KEY FACTS ABOUT CHIU MONASTERY
School of Buddhism: Nyingmapa (Red Hat)
Location: 33 km from Darchen, on the Westside shore of Manasarovar Lake
Altitude: 4, 590 meters
Other name and spelling: Jiu monastery, Sparrow Monastery, Chiu Gompa
ABOUT CHIU MONASTERY
Chiu monastery is located about 33 km from Darchen. The monastery sits on a steep red-colored Sangtok Pelri Mountain by the magnificent Manasarovar Lake. From the monastery you can enjoy an amazing view on the Manasarovar lake and Gurla Mandhata Peak (7,694m). On a clear day you can also see Mount Kailash. Although Chiu monastery is not large, its architecture resembles Potala Palace.
It is one of the most popular monasteries on the lake Manasarovar shore. Pilgrims visiting the sacred Manasarovar, stay in the guesthouses on the lake shore and below the Chiu monastery. Our Mount Kailash group tours visit Chiu monastery when staying at the Manasarovar lake.
HISTORY OF CHIU
Chiu monastery is closely related to Guru Rinpoche (Padma Sambhava). In the 8th century, he meditated in the cave that is now at the heart of the monastery. Guru Rinpoche spend the last 7 days of his life in the cave. There is his footprint on the rock. Nowadays you can see his small statue in this cave. Another statue of the Indian master is in the center of the main chapel.
AROUND THE MONASTERY
Visiting Chiu requires a short walk up the hill. The short kora around the monastery takes about 30 minutes. The river Ganga Chu flowing nearby connects Manasarovar lake with nearby Rakshas Tal lake. The river is a source of Sutlej River. There is a hotspring near the river behind the monastery. Facilities are basic. However, it is a popular choice for pilgrims since simple guesthouses by the lake don’t have showers.
Most of the pilgrims visit Chiu while staying at the Manasarovar lake. The Tibetan name of the lake is Mapam Yumtso. Water from the glaciers in Mount Kailash region fills the lake with fresh water. Manasarovar lake, along with Mount Kailash is sacred for four religions: Bon, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. There are many birds nesting on the lake shore.
The sacred fresh water lake in Western Tibet. It is one of the highest fresh water lakes on the planet. Manasarovar deep-blue water surface reflects surrounding mountain ranges including Gurla Mandata (7694 meters). To the North from the lake majestic Mount Kailash dominates the landscape.
RECOMMENDED TOURS VISITING CHIU MONASTERY
15 DAYS MOUNT KAILASH GROUP TOUR
One of our most popular group tours, starting in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and going to Mount Kailash for three-days trekking around this sacred mountain. During this tour, we visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse monastery and Kumbum stupa, Mount Everest, Lake Manasarovar, Chiu Monastery, Mount Kailash, and much more.
2021 SAGA DAWA FESTIVAL TOUR
This special tour takes you to the sacred Mount Kailash during the biggest festival of the year. Saga Dawa Festival celebrated the day of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from all around Tibet, India, and the world. You will see the greatest diversity of Tibetan national dress as people wear their best clothes for the festival.
17 DAYS WESTERN TIBET: KAILASH AND GUGE KINGDOM
A private tour taking you from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet to the most Western part of the country. The tour includes three days trekking around Mount Kailash and visiting the ruins of the Guge Kingdom on the West, in addition to Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse, and Everest Base Camp.