Rongbuk Monastery is located in the Shigatse Region, southwest of the mysterious Tibet Autonomous Region, and to the north of the oblate Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world. Seen from here, Mt. Everest appears like a lofty pyramid surrounded by mountains that touch the sky. On sunny days, a pile of thick clouds, just like a white flag, floats lightly above the peak, which is known to be the miracle of 'The Highest Flag Cloud in the World'. Nowadays, with the golden travel boom to Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery is gradually becoming a highlight for the tourists in its own right.
Rongbuk Monastery was built by a local lama in about 1899. The altitude is at 5,000 m(16, 404.2 ft), more or less, which is the highest among all the temples in the world. It is a five-tier building, but only two floors are in use now. In the frontispiece of the main hall, were sacrificed the statues of Sakyamuni and Geru Rinpoche. And the mural paintings inside are especially worthy of appreciation.
Monks and nuns live in the same monastery and celebrate Buddhist festivals together. From 15th April of the Tibetan Calendar, a Buddhist dancing ceremony is held here, which will last for three days. This is held to celebrate the birth of Sakyamuni, which is known as the Saka Dawa Festival. During the play, many monks disguise themselves as Rabbis and dance many scenes one after another, and most scenes portray different characters and clothing. The noisy and special activity often attracts many local residents and visitors to the temple. Another Tibetan festival is held on 29th December of Tibetan Calendar to placate wandering ghosts, and monks wearing masks also perform this grand ceremony.
Walking forward from Rongbuk Monastery, you will see the famous Rongbuk Glacier Zone, which is the largest among all the hundreds of glaciers formed around the Mt. Everest. Three glaciers at the north of the Mt. Everest flow south and congregate at a river traversing the foot of the monastery. This is called 'Rongbuk River', and the water there is freezing.
How to get to Rongbuk Monastery?
Rongbuk Monastery is 335 kilometers away from Shigatse City. You can get to Shigatse from Lhasa by road first. The road from Lhasa to Shigatse then to Rongbuk is well-paved.
It lies at an altitude of 5200 meters, the gradual altitude acclimatization at a slow pace is extremely important. Thus, a journey from Lhasa to Rongbuk Monastery and Everest Base Camp will take eight to twelve days to complete, depending on your exact travel itinerary. From Everest Base Camp Tours, You might find one tour that can suit you well. Rongbuk Monastery is just near to the Everest Base Camp and there's a good point to take photographs of Mt. Everest.
Best time to visit Rongbuk Monastery
Rongbuk Monastery is open for visitors from April to November. The best time for viewing the true majesty of Mt. Everest is from late April to early June, and from early September to October, with little rain, and the air is bright and clear. The weather is ideal to enjoy Mt. Everest and oxygen content is competitively sufficient to acclimatize the high altitude.
November is also a good time with the highest visibility in the air, without any rain at all, despite it being a little chilly, you can explore this region to your heart's content. Besides, budget travelers prefer November. Not only can they benefit from the year-low flight/train ticket and discounted hotels but also enjoy the most intense religious atmosphere and diverse Tibetans festivals one after another.
Recommended Tour Itineraries Including Rongbuk Monastery
If you are looking for adventure, you will probably love trekking on the roof of the world. This adventurous journey will satisfy your passion for nature and open up a new world to explore. Four days of trekking will show you the stunning scenery of the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, and the surrounding peaks.
Lhasa – Gyantse – Shigatse - EBC - Saga – Darchen - Kailash Trek - Lake Manasarovar – Zhongba - Gyriong