Mt. Kailash is located in Burang County. It is the highest peak of Gangdise Mountain, with an altitude of 6714m.Mt. Kailash has a hulking shape - like the handle of a millstone, according to Tibetans- and its year round snowcapped peak, it stands aprat from the pack. Its four sheer walls match the cardinal points of the compass, and its southern face is famously marked by a long vertical cleft punctuated halfway down by a horizontal line of rock strata. This scarring resembles a swastika - a Buddhist symbol of spiritual strength - and is a feature that has contributed to Kailash's mythical status. The mountain is known in Tibetan as Gangrinpoch, or ' Precious Jewel of Snow'.
Mt Kailash refers to the 'sacred mountain' in Tibetan and 'Heaven of Siva' in Sanskrit (Siva is the god of Hinduism). It is the place where the religion of Bon is originated. According to the Indian epics Lomoyana and the Tibetan historic epics History of Gangdise, people began to worship Mt Kailash as early as in 1000 B.C. As the Bon sutra goes, a river, which rose from Mt Kailash, flew into Lake Manasarova, which meant 'unconquerable'. Then four great rivers, named after the four supernatural animals in paradise - the horse, lion, elephant and peacock, rose from the lake and flew to four directions.
The river flowing eastward was Zangbo Maquan River (Ma means horse, and the lower branch was called Lamaputela River), in which were many emeralds. People believed that water from the river could make them as strong as horses. The river flowing southward was Majia Zangbo Peacock River (the lower branch called Ganges River), in which was much silver sand. People believed that water from the river could make them as lovely as peacocks. The river flowing westward was Langqen Zangbo Xiangquanhe River (Xiang refers to elephant, and the lower branch was called Sutlei River), in which were many gold mines. People believed that water from the river could make them as strong as elephants. The river flowing northward was Senge Zangbo Shiquanhe River (Shi refers to lion, and the lower branch was called Hindu River), in which were many diamond mines. People believed that water from the river could make them as brave as lions. Pilgrims from India, Bhutan, Nepal and China cluster to the mountain to make circumambulation every year.
It is said that Mt. Kailash is the Sumeru Hill in Buddhism. Semeru means the center of the world. As the legend goes, 360 deities once lived on the mountain.
Indians call it Mt Kailash. They also think it is the center of the world. They believe that Siva, the god with highest supernatural power and the highest rank among the three gods of Hinduism, lives in the mountain. The upper branches of Hindu River, Ganges River rise from the mountain. So it is not strange to see a lot of Indian pilgrims there.