This day tour in Lhasa visits one of the oldest monasteries in Lhasa – Pabongka hermitage. After that, we will trek towards the Chupsang Nunnery in a scenic valley. The trekking is not difficult and great for acclimatizing to trekking in higher altitude later or just spending a pleasant day outdoors.
Today we will first visit the 7th century meditation site in Pabongka monastery. This beautiful complex is not touristy. You can spend time exploring the monastery.
Pabongka is older than Jokhang Temple. Here, king Songtsen Gampo meditated in a cave before the construction of Jokhang. You can visit the cave and spend quiet moments meditating there.
You will find the most important self-arising statues in the main chapel. It is the trinity Rigsum Gompo: Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara), Jampelyang (Manjushri) and Chana Dorjee (Vajrapani).
Another sacred object is the carved mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”. It goes back to the time when Tibetan alphabet was invented here, in Pabongka monastery.
If you get tired exploring the monastery complex, we can rest in a tea house with a cup of traditional Tibetan tea.
TREKKING FROM PABONGKA TO CHUPSANG
The nunnery is located within a short and scenic hike from Pabongka monastery. On the way, you will walk on a narrow path between large rocks, walk over some small streams and likely meet some cows and yaks grazing on a mountain slope.
From the trek you will see Lhasa and Potala Palace in the distance.
When we approach the nunnery, we head down to cross the stream that gave a name to this nunnery complex, Chupsang means “fresh water” in Tibetan. After a short and steep ascent to the nunnery, we can relax in the shade of trees.
This trek is not technical and mostly follows the path. We have to climb on some stones and cross a couple of small water streams. Walking at a slow pace, it can take you around 1 hour to reach the nunnery.
The nunnery belongs to the Sera monastery. The newest addition to the nunnery complex is the recently opened large Assembly Hall. Although the most interesting buildings are the older chapels.
As in all nunneries in Tibet, the territory is beautiful, with many flowers decorating the surroundings. There is a small tea house run by nuns.
The nunnery is surrounded by a small forest.