5. Lakes on either side
On the south of Mt. Kailash is a river named Rakshas Tal while on the north is Mansarovar lake. Manasarovar is shaped like the sun and Rakshastal is shaped like a crescent moon. The water in Rakshas Taal is salty while Mansarovar is a freshwater lake. The two lakes resemble two sides of a human. One good and the other being evil.
6. Mount Kailash to Buddhism
Mount Kailash is known as Mount Meru in Buddhist texts. For Buddhists, the mountain is known as Kang Rimpoche, or ‘Precious One of Glacial Snow’.
7. Rapid Ageing
Mountaineers who have tried to climb Mt. Kailash claim that when they are on the summit, there is a rapid increase in hair and nail growth. Meaning, one begins to age faster when they are around Mt. Kailash.
8. Centre of the World
One fact about Kailash mountain is that the mountain is famously known to be the Axis Mundi aka the centre of the world, the world tree. It is the point where heaven meets earth. Google Maps vouch for the validity of this fact.
9. Yam Dwar
Yam means Yamraj while the Dwar means Door. And Yam Dwar is something that everyone on their way closer to Mt. Kailash has to pass through. It is an entrance guarded by Yamraj himself and it is said that a devil power may never pass through it. This way, Yamraj also shows his devotion to Lord Shiva by protecting the bhaktas of Bholey.