Tibet is a land of wonders and one should visit the wonder at least once in their lifetime. Several times you have heard about the Ngari prefecture of Tibet. It is advisable that you should not miss a trip to Ngari if you are planning a Tibet tour. There are reasons more than one that one should visit the Ngari at least once to get an amazing experience to cherish their lifetime.
Where is Ngari?
Ngari is situated in the North Western part of Tibet at an elevation of 4500 metre above the sea level. This prefecture forms the meeting point of great ranges like Gangdise, the Karakoram, the Kunlun and the great Himalayas. This place has some amazing sites to exhibit the tourists.
The area has a plateau monsoon climate and the average annual temperature hovers around 19 degree Celsius. May-July and September- October is the best time to visit this place dotted with cliffs and surrounded by lakes, rivers and mountains.
Historical and cultural significance
The place has extreme historical and cultural significance. This place was once considered to be the heart of the kingdom of Guge. After Amdo and Kham, Ngari forms a traditional ground of Tibet. In Ngari prefecture flows a number of rivers and lakes considered holy by Hindus, bon culture and Buddhists.
Ngari is famous for bearing the two symbols of Buddhism and other religions-Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. Other historical spots like Tolling temple, ruins of Guge Kingdom make Ngari a place of immense cultural importance. Ngari is not densely populated rather it has great expanse of grasslands and Tibetan animals grazing on the field. The serenity of the place makes it a great place of religious and cultural benevolence.
Enjoy the ultimate pilgrimage 3 day trekking around the holy Mount Kailash
Mount Kailash at an altitude of 6656 metre above the sea level becomes the holiest mountain in Tibet. This mountain is considered sacred not only by Buddhist but also bonists and Hindus. This is the peak where Hindu Lord Shiva is believed to reside. This snow laden mountain gives rise to four great rivers like Indus River, Shiquan River, Yarlung River and Xiangquan River.
The trek to Mount Kailash is one of the most fascinating and challenging routes in the world. Pilgrims from all over the globe undertake this Kora because of the deeply religious serenity that it provides. It generally takes 3 days to trek around Mount Kailash. The Kora route starts from the village of Darchen. The route proceeds through winding roads by the lakes and peaks. The average altitude of this trekking is approximately 5000 metre. This 3 days trek around Mount Kailash is found to be the ultimate pilgrimage where you can experience the holiness of multitudes of religion together. Not only pilgrims but also many hikers and adventurers join and share the experience of the pilgrims along this route. Many people even prostrate the entire route and they generally take 3 weeks to complete the journey.
The 52 km trekking doesn’t seem a mammoth’ task since the route has beautiful scenery in store for the pilgrims. The Kailash stands with a spectacular view for all those who rest their eyes on it. Circumambulating around the foot of Kailash brings harmony and peace, according to common belief. The mountain is also encircled by five great monasteries-Dirapuk monastery, Nyari monastery, Thailong monastery and Gyangzha monastery. The monasteries and the mountain are associated with so many legendary stories that the place automatically transforms into a heaven for the pilgrims. Mount Kailash appears the best during May to October. Trekking the route to Kailash during winters is not so safe due to the extensive snow cover in the surrounding areas.
Mount Kailash is a site that all of you must once come and feast your eyes on. The Tibetan rural setups on the way to Kailash are yet another attraction to leave you tongue tied and mesmerized. Do not miss your chance. The holiness of Kailash will purge you of all your distress.
Enjoy the holy Manasarovar near the holy Mount Kailash
Lake Manasarovar at an elevation of 4583 m forms a holy site for both the pilgrims and tourists .It is one among the highest lakes in the world. The lake is adjacent to the Mount Kailash, precisely to the south east of the mountain. Lake Manasarovar offers a kora circuit to the pilgrims. It is believed that circumambulating around the Lake Manasarovar would purge all the sins from the hearts of mankind. Pilgrims often take a holy bath in the lake to wash away their distresses and despair. Every year a great many number of pilgrims plan a trip to Lake Manasarovar for experiencing the spiritual calm it provides.
Lake Manasarovar is an abode of endless beauty. The lake appears like a sapphire with its bluish hue and sparkling water. In the summer season, a hoard of migratory birds crowds the bank of the lake. It is also believed that the fish in this lake has the ability to heal diseases and sterility. This mineral rich lake is endowed with heavenly qualities thus becoming a perfect place to feel holiness at its best. Pilgrims should come here during the spring and the autumn when the lake appears most beautiful.
Pilgrims have a notion that a successful completion of Kora around the Mount Kailash and holy bath in the waters of Manasarovar will bring them “moksha”.
The lake reaches the height of its beauty one hour before and after the sunrise and sunset. Religious beliefs say that the pilgrims must visit the place during Brahmamuhurta that is between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Common belief says that this is the time when Gods come down to take bath in the lake. Hindu belief even states that bathing in this Lake washes away the sins of 7 birth. This lake is, thus, sacred to a great many number of religions and as you can see strange legends are associated with this lake enhancing its holiness and pristine nature.
Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar together forms a pilgrimage that every individual should make once a lifetime to engulf themselves in an inspiring beauty as well as enamouring themselves with spiritual beliefs and religious aestheticism. The legends of mysterious lights, stone Paduka and splashing of waters by the invisible entities are the interesting stories connected with Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar which entangles the tourist all the more.
Stunning natural wonder: Zada Clay Forest
Zada Clay Forest is one another famous attraction in the Ngari Prefecture. This is the forest lesser known or traversed by the tourists but it also forms one of the interesting sites of visit by hikers and trekkers. Covering an area of 2464 square km this forest at a height of 3750 – 4450 metres stands as a pinnacle of beauty and aura. It is a different world altogether in this forest with the various layers of the forest being painted with colours of nature.
Zada Clay Forest is formed by the movement of Himalayan Mountains and the formation of deposits along the water corrosion. Zada Clay Forest exhibits unique shape like those of Castles, mountain defenders, pagodas and watchtower. Wherever you look or whichever direction you go, you are sure to get enthralling scenery. It is almost like dwelling in a civilization of ancient time. Who would want to miss such an experience? The peculiarity of this place is its speciality.
Unique wildlife in western Tibet
Ngari is a region where there are less people and more wildlife. This prefecture consists of rare species of animals and birds that are hard to find elsewhere. One such animal is a small antelope kind of thing called Tsoe. This animal can be listed as one of the endangered ones in Ngari. These animals are known to have immense fortitude to survive in the roughest climatic condition. Another special animal to be found in Ngari is Kyang, a type of wild ass. These usually graze placidly on the grasslands but can dash away if they see human beings near. The Kyang often becomes curious about your activities, very inquisitive are they!
Grong or Tibetan wild yak is also too unique to find elsewhere. These can be spotted from a distance with the dark brown colour and long hairs. Na Wa or wild goats, Kyi Chang or wild dogs, A-Mo or foxes, Nyin or wild sheep can also be found in the Ngari prefecture.
Ngari also boasts of displaying Krung Krung Kyid Nag or black necked cranes. These are endangered too and are not frequently seen. With these wide expanses of wildlife, Ngari enters the wish list for all of us.
Ngari is a hidden treasure and those who have explored it know it well that once in a lifetime Ngari should be visited. The awestrucking beauty of itineraries; the holiness of Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar; the vast vista of flora and fauna make Ngari an absolute wonder of Tibet. So come and live this beauty at least once in a valuable lifetime.