Standing at a massive elevation of 22,000 feet the holy Mount Kailash is an embodiment of faith, spirituality, religion, hope, and love. The Kailash Mansarovar yatra is undertaken every year by hundreds of pilgrims. The large black mass of rock shaped like an Egyptian pyramid is not just a mere mountain like any other. For the various pilgrims coming on this religious and adventurous journey, this mountain is of great religious and spiritual relevance. For the Hindus, it is the Abode of Shiva, while for the Jains it is said to be the place where Bhagwan Rishabdev attained Nirvana. The mystical mountain is also of religious significance to Buddhists and the Tibetan Bon Tons.
The numeral ‘4’ is of great importance for the Mount Kailash. It is a home of four great religions in the world: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Bon. It is also the source of four major rivers namely: Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Karnali and the Indus which flow in four different directions from the mountain. It is said that these rivers flowing at different directions is symbolic to dividing the world into four parts.
The sacred peak is also very popular due to the four eminent faces it has for the pilgrims to have a look at and to store the memory of the massively astonishing beauty the Kailash Mountain actually is. All the edges of each particular face of the mountain is perfectly aligned to the cardinal points, meaning that each face is facing straight towards one of the directions given on the axis (North, South, East, West).
According to the Puranas, it is said that each face of the holy mountain is made up of a different jewel. The north is gold, the south is Lapis Lazuli, the east is crystal and the west is ruby.
It is also said that the four faces of the Kailash depict four different emotions. The south face is fully covered with snow and reflects majesty or splendor. The west face embraces compassion and benevolence. The north face is sharp and crisp and depicts a daunting and forbidding emotion. While the eastern face is said to be visible from a long way off and is the most mysterious.
South Face of Mount Kailash
The southern face of the holy mount Kailash is visible right from the start when you enter through the Yam Dwar on your pilgrimage on the Kailash Mansarovar yatra. Even during the kora of the sacred Lake Mansarovar, you can get a view of this astonishing looking southern face of Shiva’s Abode. It will showcase the backside of the massive mountain and a long line seen passing from the head to the base of the snow-covered mountain, shaped like a spine, is believed to be the spine of Lord Shiva by the Hindu pilgrims. When the snow melts, the spine-path paves the way to be gathered at the Atmalingam.
North Face of Mount Kailash
The North face of Kailash is the most widely known since it is the one you will mostly see in the collection of photographs on many magazines and websites. It is like a symbol for the Kailash Yatra. While hiking to reach Dirapuk, if you turn your head you will get the view of the Northern face of the holy cliff. This face is the one which is said to be attracting devotees from all over to embark on this journey around the Mount Kailash. This face showcases the brighter side of the mountain when the sun rays fall on its surface. It is called as the Golden Kailash since the sunrays falling make it look shiny golden in color.
East Face of Mount Kailash
When doing the Inner Kora of the Mount Kailash, the East face is visible. This face is visible for a smaller distance after the pilgrims reach the sacred Gauri Kund. Later, other mountain ranges start to take up space thus the view of the face stars to diminish. The most difficult phase of the holy trek in the Kailash Mansarovar yatra which starts from Dirapuk can give you a proper glimpse of the eastern side of the mystical peak.
West Face of Mount Kailash
When starting the trek from Yam Dwar, you will get a glimpse of the western face of the mountain. As you keep going further, you will be stopped midway to register to the view of the Kailash’s western side. Continuing the journey, you will see that the eastern side slowly replaces the scene and the view of the mountain. It is said and many pilgrims have spotted it too, that this side of Mount Kailash depicts a massive face on its surface.
Mount Kailash is said to be a mystical library containing mysteries and interesting things to see and experience which make the devotees attracted to the place. These four faces are all of the great spiritual relevance and also a massive amount of beauty can be viewed from all the faces.