Tucked in the hills north of Lhasa, this walk passes through several beautiful monasteries and nunneries unknown to most travelers. It offers splendid views of the Lhasa Valley as well as the surrounding snow-crowned mountains.
Walking time: 4 hours.
Photos: Click here.
Access: You can take a Taxi to Pabonka Monastery 帕邦客寺 (Y30.-). Sera Monastery can be reached by local bus.
Description: You won't get lost as you generally can see the next monastery that you head for.
|Pabonka -> Tashi Choling
||Pobanka was built on a huge granite boulder. From Pabonka, follow the Kora trail and walk up eastward. Tashi Choling is about 150 meters higher than Pabonka.*
|Tashi Choling -> Tokden
||Climb the hill back on the Tashi Choling, you can see the Tokden Nunnery hidden in the striking cliff. The nunnery is a small structure built outside encompassing a cave which is the main “hall”. It is a spartan place with only a couple of nuns Inside, there are idols of ancient Tibetan Kings and a painting of one of Cakrasamvara's 3 eyes.
|Tokden -> Sera Utse -> Sky Burial Site
||The trail offers splendid views of the Lhasa Valley. Sera Utse is part of the Sera Monastery complex but is situated several hundred meters on the cliff up from the main monastery compound. It is distinctly painted in yellow and the walls are majestically steep. We believed that it mainly serves as the “launching pad” for the sky burial ceremonies at the burial site closeby.
Before going down to Sera Monastery, you can pay a visit to the sky burial site in the east of Sera Utse, a 10-minute walk. An alternative from here is to continue eastward, walk to several small monasteries.
|Sera Utse -> Sera
||A steep switch-back trail descending to Sera Monastery. **
* One can walk down from Tashi Choling to Chupsang Nunnery for 30 minutes.
** One can start the walk from Sera Monastery, but the climb to Sera Utse is quite tough and takes almost one and a half hour. Sera Monastery is worth a visit especially to witness the scripture debates that is held every afternoon, except Sunday. The entrance fee is Y55.
Written by CBP in August 2006