The Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage is one of the most arduous and challenging treks for religious pilgrims in the world. Mount Kailash is abode of Lord Shiva and the mountain is the source of the giant rivers of India the; Brahmaputra, Indus, Sutlej and Karnali. Ancient texts refer to the mountain as the center of the world. The symmetrical mountain is one of the most beautiful and sacred of the Himalaya. A series of five ancient temples are situated around the mountain flanks. A journey around the mountain will free pilgrims from endless cycles of birth and death. Pilgrims having been making the trek to the region in a tradition that dates back at least several thousand years. The journey is made in a clockwise direction by Hindus and Buddhists while followers of the Jain and Bönpo religions travel the 52km trek around the mountain in a counterclockwise direction.