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Drak Yerpa

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Address: 40 km outside of Lhasa, Lhasa, China
Name/address in local language

In the middle of the 7th century, Songtsan Gampo and his team built...

In the middle of the 7th century, Songtsan Gampo and his team built Drak-Yerpa for his wife. Songstan Gampo (604-650) was the 33rd king of the Yarlung Dynasty. And he was the first emperor of a united Tibet. It was said that there were 108 caves at Drak Yerpa in the past but now only a dozen of them remain well. And the earliest among these caves is the cave of Songtsan Gampo. Many individual temples were built around the cave, then after several expansions, they were consolidated forming the well-known temple. This site is very peaceful and has stunning views. To walk and hike where Songtsan Gampo and the later Guru Renpoche and the later Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche (late 8th to early 9th century) have walked is really aspiring.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 54 reviews
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Most underrated gem around Lhasa

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... read more

Reviewed 2 February 2017
Nikki H
Sydney, Australia
via mobile
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54 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 36: English reviews
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2017 via mobile

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 themselves - but I will also say that we were particularly lucky to get snow and sunshine - it doesn't look like... More 

Thank Nikki H
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2017

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 mountain. This is where both the Daila Lama and Kamapa teach in the same room - where religious sects don't divide, where holy... More 

Thank rebecca w
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2016

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 temple is spreading over the mountain, with lots of pagodas scattering on the mountain slope, facing the river running through the valley. The temple was built... More 

Thank Yao-Li W
Level Contributor
283 reviews
152 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2016 via mobile

As the reviews correctly said, this monastery is a bit outside Lhasa but known for its cave temples. The elevation at 4800m is reached via steps that can take you by surprise but the throngs of devotees tell you the significance of the place. There are many cave statues, some big, some small, you can smell the palm oil lights... More 

Thank WWTraveller26
Level Contributor
55 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2016

An monastery designed and spread out on the mountain side. Beautiful views and fresh air. Little caves dug into the mountains creating little alcoves of spiritual/ praying space. As the area is spread out on along the mountain side, it was less crowded with masses of people, compared to Potala and Jokhang.

Thank TravelBugMalaysia
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2016

Interesting destination, few visitors when we were there, making it a slightly off-the-beaten-path destination. Sadly, much of the Drak Yerpa was destroyed during the cultural revolution. Definitely worth a visit if you're well acclimatized (Drak Yerpa is built on a hill, so you have to do a decent amount of stairs climbing at over 4800m). Great to loop in with... More 

Thank weige89
Everett, Washington
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2016

Interesting monastery with multiple temples and buildings built into caves on the side of the mountain. The hike up can be strenuous especially if you have recently arrived at altitude in Lhasa and/or just climbed the Potala Palace. The real attraction for our group was the chance to leave frenetic Lhasa for a quiet drive in the countryside. The drive... More 

Thank Bill L
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
104 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2016

We had already completed an Everest Base Camp tour so were okay with the 4900m. However the monastery was small and simple although important. Great views. A 5 hour trip all up.

Thank Alex A
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
597 reviews
230 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 479 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2016

Drak Yerpa is outside of Lhasa about a 45 min - 1 hour drive. It is very quiet devoid of tourists and provides a nice reprieve from the city. However, beware that the elevation here is about 15K feet. We came here as part of our private tour. Entrance was 30 RMB and we spent about 1.5 hours walking around.... More 

Thank PandaHouston
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2016

We only got to konw this place as our travel agent’s recommendation. But we will never know how amazing it was unless we were actually there. It was absolutely a highlight of our Tibet trip. The drive to the cave was around the zigzag road, and from the parking lot you need to climb many steps to reach the top,... More 

1 Thank yongle z

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