Chim-puk Hermitage(青朴寺) is located on the hillside of Narui Mountain, 15 miles northeast of Samye Monastery in Shannan, Tibet, with an average altitude of 4,300 meters. There's a warren of caves, one of which was once a meditation retreat for Guru Rinpoche. This 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.
Chim-puk Hermitage is embraced by lush hills on 3 sides and faces the broad Yarlung Tsangpo Valley. The strange thing is that most of the nearby mountains are barren and bald, but only in this ravine, there're green trees, blooming wildflowers, gurgling streams, and lively birds. This is probably the reason why many eminent monks and laypeople have regarded this place as a holy place for mediation.
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.
Wenze Lakang Monastery
There is a small monastery called Wenze Lakang(文则拉康) built around Guru Rinpoche’s original medication cave halfway up the hill. Follow the pilgrims around the various other shrines.
Currently, this monstery is inhabited by 90 Buddhists, all of which are nuns. Leading a simple life that 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.
Half-day Hike for Travelers
Chim-puk Hermitage is also a popular half-day hike place for travelers spending a day at Samye. The walk takes around 3hrs up and 1hrs down (roughly 7km each way). 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 a 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.
Here's a video about Chim-puk Hermitage for watching more details.
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