Bringing Mount Kailash of Tibet to the United States
If efforts of a Hindu center in the United States are successful there may soon be a miniature version of the holy Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar constructed near Dallas in Texas.
The Siddhayatan Ashram & Spiritual Retreat, located in Windom near Dallas, TX, has announced just such a project that includes a six storey high “Mount Kailash” on a 10 acre area and a 20 acre lake in the shape of Lake Mansarovar.
Located in Ngari region in Western Tibet, Mount Kailash is known as Gang Rinpoche and Gangri Tise to Tibetans. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is considered sacred to not just Buddhists and followers of Bon in Tibet but also to Hindus and Jains. Every year several Indian pilgrims visit Mount Kailash in tours officially organized by the government of India. The route is a difficult and risky one.
The Center’s website has a photo of the model of the proposed structure. It has statues of Hindu and Jain gods on top of the mountain. The Center has outlined the following reasons behind their plan to construct this miniature version.
“Mt. Kailash is currently in Tibet and controlled by China (access is difficult).
“Mt. Kailash is the MOST NEGLECTED TIRTH by both Hindus and Jains
“To bring Holy Soil and Water from this special place so all can be benefited.”
A “tirth” is the term for pilgrimage in the Indian language.
I am in two minds on how I should be approaching this issue. While reproducing a spiritual place in a different location may have a visual purpose I wonder how much of a religious value it will have. Some may feel this to be a case of bringing the mountain to Muhammad.