You may have visited Lhasa and its surrounding areas or even Shigatse a few times to explore the sacred mountains and lakes, the majestic Mount Everest and so on. However, if you do not include Mount Kailash area, aka Ngari, on the list, you would lose the opportunity to explore the essence of the real Tibet. With an area of 304,683 square meters, Ngari is the most authentic place in western Tibet, where you can experience the ultimate plateau scenery and religious trips. Here are the top 21 tourist destinations which you cannot miss in Ngari.
The Mount Kailash is 6638 meters above sea level and is the birthplace of Ganges, Indus and Yarlung Zangbo It is also the main peak of the Gangdise Mountains Ranges that stretches more than 1,000 miles. In Tibetan, Gang Rinpoche literally means "Treasure of Snow Mountain", and is often regarded as "King of Holy Mountain" in Buddhism, Hinduism, Bonism and Jainism. During the pilgrimage season, pilgrims from different religions from Tibet, India, and Nepal came and gathered for a Mount Kailash Trekking Tour. It is said that Trekking around a mountain can wash away all the sins of a person's whole life.
The Lake Manasarovar (4590 meters) The lake Manasarovar is a freshwater lake with an altitude of 4590 meters and an area of 412 square kilometers. In a religious perspective, it is a popular attraction of Buddhism, Hinduism, Bonism and Jainism. There are 5 temples and 4 baths around the holy lake. Pilgrims believe that the water of the holy lake can wash away the stains on the body and wash away the five poisons: greed, anger, stupidity, slowness and doubt, laziness and envy). Hiking with the devout pilgrims on the side of the Manasarovar will surely be an unforgettable experience for a lifetime.
The second son of Kyide Nyimagon conquered Tsaparang and established the Guge Kingdom. The main site of the Guge Kingdom is in Tsaparang, where the dilapidated buildings and natural soil forest blend perfectly. More than 400 houses and more than 800 caves are built on this 300-meter-high hillside. The Guge Kingdom covers an area of 720,00 square meters and is the second largest complex building in Tibet after the Potala Palace.
Ruins of Guge Kingdom
Ancient Ruins of Rutog County is located 10 km away from Rutog County. This majestic ruin survived on top of the mountain, with hundreds of rooms. The most impressive is the monastery above the entire building and the carefully designed stupa below the mountain. Rutog Rock Painting (approximately 4,350 meters) Rutog Rock Painting is distributed in the area of nearly two to three hundred square kilometers in the south and east of Bangong Tso. The rock paintings are very extensive, including the sun, the moon, the mountains, the cows, the horses, the sheep, the donkeys, the antelopes, the local figures, etc., vividly showing the daily life of the ancient Tibetan nomads near Bangong Tso.
The Qulong Ruins were built in the 7th century AD and used to be the political center of Xiangxiong culture. Also known as Khyunglung / Garuda Valley, Qulong literally means the place where Dapeng inhabits. The palace can be seen on both the top and the side of the mountain, it is the royal family lived for many years.
This famous monument is located in Piyang and Dungkar villages and is listed as one of the important cultural relic’s protection spots. As you walk towards the cliff north of Dungkar grottoes, you can see many caves of different sizes. The site is located on a 2,000-meter-long cliff with more than 200 honeycomb-like caves. Visitors can see a huge building with damaged statues, monasteries and surrounding walls. It is also known as the most impressive grotto after Dunhuang Grottoes.
The earth movement of the Himalayan Mountain ranges has made the Tsada Earth Forest, which also known as Tsada Clay Forest. If you are a photographer or geography fan, do not miss the masterpiece of the nature. The Earth Forest takes a place of 2464 square meters, characterized like the cliff of castle, fortress and pagoda.
Tsada Earth Forest
In Tibetan, Pangong Tso means "long-necked swan" at an altitude of 4242 meters. The lake is composed of three long and narrow lakes connected by ditches. There are more than 10 small islands in the lake, which is a paradise for various birds. For more detailed information, please refer to how to go to Ngari ’s Panggong Tso Tour (here is a link).
Ngari Dark Sky Park is located 25 kilometers south of the Shiquan River. It is the most suitable place for stargazing in the northern hemisphere. There is a night protection area covering an area of 2500 square kilometers, with an altitude of more than 4200 meters, as well as a stargazing experience area, a telescope observation area and a tourist service area.
Namunani or Namuo Nanyi (or Namo Nanyi / Gurla Mandhata) in the avert direction of Mount Kailash, facing each other from north and south. Namnani Peak is also called "Mt. Goddess", with an altitude of 7728 meters. Its eroded ridge in the east looks like a blade, and it travels a 200-meter cliff. The glaciers around the mountains are composed of three crystalline snow forests, which look like palaces in fairy tales.
The Khorzhak Monastery (also known as Korchak Monastery) is 19 km away from Pulan County, in front of a mountain and facing the water. The architecture of the temple is very magnificent, with many large and small scripture halls. The residence of the monks and pagodas is beautiful. This temple is very close to Nepal and sits on a hillside south of the Himalayas with a pleasant climate and beautiful scenery.
Simbiling Monastery, also known as Shambuling Gompa, Shepeling Dzong and Taklakot Gompa, is located above the town of Pulan, on a ridge near Taklakot, next to Tegla Kar (Lying Tiger Fort). Simbiling Monastery is located on the ridge of a cave dwelling high above the town 15 km east of Sakya Khorzhak Monastery. There are more than 100 rooms where hundreds of Gelug monks live. There is also a fortress that is the residence of the local magistrate, and a smaller Sakya monastery. There are also some monks.
Torin Temple is located near the town of Zanda and was originally established by King Yishi O of the Guge Kingdom in 996 AD. In 1036 AD, Yishi O and his brother Byanchub invited Atisha, a saint from India, who lived in Torin and wrote a book to spread Buddhism, and since then the temple has becoming famous.
Lake Lhanag-Tso (also known as Rakshastal) is one of the twin lakes adjacent to the Manasarovar. Unlike the freshwater lake Manasarovar, Lhanag-Tso is a lagoon. Probably partly because of the salty, dark, lifeless lakeside environment of the lake, Lhanag-Tso was named "Demon Lake". However, the Manasarovar and the La ang Tso are safe havens for many rare birds.
Mami Lake is a huge lagoon located in the northeast of the Gangdise Mountains. According to sagas, Mami Lake is the right eye of Manasarovar. The color of the lake water will change according to the weather. You can also visit the Mami temple across the lake.
Zhacang Chaka (Chagcam Caka) Salt Lake is the largest salt lake in northern Tibet, with rich Ascharite mineral resources. This lagoon covers an area of 132.5 square kilometers and consists of three lakes.
Zhari Namco is located in the east of Cuoqin County, Ngari. It is the largest saltwater lake with the highest altitude in Ngari Region. It covers an area of 1024 square kilometers and is surrounded by vast grasslands. Due to its beautiful environment, the lake and surrounding areas are famous for producing high-quality Tibetan cashmere goat.
The Shiquan River, also called Sênggê Zangbo in Tibetan, is the upper reaches of the Indus River. The Shiquan River is 430 kilometers long with a total flow of 27,000 square kilometers. Because the mountain by the river is like a lion, it is named as Shiquan River.
Ma Gaer Prairie is a place with a altitude of 4260 meters. It is a famous wetland in the Ngari area, covering an area of 22,000 acre. According to local regulations, only horses can be raised here. Therefore, the Magaer grassland has become a paradise for horses to thrive. In the light of the Bangong Lake, the Magal Pasture has become a beautiful landscape in the eyes of photographers.
Xiagangjiang Snow Mountain is an ideal place for tourists to visit and explore. The magical Dawa Lake, the ancient Buga Temple, abundant wildlife resources and towering snowy mountains have all made visitors forget to return.
It is common for most people to encounter altitude sickness at different altitudes. If you are more concerned about the problem of high-altitude sickness when planning a trip to Ngari, please read more tips on how to avoid altitude sickness in Tibet.
1. It is recommended to do a comprehensive medical examination of your own health and strictly follow the doctor's advice. Ngari is not recommended for tourists suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure or other organ diseases.
2. To prevent a cold, it is best not to take a bath on the first day of arrival. A cold can easily turn into a severe altitude sickness. The night on the plateau is very cold, so wear warm and adequate clothing.
3. It is best to spare enough time to adapt to Ngari's high altitude. Also, you should avoid strenuous exercise, such as running, jumping, or climbing within the first 2-3 days. To avoid mountain sickness, a good rest is also important. More importantly, please keep in a happy mood and always maintain a positive attitude, contain the fear of altitude sickness.
4. When altitude sickness occurs, don't worry. Symptoms of altitude sickness include dizziness, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea, restless sleep, and general malaise. Symptoms will appear within 12-24 hours of arrival, and begin to ease on the third day. If the symptoms worsen, it is best to tell our guide and go to the hospital for treatment.
Maybe you have already been to the Mt Everest and be shocked by the magnificent mountain ranges and scenery, but only if you go to the Mount Kailash (Ngari) area - “the roof of the roof of the world”, your Tibet tour would be completed.
The Ngari region in western Tibet has rugged roads, wide borders and a sparse population, with an average altitude of more than 4500 meters. Ngari is where the Himalayas, Gangdise Mountains, Kunlun Mountains and Karakorum Mountains meet. The lakes and rivers of the Ngari region are dotted with towering mountains, vast grasslands, spectacular snow-capped mountains and stone hill forests. They are also a paradise for wildlife, such as yak and Tibetan antelope. In order to help tourists to understand the altitude of various places in Ngari, let's take a look at the detailed altitude of 7 counties in Ngari area: The altitude in Zanda and Burang Counties are around 4000 meters; Gar County around 4300 meters; Rutog County around 4500 meters; Gerze and Coqen counties around 4700 meters; and Highest Gegyal county, around 4800 meters.