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Kham Utpala

Our favorite destinations

Check some of our favorite locations in Kham and Amdo Tibet


The Tibetan word Gyarong translates to “the queen’s hot valley”. Local legends link this queen with the native Bön goddess who is associated with Mount Muerdo, a spectacular mountain that dominates the valley at 4,820 high. The legends say that the goddess Muerdo is the mother of the 56 peaks in the region. Every year in early August, local Gyarong people and pilgrims encircle this sacred mountain.


Dege Sutra-Printing House

Dege Sutra-Printing house or Dege Parkhang is a magnificent three-storeyed building with original frescoes. Built in 1729 by Chokyi Tenpa Tsering, the 12th headman of Dege, it is the oldest sutra printing press in the whole Tibetan areas that well preserves the tradition of using carved printing blocks and Tibetan papers.

Sertar Larung Gar

Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, also known as Serthar Buddhist Institute, sits in the Larung Valley at an elevation of 4,000 meters, about 15 km from the town Sêrtar, in Sertar County, Garze Prefecture in the traditional Tibetan region of Kham. The academy was founded in 1980 in an entirely uninhabited valley by Jigme Phuntsok, an influential lama of the Nyingma tradition.

Dzongsar Monastery

Dzongsar Monastey in Kham was founded in 746 AD by a Bonpo Lama. Originally there was just a very small temple at this site, called Jowo-Lha-Chig-Kar-Chig ( One statue, One pillar) by the local people. The Bonpo Tenpa statue, from these earliest times, still stood in the temple until 1958. The original Bonpo Gonpa was later transformed into a Nyingmapa temple at an unknown date.