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Drak Yerpa, Lhasa

(4.9/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web)
Yerpa, is only a short drive to the east of Lhasa, Tibet, and consists of a monastery and a number of ancient meditation caves that used to house about 300 monks.DescriptionDra Yerpa is located on a hillside in Dagzê County. The entrance to the Yerpa Valley is about northeast of Lhasa on the northern bank of the Kyichu. From there, it is another to the famous ancient meditation caves in the spectacular limestone cliffs of the Yerpa Valley (Tibetan: བྲག་ཡེར་པ་, Wylie: Brag Yer-pa). There is an ancient sky burial site opposite the main caves.The famous legendary hero Gesar of Ling is said to have visited the valley. The holes his arrows left in the cliffs are believed to be evidence of his presence.HistoryEarly yearsThere are a number of small temples shrines and hermitages and the cliffs contain some of the earliest known meditation sites in Tibet, some dating back to pre-Buddhist times. Among the more famous are those traditionally connected with Songtsen Gampo (604–650 CE), (traditionally the 33rd king of the Yarlung Dynasty and first emperor of a united Tibet). His Tibetan queen, Monza Triucham, founded the Dra Yerpa temple here.He and his two foreign-born queens are said to have meditated in the 'Peu Marsergyi Temple' and in the 'Chogyel Puk', and to have discovered 'self-originated' symbols of the Buddha-body, speech and mind. Padmasambhava, or Guru Rinpoche (late 8th to early 9th century), meditated and practiced tantric yoga with his yogini Yeshe Tsogyal here, and to have spent 7 months in meditation in the 'Dawa Puk', which is considered to be one of his three most important places of attainment. After Lhalung Pelgyi Dorje assassinated the anti-Buddhist Bon Emperor Langdarma in 842 CE he is said to have hidden himself in a cave and meditated for 22 years. His hat was kept there until 1959.
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TripAdvisor
  • Seriously why is this place not on more itineraries ? Then again I'm glad it isn't because the calm away from the tourist crowds is part of the magic of the place. I'll let the pictures speak for them...  more »
  • Padmasambhava or the Lotus Buddha has meditated in 8 caves during his human lifetime. This is the most important one. Why ? This is the mountain with 108 caves nested in the body of the Green Tara mou...  more »
  • I highly recommend this place, even though it's not yet popular to tourists in Tibet. Couldn't believe my eyes here! A big surrounding is the gorgeous snow mountains and valley (see my pictures). The ...  more »