There are two lakes situated at the base of Mount Kailash. Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshas Tal, the previous being one the highest freshwater lakes in the world and the latter one of the highest salt-water lakes. The shore of Lake Manasarovar is about 20-30km south of Mount Kailash. The maximum depth of the lake is 90 meters and the surface area is 410 square kilometers.
Mount Kailash has a special relationship to Lake Manasarovar. Both of these sites are regarded holy in Buddhism, Hinduism, Bön and Jainism. Many pilgrims from Tibet, India, Nepal and other countries make a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash and at the same time they visit Lake Manasarovar. Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar represent the mother and father of Earth.
The pilgrims walk around the 52 kilometer long path around Mount Kailash and depending on their religion they might bath in Lake Manasarovar and drink its water.
Buddhists regard Mount Kailash as the home of the Buddha Demchok (Chakrasamvara), who represents supreme bliss. The goal of every Buddhists is to circumambulate Mount Kailash 108 times, after which a person will attain immediate enlightenment. Lake Manasarovar is particularly important for the Buddhists, because according to legend it was there, when a great Tibetan monk got information leading to the current 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The monk saw the letters "Aha", "Kha" and "Mha" at Lake Manasarovar, which were the three initial letters helping the search team to locate the 14th Dalai Lama. Aha corresponds to Ahamdho, the province, Kha corresponds the district Khunbum and Mha corresponds the monastery Taktser in which the current Dalai Lama was born.
In Hinduism Mount Kailash is regarded as the residence of Lord Shiva, the destroyed of evil. Hindus think that those who drink the water from Lake Manasarovar will go to the residence of Shiva after death and their sins committed over a hundred lifetimes are cleansed. This is why the Hindus bath in the lake and drink its water. Unlike Hindus, Buddhists don't bath in the water of Lake Manasarovar. According to Hindu legends, Lake Manasarovar was first created in the mind of Brahma, after which it manifested on Earth. That's why the lake is called "Manasa sarovaram", a combination of the Sanskrit words for mind and lake.
For Jains Mount Kailash is next to the mountain Ashtapada, which is the site where Rishabhadeva, the first of the twenty-four Jain Tirthankaras, attained enlightenment. Also Lake Manasarovar is associated with him.
In Bön religion, Mount Kailash and the entire mystical region is the seat of all spiritual power. The Lake Manasarovar is associated in Bön religion with the holy place of Zhang Zhung Meri sacred deity. According to Bön legend the founder of Bön religion, Tonga Shenrab, visited Tibet and bathed in the lake.
Dear Mr. Amal,
Greetings from Helen at Budget Tibet Tour, Thanks for visiting our website and sending your inquiry. Normally it is better for clients to book the international flights on their own as if there is emergency of the flights, the air company can contact you directly. If you are Indian passport holders, sorry we cannot apply Tibet permit for you to Kailash, but you are welcome to visit other places except Kailash and Manasarovar Lake. Best regards to you.
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