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TIRTHAPURI - Place where Bhasmasura was burnt to ash
Tirthapuri is best known for being a sacred place of Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshe Tsogyel.
The hot springs are surrounded by pink and white limestone terraces, which make a favorite picnic spot for Tibetans. Small pure opaque calcium balls are found among the terraces; search carefully for these small beads are considered to be powerful medicine. Ravens and rainbows abound in this magical spot.
Tradition has it that the kora of Kailasa is complete only by visiting Tirthapuri. This is a place known for its hot springs, and hence the name – Tirthapuri – the place of holy waters.. Pilgrims traditionally bathe here after completing their circuit of Mt Kailasa.
The spring water is piping hot. But no worries. Water is led to bathing pools nearby, where it cools off….
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In the region of Kailasa, this is yet another place that has retained its old Sanskrit name. Hindu tradition has it that this was the place where the demon Bhasmasura was burnt to ash. Indians who have a mind for mythology would remember the story of Bhasmasura that they would have heard as children. Bhasamasura was a Rakshasa, who performed tremendous austerities to please Lord Siva. Lord Siva, who is famed for being pleased with ease, appeared in front of the Rakshasa and offered him any boon that he may seek. The demon asked for immortality. Siva told him that that was a state that was not possible to be conferred and asked him to seek another boon. The demon asked Siva that he may be granted the power of burning anyone by placing his hand on their head. Siva gave him that boon. To test the boon, the demon attempted to place his hand on Siva himself! Siva ran from him, and the demon gave him chase. Siva appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. Vishnu took the form of Mohini, the enchantress – a lady of supreme beauty. The demon was enamored by the sight. Vishnu, as Mohini, led the demon on a song and dance, and finally managed to cajole the demon to promise his love by keeping his hand on his own head. The result was that the demon burned himself, and was reduced to ash. This is said to have happened here, at Tirthapuri.

These hot springs here are surrounded by white limestone terraces… White layers get deposited on the bed of the hot springs, and this breaks up into powdery ash…These are associated with ash of Bhasmasura.

The area of Tirthapuri has beautiful hills that are white-red mix of colors

there are several caves here that are suitable for staying…For Buddhists, this place is hallowed with the memory of Padmasambhava and his consort. There is a cave here where he stayed and meditated on Yama – the God of death. Later, this cave was used by the great sage Milarepa as well. Now, a building covers this cave…

Like in Kailasa, there is a kora of the hill of Tirthapuri. A short kora that takes about an hour or so. There is a cremation point as well, like Shiva sthal. There is a point corresponding to Drolma La, which is marked with mani stones and yak bones. Along the trail comes the monastery of Tirthapuri. Near this place is a prayer wheel which has a karma-testing point. This is in the form of a hole in the ground. You reach in and pull out two stones. If both the stones are white, then your karma is great; your Kailasa Yatra is complete. If one stone is white and one black – then you are ok too. If both are black, well, then your karma needs some more working on. And it would be a good idea to come back and do the Kailasa Kora again…
 
 
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