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NGARI
WESTERN TIBET

NGARI, WESTERN TIBET

Ngari, the province in Western Tibet is one of the most hostile places in Tibet with the highest average elevation. However, it attracts visitors to some of the most sacred places: Mount Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, ancient Guge Kingdom, Tholing, and Tsaparang monasteries are located here.

HOW TO TRAVEL TO NGARI

There are three ways to get to Ngari.

  • Via airport in Ali.

Flying to Ali is the fastest way to visit Western Tibet. However, there are only a few flights from Lhasa per week available. In addition, Ali Airport is located at an altitude above 4,000 meters and you cannot fly directly to Ali. First, you need to spend a few days in Lhasa or other high-altitude areas in Tibet to acclimatize to the altitude. Instead of flying to Ali, you can travel to Western Tibet by road and fly back to Lhasa at the end of your tour.

Most of the visitors reach Western Tibet by car, driving from Lhasa. It allows enough time to acclimatize to the high altitude of Ngari and prepare for the trek around Mount Kailash. In addition, it is a more affordable option because flights between Lhasa and Ali tend to be pricey.

Everest from Tibet side with prayer flags
Everest view from Tibet side

There are two roads connecting Lhasa and Ngari.

  • Drive via the Southern Route: the road goes along the Himalayan Range with a possible 1-day detour to visit Mount Everest. The road is popular as it is shorter and you travel by the Manasarovar Lake and Mount Kailash.
  • Drive via the Northern Route will take you through remote areas of Northern Tibet. While it is a little longer than the South Route, it runs through incredibly beautiful landscapes that tourists rarely visit. You will see vast grasslands, numerous lakes, and wild animals.

WEATHER IN NGARI

Mount Kailash weather average graph

Being one of the highest areas in Tibet, Ngari is famous for its hostile climate. Therefore, the best time to visit it is during the warm months: from April till the end of October. During winter, many of the guesthouses around Mount Kailash close, and the area can be covered with snow.

From July till the middle of September, it is a rainy season. It is still possible to travel as the quality of roads improved in recent years. However, it can be cloudy and it is not the best time if you want to take photos of the peaks.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN WESTERN TIBET

MOUNT KAILASH

Horses grazing near Mount Kailash in Tibet

The sacred Mount Kailash remains one of the highest unclimbed mountains. It is sacred for four religions and thousands of pilgrims walk the kora around the mountain every year.

MOUNT KAILASH KORA ATTRACTIONS

KAILASH AND MANASAROVAR SOURCES OF 4 RIVERS

Four major Asian rivers have their sources on four sides of Kailash. These four rivers flow across Asia and huge population of the neighboring countries depends on the water from these rivers.

MANASAROVAR LAKE

Manasarovar lake
Manasarovar lake

The sacred lake for Tibetans and Hindus in a gorgeous setting of snow-peaked mountains. There are several important monasteries by the lake. Also, the route around the lake is one of the holy koras (pilgrimage routes) in Tibet.

CHIU MONASTERY

Chiu monastery by Manasarovar lake in Western Tibet

Chiu monastery is located by the Manasarovar Lake and once you climb to the monastery, you get an awe-inspiring view of the lake and Mount Kailash. The monastery has a meditation cave used by Padma Sambhava in the 8th century.

GUGE KINGDOM

Panorama of Tsaparang palace in Guge Kingdom Tibet

The Guge Kingdom impresses with meditation caves nested on the muddy mountains, ruins of the ancient kingdom, majestic Tholing, and Tsaparang monasteries. It is home to the natural clay forest, mountain river, and Pangong Tso lake.

THOLING MONASTERY

Tholing Monastery in Western Tibet

TSAPARANG

Tsaparang, The Ruins Of The Ancient Capital Of Guge Kingdom And

TIRTHAPURI HOTSPRING

Tirthapuri monastery in Ngari Western Tibet

Tirthapuri is a famous pilgrimage site in Western Tibet, next to Manasarovar Lake and Mount Kailash. It is located a couple of hours of driving away from Darchen on the bank of Sutlej River.

Tirthapuri site has a close association with Padma Sambhava (Guru Rinpoche) and his consort Yeshe Tsogyel. At the center of the Tirthapuro monastery is a cave where both Padma Sambhava and Yeshe Tsogyel meditated in the 8th century.

The kora around Tirthapuri is rather short and you can complete it within an hour. Unlike the kora around Mount Kailash, the walk is easy but still scenic. When you complete the kora, you can soak your feet in the hotspring and relax.

COMPLETE GUIDE: PREPARE FOR THE MOUNT KAILASH TOUR

All you need to know to get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Information about required documents, ways to travel, the best season, what to wear and pack, how to prepare physically, and what to expect on your journey.

PREPARE FOR TIBET TOUR

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