Art by jiashu xu ©

Murmuring whispers cut short his brooding as he felt the crush of men pressing in. Sheridan raised his steel-blue eyes. On the distant horizon, calling them as a beacon of destiny, an immense shaft of sunlight cut through a breach in the endless ceiling of gray. Defying the assault of unending darkness, a snow-capped pillar of black rock rose to meet the sun—it was Mount Kailash. Considered by Buddhists as the “navel of the world,” its four sheer walls perfectly align with the cardinal points of the compass, and four great rivers flow from its foundation. The sacred mountain, with wisps of windblown snow circling its peak like a crown of white, left no doubt about why four major religions revere it, and why the Tibetans called it Lari, the Soul Mountain, believing it imbued with the soul of the earth.

But to their covert operation that day, mighty Mount Kailash appeared simply as the gate to Shambhala.

Art by Cornelia Kopp aka AlicePopkorn