Mount Kailas-the most sacred mountain in the world. Uncannily symmetrical, this remote and remarkable peak located in the forbidden land of Tibet might have been built by superhuman hands. It stands out of a primordial hands. It stands out of a primordial landscape: a horizontally stratified plinth thousands of feet high, crowned with a perfect cone of pure snow.
To Hindus it is the Throne of the great god Shiva. Buddhists associate it with Chakrasamvara, a powerful Tantric deity, and with the sage Milarepa, who fought a magic duel there with a shaman priest in ancient times. To the Bonpo, the followers of the indigenous religion of Tibet, it is the giant crystal on which their founder, Thonpa Shenrab, descended to earth from the skies.
For more than a millennium, Buddhist, Hindu and Bonpo pilgrims have been visiting this Throne of the Gods and performing pious cirumabulation around it. John Snelling recounts their difficult and dangerous pilgrimages and analyzes the spiritual significance of Kailas-and of sacred mountains in general. He also retells the tales of the handful of Western travellers who reached Kailas between 1715 and 1949-an exclusive club of intrepid explorers, mountaineers, big game hunters and officials. Then in 1984 the Chinese authorities allowed Westerners freer access; so the tales of a new wave of contemporary travellers have in this completely revised and enlarged edition been added to those of their great precursors.
The new edition of this acclaimed travel book is particularly indispensible for all those wishing to visit Mount Kailas, for it contains a comprehensive Guide for Travellers as well as up-to-date maps. For the armchair traveller there is much to absorb and thrill too-not least the lavish array of photographs, many in colour...
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