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Chiu monastery near Manasarovar lake in Tibet
Chiu monastery near Manasarovar lake

Thirty-three kilometers south of Darchen, Chiu (Sparrow) Monastery enjoys a fabulous location atop a craggy hill overlooking Lake Manasarovar. The main chapel here contains the meditation cave of Guru Rinpoche since from eight century, who is said to have passed away here, but most people focus on the lake views, the winding stone staircases and old wooden doorframes of this fairytale-like structure. A short kora path leads to a second chapel. On a clear day, Mt Kailash looms dramatically to the north.

For a hike, walk along the ridge to the southeast of the monastery or make a half-day trek along part of the lake kora to the ruined chorten and prayer wall at Cherkip returning via the shoreline cave retreats. There are fine views and lots of nesting birds along this route, but bring repellent against the annoying shoreline flies.

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