East Face of the sacred Mount Kailash in Tibet
East side of Mount Kailash


School of Buddhism: Gelug
Founded: originally 13th century, present building from 1983
Location: Kailash region
Altitude: 4,790 m
Alternative spelling: Zultul Phuk, Zutrul Puk


Dolma La pass the highest point of Kailash kora
Dolma La pass the highest point of Kailash kora

Zutul Puk monastery is located on the East side of Mount Kailash, about 14 km from Darchen. On a typical 3 days trek around the mountain, you will reach the monastery at the end of the second day. The second day of trekking is the most challenging, and you will be happy to finally take a rest in a teahouse by the monastery. However, if you have time and energy left we recommend visiting the monastery. 

In Tibetan, “Zutul” means miracle and “Puk” means cave. Originally, Zutul Puk was built in the 13th century. However, the present-day building is from 1983. 


Zultul Puk Tibetan monastery on the East side of Mount Kailash
Zultul Puk monastery

At the center of the monastery is a meditation cave associated with Milarepa. Kailash area was a scene of a clash between Milarepa representing Buddhism and Naro Bonchung representing Bon religion. The present-day Zutul Puk monastery location is one of the places of their encounter.

It started to rain, and Milarepa with Naro Bonchung agreed to make a shelter together. Miarepa placed a large stone slab making a roof before Naro Bonchung constructed walls. Milarepa adjusted the height of the roof by pressing it down with his foot first, and then pushing it up from the inside. That’s why there is his footprint of the top of the cave under the roof of the monastery. There are also his head and hand prints on the ceiling of the cave. 

You can spend some time in the cave meditating. 


Mt Kailash, Tibet, China - May 26, 2012: Buddhist woman pilgrims
Pilgrims performing full body prostrations around Kailash

In the monastery built around the cave you will also see footprints of Padma Sambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal. There are great thangkas depicting Drigung lineage. 

Around the monastery you will see many mani stones with carved and painted prayers. Outside you will also see a large rock. According to the legends, Milarepa placed it there by hands. 

There is a tea house near the monastery, serving simple meals. Also, there are several guesthouses where we stay for the night to rest before finishing our 3-days long trek around Mount Kailash.




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