Visiting Shegar on Tibet Holidays
Shegar Tingri. Photo courtest of R Shorrock
There is a great deal to see and experience on Tibet holidays, from the first glimpse of Mt Everest rising high on the horizon to the hundredth spin of a brightly painted prayer wheel; from the great city of Lhasa to a cluster of yurts across the plateau. One place that is well worth a visit is Shegar, a stop on ‘Kangshung Face of Everest’. This was once the capital of the Tingri region of Tibet – the imposing ruins of Shining Crystal Dzong
Beneath the ruins you will find Shegar Chode Monastery, the only monastery of the Gelugpa sect in this area. Founded in the 13th century, it began life as a series of meditation cells for Buddhist monks, only later developing into a fully-fledged monastery in the 17th century under the guidance of the Fifth Dalai Lama. In this vibrant period of its history, it housed hundreds of monks, had its own printing centre and amassed a vast library of woodblock texts. Tragically, the monastery was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution, but some buildings and chapels have been restored. If you visit the monastery on your Tibet holidays, look out for the so-called 'longevity sheep'. These decorated, friendly sheep are allowed to reach a ripe old age in the monastery compound.