Mount Kailash: The Mysterious Mountain of Tibet

Mount Kailash is a sacred spiritual mountain located in Tibet. With an elevation of 6,638 meters, it is the highest peak in Kailash range. The peak is located in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar and Lake Rakshastal (both lakes are religious), close to the source of longest rivers in Asia like Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, and Karnali.

Mount Kailash is a very popular mountain all over the world because to this date the peak hasn’t been climbed. There are several reasons surrounding why it is unscalable, one of them being its religious importance to four religion: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon.

Reasons why Mount Kailash is considered unattainable

The height of Mount Kailash is not a big deal considering it with the tallest mountain of the world, Mount Everest with 8,848 meters height which has been climbed for over 2,000 times and yet Kailash hasn’t been climbed to this date.

There were several attempts in the past to climb the mountain, but at some point, all of them failed. In 1996 when Colonel R.C Wilson, a mountaineer discovered an easy walk to summit heavy snowfall started making the climb impossible.

Then in 1936 when Herbet Tichy questioned about Mount Kailash he was told only a man entirely free of sin could climb the peak and he doesn’t even have to scale the sheer wall of ice, he will just turn into a bird and reach the top. Later in mid-80s when the Chinese Government gave him permission to climb the peak he just denied it.

A Russian climber named Sergai Cistiakov who also attempted to conquer Mount Kailash said, “When we approached towards the foot of the mountain, my heart started to pound fast. I was in front of the sacred mountain, mountain which hasn’t been beaten yet. I felt extremely emaciated and suddenly captivated by the thought that I do not being in this mountain. Then as soon as we started descent, I felt liberated.

Well, there are many stories like this which are very peculiar and perplexing as well. Now, let us look at some reasons why Mount Kailash hasn’t been climbed yet.

Religious Belief

As mentioned earlier, Mount Kailash has religious importance to not just one or two, but four different religion. It is believed Mount Kailash is an abode of Lord Shiva and his wife, Parbati, so Hindu followers won’t scale the mountain and won’t allow others to ascent. With various religious belief attached to Mount Kailash, people following Buddhism, Jainism, and Bon won’t allow as well.

Also, the belief saying only person free of sin would climb the mountain has created some deep meaning. There is hardly any person who has a pure heart and hasn’t committed any sin in his/her life, so ultimately it may mean no one could climb the mountain.

Political dispute

Mount Kailash is located in Tibet, an autonomous region of China and the political disagreement between China and Tibet has been going on for a really time. Once China permitted to ascent Mount Kailash but ended up receiving backlash from a global citizen. The decision of China clearly hurt sentiment of people who have religious faith on Mount Kailash. So, since then China has strictly prohibited on climbing Mount Kailash.

Difficult Geography

Although the height of Mount Kailash isn’t so significant, ascending to peak is very challenging because of its steep slopes.

Fear of presence of mystic power

Fear abstains us form many achievements which we could have had, and the fear of death is the even greater. Because of belief only a sin-free person could climb the mountain, people fear stepping their foot in Mount Kailash. They not only fear for this life but afterlife too.

Strictly Prohibited

Mount Kailash region and its visitors are under constant surveillance, so it is impossible to climb without being seen. The Chinese government has officially issued a report saying climbing Mount Kailash is strictly prohibited.

Religious Importance of Mount Kailash

-As per Hinduism, Mount Kailash is the summit where Lord Shiva and his wife, Goddess Parvati sat in a state of meditation. Also, according to Hindu scripture, Vishnu Puran, the four face of mountain are made of crystal, ruby, gold and lapis lazuli. It also says, the mountain is a pillar of the world and is located at the heart of six mountain ranges symbolizing lotus.

-As per Jain scriptures, the mountain located next to Mount Kailash, Ashtapada is where first Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhadeva achieved moksha (liberation). It is believed in Jain tradition the last Tirthankaram Vardhamana Mahavira was taken to the summit of Mount Kailash by Indra shortly after his birth.

-As per Buddhism, Mount Kailash is known as Mount Meru and is considered central to cosmology and a major pilgrimage site for some of the Buddhist tradition. As per Vajrayana Buddhist, Mount Kailash is home of Buddha Cakrasamvara, who represents supreme bliss.

-As per Bon, Mount Kailash and the entire region, which as per them is “nine-story Swastika Mountain” is axis Mundi, Tagzig Olmo Ling Ring. Axis Mundi is also known as a cosmic axis, world axis, world pillar, world tree and center of the world and it is the point where heaven meets earth.

Some Interesting Facts about Mount Kailash

Here are some facts about the mystical Mount Kailash which are literally mind-blowing.

-As per Buddhist Scripture, around Mount Kailash, there are ancient monasteries and caves where holy sages reside in their material and subtle bodies and what more interesting is it can be seen by a few fortunate peoples.

-Mount Kailash is a forbidden peak because of fear of trespassing the sanctity of mountain and disturbing divine energies residing in peak. However, as per Tibetan lore, once a monk named Milarepa scaled up to the top of the peak and when he returned he forewarned everyone to not to dare to bother the God.

-Lake Rakshastal which lies in the vicinity of Mount Kailash was believed to be born from intense austerities performed by a demon named Ravan to please Lord Shiva. Because of its association with demonic entity, Rakshastal is conferred with salty water and no aquatic life.

-The nature of both lake Mansarovar and Rakshastal is very queer. Lake Mansarovar stays imperturbable despite any weather effect and lakeRakshastal stays more or less turbulent.  

-Visitors and pilgrims of Mount Kailash have discovered that air and atmosphere of the peak increase the processing of aging.

-Once a group of Siberian climbers went ahead to climb the mountain and they immediately aged by a few decades. What more shocking is, all the climbers died of old age after a year.

From Nepal to Mount Kailash

You can visit the holy Mount Kailash from Nepal although it is situated in Tibet. However, visiting there doesn’t mean attempting to climb the peak. Reaching right in front of Mount Kailash, you begin Kora. Kora is to perambulate clockwise around the mountain which is believed to have great spiritual significance. There are few ways you can choose to reach the sacred land of Mount Kailash.


Trekking to Mount Kailash will be one challenging yet worthy adventure. You Mount Kailash trek beings with a flight to Nepalgunj. This sacred and spiritual adventure will take you through verdant forest, beautiful rivers and water sources, monasteries and gompas, traditional Tibetan villages and the splendid view of snow-capped mountains. But before venturing in this trek, let you know this; it is a long and strenuous trek.

From Gyirong Port

As Mount Kailash is located in a different nation, you have to assemble various documents and paperwork to obtain permits. And, remember this there are several permits you need to acquire.

This is an overland route to Tibet from Nepal. You will cross the border at Gyirong Port, a new border crossing checkpoint opened in August 2017. To cross Gyirong Port, you can either take a public bus which is economical or takes a private reserve car. You don’t have to walk at any point however you must stay at some places for acclimatization.

From Flight to Lhasa

If you don’t like being on the road for long hours, then taking a flight to Lhasa might be a good option. You can take a flight to Lhasa Gonggar International Airport from Tribhuvan International Airport. Now, from Lhasa, you have to travel overland to Mount Kailash.

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