Top Ten China Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Hike Mt. Kailash

Hike your way to enlightenment—literally. Located in an enclave of Western Tibet, the isolated symmetrical cone of Mt. Kailash is the most sacred peak in Asia. Animists believe the 22,000-foot peak to be the center of the universe. Hindus know it as the home of Shiva the Destroyer, whose flailing locks of hair are thought to be the sources of the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra rivers.

Locals believe that spiritual merit is gained by circumnavigating Mt. Kailash—a single circuit wipes out a lifetime's worth of sin, and 108 circuits brings enlightenment. The 34-mile path around the mountain passes six monasteries and begins and ends at Darchen, on Kailash's southern slope.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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