For centuries Mount Kailas is known as the most sacred pilgrimage destination in Asia. It is common for pilgrims to circumambulate the sacred mountain, commonly called Kora (Pilgrimage Circuit) or Parikrama. Often pilgrims encompass both the Mansarovar Lake and Mt. Kailas in a quest to wash away the sins of their life time.
Mt. Kailas, at 6714m, stands tall and unique from the rest of the mountains. It is accessed via the small town of Darchen, the starting point of the kora.
The mountain is known in Tibetan as Kang Rinpoche or ‘Precious Jewel of Snow’. It has major beliefs for different religions. Hindus believe Mt. Kailas to be the abode of Lord Shiva and Lake Mansarovar to be a creation of Brahma. To the Buddhists, it is home to Demchok, an infuriated manifestation of Sakyamuni.
Lake Mansarovar is considered one of the most sacred lakes in the world. According to ancient Hindu and Buddhist cosmology, the four great rivers of the Indian subcontinent, the Indus, Ganges, Sutlej, and Brahmaputra, arise from Mansarovar. Pilgrims circumambulate the lake and bathe in its holy waters. Legend has it that the mother of the Buddha, Queen Maya, was bathed at Mansarovar by the gods before giving birth to her son. Following the edges of the lake, the kora offers brilliant hues at this high elevation. The journey is enlivened by a series of monasteries along the way.
For centuries, this sacred mountain has witnessed pilgrims and adventurous visitors, although it is still amongst one of the less travelled areas. Due to the remoteness of this region of Western Tibet, travelers hesitate to undertake this route. However, in recent years, there have been more people keen on visiting.
Dharma Adventures’ social profit company, Dharma Karma Society has been funding education for children from low-income families and occasionally supporting the Bal Bhojan programs which provide free meals, value education and creative skill training to the street children of Kathmandu. Dharma furnishes monthly donations to Buddhist Child Home, an orphanage in Kathmandu that shelters about 45 children. Dharma also sponsors children from marginalized families who are infected or affected with HIV.
Pawan Tuladhar, President & CEO, Dharma Adventures, is a founding trustee of The Nepal Trust that is deeply rooted in Humla and is involved in various community development work such as health, electricity, water supply and education. Pawan is an active member of the Rotary Club of Kantipur. In 2011, Dharma partnered with One Hearth Worldwide, USA to provide neonatal care in the remote Himalayan region of Dolpo in Nepal.
Dharma Karma Society has been actively involved in providing relief to the 2015 earthquake victims. Since the earthquake, Dharma has provided tents, tarpaulin sheets, corrugated tin sheets, medicines, and water purifiers to the needy. Post earthquake, Pawan and the Dharma team has visited some of the hardest hit areas in the mountains. Food supplies and temporary shelters have been sent to these and more are being mobilized.
Some images from a relief mission to Ichok VDC in Sindhupalchok, one of the hardest hit areas from the April 2015 earthquake.