Many different kinds of people worldwide view the steep, winding paths of the Himalayas as not dissimilar to the steep, winding paths of life-with their wildly changing environments.

Varying from tropical climates at the foot of the mountains, to an environment of clay and marsh, then to desolate, Snowy Mountain peaks, all areas of the Himalayas provide sustenance for a multitude of communities, the many shadows and changing landscapes of life are represented within their physical makeup.

In fact; many faiths right across the religious spectrum consider the Himalayan Mountains to be an epicentre of spirituality, and by visiting their glorious peaks, find spiritual guidance and divine inspiration.

The multimillion year old Himalayan Mountains are located right across five nations, spanning across India, Pakistan, China, Bhutan and Nepal; perhaps a reflection of their wide ranging influence on world religion and spirituality, with many pilgrimages taking place every year. There are several aspects of the Himalayan scope and the culture of the Himalayas which are considered some of the most spiritually enlightening in the world.

Mount Kailash rises predominant and strong amongst the Gangdise mountain range, Tibet, which is part of the Himalayas. It appears like a huge grey diamond, its concaves and chiseled face reminiscent of a precious stone, the snow which drips over the sides of the jewel shaped landmass allowing it to sparkle gently in the Himalayan sunshine. The landmass is decadently contrasted with the deep blue sky that frames it, making it striking to the eye.

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In the Hindu faith, Shiva is the god responsible for destroying evil and sorrow, and it is here in the peak of Mount Kailash, that Shiva is said to reside with Parvati, his wife, who is daughter of the Himalayas. For many Hindus then, Mount Kailash is considered to be of great spiritual importance. In fact, in the Vishnu Purana, a Hindu religious text, Mount Kalilash is suggested to be a world pillar, or a center of the world, each of its sides made up of ruby, gold, crystal and lapis.

The mountain is universally known as an axis mundi, a spiritually sacred point in the world at which North, East, South and West meet, opening up a portal of communication between higher and lower realms. This means that communication between our realm and the higher realm is clear, and that communication from the higher realm can be easily passed on to all directions of the compass from this point, meaning meditation and prayer for all faiths at Mount Kailash is pure and sacred- which can only emphasis the abundance of pure, unadulterated spiritual guidance available at the Himalayan mountains.

In Buddhist faith, there is a mystical city hidden deep within the Himalayas called Shambhala, which has never been seen by any living person.  Some say Shambhala is not a physical entity which can be visited with human body, but can only be reached through mental realms- its existence is mentioned in several ancient Buddhist scriptures, but it remains geographically obscure.  Only those with sufficient good karma are said to be able to reach it within their mental state. Shambhala is said to be made up of a sacred civilization of people who are enlightened- it is considered a Pure Land in our physical realm. Shambhala is said to be ruled by Kalki Kings, who utilise the Kalachakra tantra– the spiritual tradition which represents time and encompasses time as a concept of many cycles. According to the Kalachakra prophecy, when the world becomes a pitfall of conflict and self-gratification to the point of no return, the 25th Kalki King will appear from Shambhala, along with a Shambhala army, in order to combat the world’s wrong-doings and to bring to the world a Golden Age- a utopian period of harmony and stability. As we can see, the world at the moment is slipping further and further into what can only be described as depression. People all over the world are losing faith, but could this be winging us every closer towards the revelation of the Shamhala Kali King’s revolution? Only the Himalayas hold the truth.

Even for people who are not of a religious faith, the Himalayas are a humbling experience. To witness these great landmasses, so unmovable and irreversible, can only make us question our true powers as the human race, and our tiny place within the universe. The silence the mountains bring is impenetrable, a far cry from the man made sounds of the city. Indeed, for many people, when they visit the Himalayas, what they find is a physical embodiment of their spiritual faith- able to walk over the mountains and experience their solidarity, their beauty, and their fine detail. For any spiritual belief, the calming, atmospheric surroundings of the Himalayas empty the mind, and allow their thoughts to creep across their multitude of planes.

By: Lisa Davies