Shegar (also known as New Tingri, but not to be confused with Old Tingri) is a small town located 7km northwest of Baber, easily reached from the crossroad in the middle of Baber. If you have the time it’s worth making a short side trip to Shegar to check out the incredible ruins of Shegar Dzong (Crystal Fort), built into the side of a steep mountain. The remains of Shegar Dzong’s defensive walls snake up the near vertical pinnacle that looms over the town.
A 2km kora trail leads up from the western side of town to the top of the steep crag. Along the way, you can see Mt Everest in the distance. Morning light is best for taking photographs.
On the way up you’ll pass Shegar Chode Monastery, a small Gelugpa institution built in 1269. Shegar Chode Monastery originally followed Nyingma, Sakya, Gelug and Kargyu tradition until the period of the fifth Dalai Lama when the Gelugpa became the dominant order. A painting inside depicts Shegar Chode Monastery at the height of its power when it had around 800 monks. These days only 30 remain, but they are happy to have visitors sit and chat with them in the courtyard. Keep an eye out for the ‘longevity sheep’(sheep that were saved from slaughter) that hang out in the yard.
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