lies at the center of an area that is the key to the drainage system
of the Tibetan plateau, and from which issues four of the great rivers
of the Indian subcontinent: the Karnali, which feeds into the Ganges(
south ), the Indus( north ), the Sutlej ( west ) and the Brahmaputra (
Yarlung Tsangpo, east ).
Mt Kailash, at 6714m, is not the mightiest of the mountains in the
region but, with its hulking shape - like the handle of a millstone,
according to Tibetans - and its year-long snow-capped peak, it stands
apart from the pack. The mountain is known in Tibetan as Kang Rinpoche,
or "Precious Jewel of Snow".
Kailash has long been an object of worship for four major religions.
For the Hindus, it is the domain of Shiva, the Destroyer and
Transformer. To the Buddhist faithful, Kailash is the abode of Demchok,
a wrathful manifestation of Sakyamuni thought to be an equivalent of
Hinduism's Shiva. The Jains of India also revere the mountain as the
site at which the first of their saints was emancipated. And in the
ancient Bon religion of Tibet, Kailash was the sacred nine storey
Swastika Mountain, upon which the Bonpo founder Shenrab alighted from
30km to the south of Mt. Kailash, Lake Manasarovar ( 4560m ), or
Maphamyumtso (Victorious Lake) in Tibetan, is the most venerated of
Tibet's many lakes, and one of the most beautiful. It was said that
the waters of Manasarovar are "like pearls" and that to drink of them
erases the "sins of a hundred lifetimes".
ZANDA AND THOLING MONASTERY
and neighboring Tsaparang are the ruined former capitals of the
ancient Guge Kingdom of Western Tibet. Apart from the monasteries,
chortens and palaces at Tholing and Tsaparang the whole area is
remarkable for its amazing eroded scenery, cut through by the Sutlej
River on its way to the subcontinent. The monastic complex at Tholing
was founded in early 11 century, was once Western Tibet's most
important monastic complex.
RUINS OF THE GUGE KINGDOM
Kingdom was established in 842, used to be very prosperous But it was
suddenly destroyed in 1650, left almost no traces. Its mystical
disappearance has long been a puzzle until today. The ruins are highly
valued for Tibetan history, culture, arts and religion study.