Tibetan Pilgrim
On Pilgrimage in the Land of Snows: Visiting the Sacred Sites of Tibet

 Mount Kailash

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Main Points of Interest

Wu Tai Shan: A Buddhist pilgrimage site famous for centuries as the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva Manjushri, incarnation of the wisdom of Buddha. Its five peaks symbolize the five wisdoms of the fully enlightened mind. With both Chinese and Tibetan temples, it attracts Buddhists from throughout the world.

Je Kumbum: The birthplace of Je Tsong Khapa, founder of the Gelug order of Tibetan Buddhism. Tsong Khapa is famous for his clear expositions of the nature of reality and of the stages of the path of practice leading to Budhhahood.

Jokhang Temple, Lhasa
Jokhang Temple, Lhasa
Lhasa: Long famous as the forbidden city of Tibet, home of the Potala palace of the Dalai Lamas, Lhasa is the center for day trips to the main Buddhist temples and monasteries of central Tibet such as Ganden, Drepung, and Sera.

Tsari: Site of the Pure Crystal Mountain, Tsari is one of the three main mountain pilgrimage sites in Tibet. Every 12 years, in the Monkey year, this mountain is the site of a famous grand pilgrimage around the mountain in which pilgrims faced the perils of head-hunting tribes, insect infested jungles, wild animals and harsh conditions. There are also two other paths of circumambulation which are closer to the peak of the mountain that are the special abode of advanced Buddhist practitioners. Tsari is also a botanical paradise renowned for its rhododendrons and other plant species not found elsewhere.

Lapchi: Near the Nepal border, this mountain is another of the three main mountain pilgrimage sites of Tibet. The famous Tibetan yogi Milarepa first established this location at the confluence of three rivers as a Buddhist practice site in the 11th century. Famed in the Kagyud tradition as one of its principle places for practice and retreat, this magical mountain with its temples and caves is considered to be the abode of the Buddha Chakrasamvara.

Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash:The third and probably most sacred mountain pilgrimage site in Asia, this mountain attracts thousands of Hindu and Bonpo as well as Tibetan pilgrims yearly. Located in one of the most remote places on earth, just getting to this mountain is considered an great accomplishment involving days of travel on foot and in the backs of trucks.

 


A map of China showing the travel route

A map of China showing the travel route

 

A map of Tibet showing the travel route

A map of Tibet showing the travel route


 

All images and text Copyright © 2004 Ray Kreisel