Kailash Mansarovar Yatra
Pilgrimage is an effort to cleanse the soul and open the mind. Every year, thousands of people make aMount Kailash pilgrimage to Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mount Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. Hindus and Buddhists make the peregrination in a clockwise direction. Followers of Jainism and Bönpo religions circumambulate the mountain in a counter clockwise direction. The path around Mount Kailash is 52 km (32 miles) long. Some pilgrims believe that the entire walk around Kailash should be made in a single day. This is not easy. A person in good shape walking fast would take perhaps 15 hours to complete the 52 km trek. Some of the devout do accomplish this feat, little daunted by the uneven terrain, altitude sickness and harsh conditions faced in the process. Indeed, other pilgrims venture into a much more demanding regimen, performing body-length prostrations over the entire length of the circumambulation: The pilgrim bends down, kneels, prostrates full-length, makes a mark with his fingers, rises to his knees, prays, and then crawls forward on hands and knees to the mark made by his/her fingers before repeating the process. It requires at least four days of physical endurance to perform the circumambulation while following this regimen.