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Mt. Bon-ri

Every holy mountain in Tibet is bound to have a famous myth and Mt. Bon-ri is no exception. Back to the time when Buddhism overwhelmed the indigenous Tibetan religion of Bon, there were compelling religious contests between Padmasambhva, a notable Indian Buddhist adepter and promoter, and the local Bonpos in the Kongpo area (presently referring to Nyingchi County, Kongpo Gyamda County and Miling County). Despite a series of victories over Bon in other Tibetan areas, Buddhism received a fierce counter-attack this time, hence a survival of the Bon religion in Kongpo. Mt. Bon-ri, the site of the contests, witnessed the memorable moments and is therefore venerated as the most significant holy mountain of Bon.  
About 6km (4 miles) southeast to Nyingchi County, the mountain is favorably located on the confluence of the Yarlung Tsangpo River and the Nyang River, one of the five main branches of the former. Remains of stone, bird and spring worship*, which have been kept intact by the local Bonpos, are featured along the trek to the mountain peak. A huge tree, which is considered as the 'ladder to heaven' for being veiled by fog at its crown, is where tree funerals* are practiced. On the Saka Dawa Festival , it is a custom for the local Bonpos to make circumambulations around Mt. Bon-ri.  

1.  One circumambulation around the mountain needs three to seven days. Monasteries along the way are available for basic lodging facilities, but camping is suggested.  
2.  Do keep it on mind that circumambulations should be made anti-clockwise, contrary to that of Buddhist holy mountains, so are the prayer wheels.  
3.  Horses and yaks can be rented in Nyingchi County as a means of transportation to the mountain peak.  
4.  The spring at the foot of the mountain is more notable for its effects on curing eye diseases than quenching one's thirst. 

* Stone, bird and spring worship: the Bon religion worships nature, such as the sky, the earth, the mountain, the river, and so on.  

* Tree funerals: as one of the funeral customs in Tibet, tree funerals are only adopted for children under eight. The body, kept in a wooden case or a bamboo basket, is hung on or put between the branches of the designated trees, in a way which is considered to bring best wishes to the spirit of the dead and good health of other children in the family.

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