Situated at a 4860 meter altitude in Mount Kailash, ‘Yama Dwar’ is the gateway to the great mountain. It is at about 8 kilometre distance from Darchen – the base of Mount Kailash. It takes nearly 30-minute drive from Darchen to reach the place.
The name ‘Yama Dwar’ has a symbolic importance. ‘Yama’ is believed to be the god of death according to the Hindu mythology. ‘Dwar’ means gate. It is believed that passing through this gateway of the Death God, one shakes off all the mortal bonds, in order to reach the Lord Shiva, as a pure being. Yama is considered to be the judge of one’s deeds during the earthly life, on the basis of which one’s life after death is decided. Passing through this Yama Dwar means purification of one’s soul.
There is another story as well for this place. It narrates how Nachiketa waited for three days to be enlightened. Thus, this place stands for one’s enlightenment as a result of which one can reach nearer to the Lord Shiva.
For Tibetan as well, this place holds a high importance. Every year they install a new flag-pole here for which they have a great three-four days’ ceremony.
For Parikrama, horses and yaks are available here.
As such, there is a small temple like gate at the place, from which one enters the Kailash Parikrama trek. The nearest lodging facility available is at Darchen, where one finds good guesthouses.
Thus, considered to be the starting point of the holy Parikrama of Mount Kailash, Yama Dwar holds a great importance in the holy expedition for the spiritual salvation.