Chim-puk Hermitage in Yarlung Tsangpo Valley, Lhoka (Shannan)
Chinese Name: 青普寺
English Name: Chim-puk Hermitage
Location: Located in Zhanang County(扎囊县), Lhoka Prefecture(山南市)，Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Admission Fee: Free
Opening hours: All day
About Chim-puk Hermitage
Chim-puk Hermitage is a warren of caves northeast of Samye(桑耶寺) that was once a medication retreat for Guru Rinpoche. It is a popular day hike for travellers spending a few days at Samye. The walk takes around 5 hours up and 3 hours down (roughly 7km each way). There is a small monastery built around Guru Rinpoche’s original medication cave halfway up the hill. Follow the pilgrims around the various other shrines.
History and Development of Chim-puk Hermitage
Chim-puk Hermitage is Embraced by lush hills on 3 sides and facing the broad Yarlung Tsangbo Valley, the Chim-puk Hermitage is renowned not only for being the most famous meditation place of Tibetan Buddhism, but also for its unique humane climate and beautiful scenery presented at an altitude of 4,300m.
Numerous small retreat caves and hermitages are located on the hills, among which those once inhabited by Padmasambhava (known as Gulug Rinpoche to Tibetans), Yeshe Tsogyal (student of Padmasambhava) and Trisong Detsen (742-798, the 5th Tibetan king) are the most prestigious. Handprints and footprints impressed on rocks can be found everywhere, and the enormous footprint on the Guruta Rock is said to have been left by Padmasambhava.
Currently, the caves are inhabited by over 200 Buddhists, 70% of whom are nuns. Leading a simple life which might be unbearable for the commoners, these dedicated Buddhists believe that the Chim-puk Hermitage– the place in which Padmasambhava meditated and taught Dharma to his disciples– will bring them more spiritual achievements in meditation.
Main Attractions- Chim-puk Hermitage
If you are feeling fit and acclimatized, it is possible to climb to the top of the peak above Chim-puk. You’ll probably only have enough time to do this if you were driven to Chim-puk or stay the night there. To make this climb from the Guru Rinpoche cave follow the left-hand valley behind the caves and slog it uphill for 1.5hrs to the top of the ridge, where there are several clumps of prayer flags. From here you can drag yourself up along a path for another 1.5hrs to the top of the conical peak, where there are a couple of medication retreats and fine views of the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley. On clear days you can see several massive Himalayan peaks to the southeast.
Tourist can travel to Lhasa by air to Lhasa Kongga International Airport(拉萨贡嘎国际机场）or train firstly and then transfer to Lhoka by long-distance bus, which is the major choice.
Attraction Travel Tips
1. Traveling Hours: About 8 hours
2. Traveling Seasons: All year, and the period between March to October is the best time.
3. High Altitude Sickness Avoiding: Bring enough water and some thick clothes, eating more fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and so on.
4. Pay attention to respect the local customers