Tibet's Sacred Mountain: The Extraordinary Pilgrimage to Mount Kailas

Excerpts & Samples

By Russell Johnson

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Russell Johnson

Russell Johnson
Russell Johnson is a freelance photographer whose work has appeared in numerous books and publications. He has traveled widely in India, Nepal, and China, including several extended stays in Tibet, and regularly lectures on aspects of Tibetan culture. He lives in Seattle, Washington.



• The record of a spiritual journey through an extraordinary land, and of the devoted pilgrims who seek to climb Mount Kailas.

• Two Americans recount their experiences during the sacred pilgrimage to one of the most remote places on Earth.

• With more than 100 color photographs that capture the awe-inspiring landscape and the tireless determination of the pilgrims.

In a remote corner of western Tibet, in one of the highest, most pristine places on Earth, rises a sublime snow-clad pyramid of rock and snow--Mount Kailas. To Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims this 22,028-foot mountain is the throne of the gods, the "Navel of the Earth," the place where the divine takes earthly form. For more than a thousand years these pilgrims have journeyed here to pay homage to the mountain's mystery, circumambulating it in an ancient ritual of devotion that continues to the present day. Spinning prayer wheels, chanting mantras, and prostrating themselves at shrines, the pilgrims make the arduous climb toward the physical and emotional high point of the journey, the lofty pass known as the Dolma La. 

With spectacular color photography and vivid travel writing, Tibet's Sacred Mountain provides a stunning account of this awe-inspiring landscape, and of the variety, vitality, and sheer determination of the pilgrims who venture there. Both photographer Russell Johnson and writer Kerry Moran have made the difficult pilgrimage around the mountain several times. Tibet's Sacred Mountain is the record of their inspiring journey that opens a window on a magical land of pure light and dazzling color where the temporal and the eternal unite and where every feature of the landscape holds its own divinity.

"Both the vivid description and the awe-inspiring color photographs help to capture the mystical experience of this region and its religious significance."


"The authors document their own pilgrimage to Kailas in this splendid book. . . . Kelly Moran's text integrates well-researched religious import, history and geography into her personal odyssey; the awesome color photography of Russel Johnson complements every page, revealing a lofty realm where Earth and Spirit soar together. An unforgettable experience and a gift book for any season."

Light of Consciousness, 1998