Mount Kailash is a peak in the Gangdisa Mountains, which are part of the Himalayas in Tibet. It lies near the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia: the Indus River, the Sutlej River (a major tributary of the Indus River), the Brahmaputra River, and the Karnali River (a tributary of the Ganges River). It is considered a sacred place in four religions: Ban, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism. In Hinduism, it is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva and a place of eternal bliss.
The mountain lies near Lake Manasarowar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet. The mountain is known as Kailsa in Sanskrit. The word may be derived from the word klsa () which means "crystal". In his Tibetan-English dictionary, Chandra identifies the entry for 'kai la sha' which is a loan word from Sanskrit 'kailsa' (Devanagari: ). The Tibetan name for the mountain is Gangs Rin-po-che. Gangs or Kang is the Tibetan word for snow peak analogous to alp or himal; rinpoche is an honorific meaning "precious one" so the combined term can be translated "precious jewel of snows". Another local name for the mountain is Tisa (Tibetan: ) mountain, which derives from ti tse in the Zhang-Zhung language, meaning "water peak" or "river peak", connoting the mountain's status as the source of the mythical Lion, Horse, Peacock and Elephant Rivers, and in fact the Indus, Yarlung Tsangpo/Dihang/Brahmaputra, Karnali and Sutlej all begin in the Kailash-Lake Manasarovar region.