Satellite view of the Kinnaur Kailash (draped over SRTM digital elevation model)
The Kinnaur Kailash (locally known as Kinner Kailash) is a mountain in the Kinnaur district of the Indian state Himachal Pradesh. The Kinnaur Kailash has a height of 6050 meters and is considered as sacred by both Hindu and Buddhist Kinnauris. This mountain is sometimes confused with the Mount Kailash in Tibet. The Kinnaur Kailash Range borders the district of Kinnaur in the south and is dominated by the Kinnaur Kailash (elevation- 6050m) and Jorkanden (elevation- 6473m) peaks. Jorkanden is the highest peak in the Kinner-Kailash range; one can admire it comfortably from a bungalow at Kalpa. Often mistaken with Kinner Kailash (which is a smaller holy pillar to north of it). Jorkanden has been climbed by the I.T.B.P IN 1974 and by the IndianPara Regiment in 1978. The pass accessible on the trek is the Charang La at an altitude of 5300m. It is one of the toughest treks in Himachal Pradesh.
As per legend, this shrine existed since the time of Bhasmasur, the deadly Asur (demon) who received a boon from the deity Lord Shiva after great penance, which entailed that any person's head touched by him will be turned into ashes (bhasma). Upon receiving this gift, he tried to turn Lord Shiva into ashes as he wished to possess Parvati, which would only be possible upon his death. Lord Shiva stayed in hiding, changing locations often, and then finally came to Kinnaur Kailash. He resided here for some time meditating. Lord Vishnu eventually helped him to slay the Asur, appearing to him as a woman and getting him to place his hand upon his own head, thereby killing Bhasmasur.