Trithapuri Monastery(芝达布寺) &Hot Springs is 9km south of Moincer, which in turn is 65km west of Darchen along the main paved road to Ali. On the banks of the Sutlej, only a few hours’ drive northwest of Darchen, the Trithapuri Hot Springs is the place where pilgrims traditionally bathe after completing their circuit of Mt Kailash. The one-hour kora around the site is interesting. Thirteen Trithapuri koras are considered to bring equal merit as one Kalash kora.
Starting from Trithapuri Hot Springs the kora trail climbs to a cremation point, an oval of rocks covered in old clothes and rags. From this point, an alternative longer kora climbs to the very top of the ridge, rejoining the trail near the long mani wall. The regular kora trail continues past a hole where pilgrims dig ‘sour’ earth for medicinal purposes. Further along, there’s a ‘sweet’ earth hole. The trail reaches a miniature version of Mt Kailash’s Drolma-la, marked with mani stones and a large collection of yak horns and skulls.
Where the trail doubles back to the Guru Rinpoche (Trithapuri) Monastery, there is a rock with a hole in it right below the solitary prayer wheel, which is a handy karma-testing station. Reach into the hole and pull out two stones. If both are white you karma is excellent; one white and one black means that’s ok, and if both are black you have serious karma problems.
Trithapuri Monastery’s assembly hall has stone footprints of Guru Rinpoche and his consort Yeshe Tsogyel to the right of the altar. Outside Trithapuri Monastery a large circle of mani stones marks the spot where the gods danced in joy when Guru Rinpoche was enshrined at Trithapuri. Beside it is a 200m-long mani wall, the result of a demon firing an arrow at the guru. The guru stopped the arrow’s flight and transformed it into this wall. Finally, the kora drops back down to the river, passing several small shrines and a series of rocky pinnacles revered as self-manifesting Chortens.
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