Key information: Tashilhunpo Kora
- A fascinating kora around the great Tashilhunpo monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama.
- Walk in the company of Tibetan pilgrims muttering mantras, prostrating and sometimes even crawling around the site.
- The profound spiritual importance of these places, combined with their spectacular settings, make them unforgettable places to walk and think.
- The altitude here can hurt. Be prepared.
- Walkopedia rating84
- Natural interest8
- Human interest18
- Negative points0
- Total rating84
- Length: One hour
- Maximum Altitude: 4,000m
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
At the heart of Shigatse, Tibet's second city, lies the great Tashilhunpo Monastery, seat of the Panchen Lama, Tibet's second most senior cleric, and once home to thousands of monks. It is a wonderful array of buildings and almost Oxbridgey courtyards, although it feels somewhat Disneyfied and as if it houses more spies than monks. A huge, 85ft, gilt figure of Maitreya, the future Buddha, looms serenely out of the gloom. The lusciously decorated tombs of the Panchen Lamas contrast with the austerity of the exteriors of the buildings. A large pack of well-fed dogs (the reincarnations of inadequate monks, we were told) lounges in sunny corners, awaiting their next meal.
Brightly clad pilgrims from all over Tibet trudge round the sacred circuit outside the monastery, muttering mantras and spinning the large brass prayer wheels as they pass.The views across the monastery and town from the hillside above are on their own worth coming for. Look out for the enormous Thangka wall.
In the towns market, rosaries and jewellery vie with dubious shreds of meat. You may find a bejewelled top of a human skull or a flute made out of a human thighbone.
See our Monastery Koras page for detailed practical information.
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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