In the western part of Tibet, Ngari has an average elevation of more than 4,500 meters and is famous as the top of the roof of the world. The area has many lakes but less people and is a paradise of wild yaks, Tibetan antelopes, Mongolian gazelle, wild donkeys and other kinds of wildlife. In the western part of Ngari there are the famous ruins of Guge Kingdom, Toding Monastery, Duoxiang Castle and other historical sites. The holy mountains and sacred lakes in Burang attract more domestic and foreign pilgrims.
The Guge Kingdom is a wonder of Ngari. In the mid-nine century, the Tubo imperial court came to an end. The offspring of the King Namdam established their own kingdoms and Gyede Nyimagong became the king of Ngari. The second son of his three sons occupied Zarang and established the Guge Kingdom.
In the main ruins of the Guge Kingdom in Zarang, the destroyed city walls and the natural earthen forests exist harmoniously. More than 400 house and 800 caves scatter on the 300 meter-high mountain slope. As the capital of the Guge Kingdom, the Zarang Ruins cover an area of 720,000 square meters. It is the second largest building complex in Tibet next to the Potala Palace.
The main buildings include the Red Temple, White Temple and Mandala Hall. More than 1,000 square-meter murals on the walls of the Samsara Hall are most precious, In addition to the images of Buddha, murals demonstrate such seldom images as other living things and the snakes with a human head. The caves around the temples still house some weaponry and hamlets used by the ancient soldiers.
Holy Mt. Kailash
Mt. Kailash is 6,638 meters above sea level and is the main peak of the Gangdise Mountains. More than 250 glaciers around the peak make it the sources of the Indus, Ganges and Yalutsanpo Rivers. Mt. Kailash is the holy mountain in Tibet and attracts flocks of pilgrims from other parts of the country, India and Nepal to pay their respects to the Buddha. Also it is one of the pilgrimage centers of Tibet Buddhism, Hinduism and the Bon.
Sacred Lake Manasarova
One of the three sacred lakes in Tibet, Lake Manasarova is a place respected by the Tibetan people. Lake Manasarova is 4,587 meters above sea level. The lake covers an area of 412 square kilometers with a depth of 77 meters. On the slope of the mountain by the lake stands the Jiniao Monastery, a best place to overlook the lake.
Rutog Cliff Carvings
Cliff carvings are discovered in several places along the road from Shiquanhe to Rutog. Renmudong cliff carvings on the side of the road are of the animals and figures. Simple and rough, they are full of vitality. Qiniaopu cliff carvings are rare to find and are 70 kilometers from Rutog. Carved on a precipitous cliff, they depict all kinds of animals and figures. The carvings are vivid and are of a high artistic value.
It has become famous as the Indian senior monk Atisa arrived after experiencing 10-year hard traveling and presided the work of the monastery. It has since then attracted more monks from faraway. The murals in the Toling Monastery are of a free, wild and exaggerate style, like the works by Pablo Picasso.
Qamdo -- a Bright Pearl in East Tibet
Qamdo is a beautiful, vast and rich area in the valleys of Jinsha, Nujiang and Lancang rivers at the foot of Transverse Mountains. It attracts tourists from home and abroad with its wonderful mountains, rivers, dense forests, historical sites and simple local folklore.
One of the biggest monasteries in the U areas, it was built by Sherb Songbo, a disciple of Tsonggaba, leader of the Yellow sect, in 1444. The main living Buddha of the monastery received titles of nobility offered by the Qing imperial court. Until today, the monastery houses a bronze seal offered by the Qing Emperor Kangxi to the living Buddha Pebala and a horizontal board with an inscription by the Qing Emperor Qianlong. Also the monastery houses many statues of Buddha, murals and Thangkas, which are of a high value for appreciation.