The Sacred Mountain and Holy Lakes located in the grand Yarlung Tsanpo Valley in the southern part of Ali Region, Tibet, that have been listed in the Preparation List of World Heritage Sites of Natural and Cultural Heritage include the Mount Gang Rinpoche, the Lake Mapam Yutso, the Lake Lana Tso. The four rivers originated in the vicinity are the Senge Kabab (the lion river), the langchen Kabab (the elephant river), the Macha Kabab (the peacock river), and the Tsangpo Kabab (the horse river), all which are the source of several world-famous rivers, such as the Indus River, the Ganges River, the Yarlung Tsanpo River and the Brahmaputra River.
In the ancient tradition of China and India, the Gang Renboqi mountain and its surrounding lakes and rivers had extremely important symbolic meanings, and they were the geographical landmarks indicating the center of the cosmological world. In the historical period, there were four ancient divine worldviews being formed around the Sacred Mountain and Holy Lakes in Ali, Tibet.
The first one is recognized by the local Bon religion of Zhangzhung culture in Ali area; the second one is the cosmological world center of anavatapta, which is recognized by Buddhism; the third one is the cosmological world center of Kunlun Mountain and Yao-chi, which is recognized by the ancient Chinese Book of Mountains and Seas; and the fourth one is the cosmological world center of Kailash (Kailasa), which was recognized by Hinduism. The four cosmography systems originated independently, formed their own special cognitive systems, and communicated and merged with other systems in history.
The integration of the Kunlun Mountain cosmological world view and the Buddhist Anavatapta cosmological world view happened around 1 500 years ago, and the new world view had a wide range of impact on ancient Chinese cosmography. In 1720, this world view was projected on the surveyed map, and the ancient subjective cognition was finally located into the concrete geographical objects of the Sacred Mountains and Lakes.