TIRTHAPURI

KEY FACTS

Altitude: 4310 meters
Location: 65 km to the North-West of Darchen, 9 km to the South from Moincer town
Pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus

ABOUT TIRTHAPURI

Tirthapuri in Western Tibet is the famous pilgrimage site along with Manasarovar lake and Mount Kailash. It is located to the North from Kailash on the Northern bank of Sutlej River within a couple of hours of driving from Darchen. The main attraction sites are hot springs, geiser and the monastery. Most travelers visit Tirthapuri after completing the kora around Mount Kailash. The site is closely associated with Indian master Padma Sambhava (Guru Rinpoche) and his consort Yeshe Tsogyel.

PADMA SAMBHAVA/ TIRTHAPURI MONASTERY

Tirthapuri Buddhist monastery near Sutlej river in Western Tibet

Inside of the monastery is the Vajravarahi Cave where Padma Sambhava (Guru Rinpoche) meditated with his consort Yeshe Tsogyel. 

In the 8th century Gonchen from Dorje Drak monastery established the monastery. Originally, the monastery belonged to the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. Nowadays monks of Karma Kagyu order reside in the monastery. Monastery complex includes two small temples. In the upper temple to the right from the altar you can see footprints of Padma Sambhava and Yeshe Tsogyel. Inside the smaller temple is the meditation cave. 

Outside of the monastery is a large circle with mani stones. According to legends, gods danced there when Guru Rinpoche came to Tirthapuri.

TIRTHAPURI HOT SPRINGS

Tirthapuri hot springs are shallow. There are 2 dug out pools, however, no facilities and nothing that can offer any privacy. Many travelers prefer to soak their feet in warm waters and relax after trekking around Kailash. 
There are white and red stone terraces surrounding the hot springs. Many Tibetans stay there for a picnic. 

The geyser that once was quite active now seldom releases hot water. This water forms small calcium clumps that people collect for medicinal use.

PILGRIMS CIRCUIT AROUND TIRTHAPURI

Tirthapuri Buddhist monastery complex near Sutlej river in Western Tibet

The kora around Tirthapuri is about 1 hour long and very pleasant. You will see colorful prayer flags and stupas along the way. The circuit starts in the South at the hot springs. From there, it climbs up to the cremation site. There are many old clothes scattered in the area. 

Next you will pass by two medicinal holes, where visitors collect mineral deposits. The first one is a sour hole and the next one is the sweet hole. After that you will reach a peak on the train with a good view of the surroundings. There are many mani stones and yak skulls with horns. From the peak the road on the left goes all the way to the top of the ridge. The main kora route continues down to the Tirthapuri monastery following the path on the right side. On the way down from the peak you will see stupas (chortens). After that you will reach the Guru Rinpoche (Tirthapuri) Monastery.

On the pilgrimage circuit, there is an interesting hole that allows pilgrims to test their karma. You should put your hand inside and take out two stones. If both are white, your karma is great, if one is black, then your karma is just average, but if both stones are black, you should be careful and improve your karma. 

After visiting the monastery, continue the train walking by mani stones wall. The kora circles back to the river near the hot spring area.

PLACES TO VISIT NEAR TIRTHAPURI

TOURS VISITING WESTERN TIBET

Mount Kailash Pilgrimage Tour

15 DAYS MOUNT KAILASH GROUP TOUR

One of our most popular group tours, starting in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and going to Manasarovar lake and Mount Kailash for three-days trekking around this sacred mountain. During this tour, we visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse monastery and Kumbum stupa, Mount Everest, Lake Manasarovar, Chiu Monastery, Mount Kailash, and much more.

Pilgrims visiting Mount Kailash on Saga Dawa

2021 SAGA DAWA FESTIVAL TOUR

This special tour takes you to the sacred Mount Kailash and Manasarovar lake during the biggest festival of the year. Saga Dawa Festival celebrated the day of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from all around Tibet, India, and the world. You will see the greatest diversity of Tibetan national dress as people wear their best clothes for the festival.

Canyon of Sutlej river in Ngari, Western Tibet

17 DAYS WESTERN TIBET: KAILASH AND GUGE KINGDOM

A private tour taking you from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet to the most Western part of the country. The tour includes three days trekking around Mount Kailash and visiting the ruins of the Guge Kingdom on the West, in addition to Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse, and Everest Base Camp.

PREPARE FOR TIBET TOUR

LEAVE US A MESSAGE

RECENT BLOG POSTS

Tirthapuri monastery in Ngari Western Tibet