Drirapuk Monastery is located at the “big-turn” on the back of Mount Kailash, in which the White Dragon River, the East Dragon River and Dromala River all joint together. This valley junction leads to three ways, one is to Tarpoche where the trek start, another one leads to the Drolma La pass (5,700 meters above sea level), the third valley leads northwest to Indus River Source.
Drirapuk in Tibetan means “cave of female yak horn”. It is named due to its walls bear indentations of a dri’s horn. It encloses a retreat cave associated with the great “Yogin Gotsangpa” whom stayed in this monastery from 1213 to 1217. “Yogin Gotsangpa” was a disciple of one of Milarepa’s disciples and is known at the author of the 1st history and guide book of Mount Kailash.
Drirapuk Monastery is an important post for pilgrims or visitors to rest before they walk onto the Droma la pass (5,700 meters). It is about 22-23 kilometers from Darchen and there are few simple tent-guesthouses.
Close to the bridge ascending to Dromala pass
Free of Charge
How to get there
Ali airport is the closest airport to Mt Kailash. The distance is 360 km which requires at least 6-7 hours’ drive; Then arrive at Darchen, which is the trek start, a walk of 6-7 hours is needed for reach Drirapuk monastery from Darchen.
There was no road for vehicle to reach this remote monastery. However, due to countless pilgrims, visitors walking along the valley, a small trail gradually becomes a larger trail that allows tractor to get through which is mostly used for transporting goods and supplies to this monastery; Since the trail from Tarpoche to Drirapuk is the start of Kailash cora, so it is strongly recommend not to take tractor to reach this monastery unless you have physical injure.
From Drirapuk Monastery we’ll cross the small bridge to the trail leading to Shiwachal, a bizarre field with many scattered clothing. The pilgrims have left some personal items, including, a piece of cloth. Then, you’ll continue up to the highest point of Kailas Kora, 5,700 meters high Drolma La. Being the focus of Kailas Kora, pilgrims leave tokens like coins or longda, or attach a prayer flag.