12 Days Tibet Trekking Tour: Shalu Monastery to Nartang Monastery
This Shalu to Nartang trekking is a good opportunity to get a feel for middle level trekking in Tibet. The two passes Show-La and Char-La are not particularly high or difficult. The trail heads are easily accessible from Shigatse.
Shalu Monastery, situated in the Shalu village of Gyantso district 30 km away from teh southeast of Xigatse cit. It was built in 1000 AD. The monastery shows a special architectural style combining Han with Tibetan style. A lot of treasures, handed down from ancient times, are left int ehmonastery. The mural paintings inside are numerous and delicate which are the rarity of art treasures in Tibet.
Narthang Monastery is a monastery located 15 km (9.3 mi) west of Shigatse in Tibet. Founded in 1153 by one of the disciples of Atisha, Nathang was the fourth great monastery of Tsang with Shalu Monastery, Sakya and Tashilhunpo. Narthang was first famous for its scriptual teaching and monastic discipline. After the fourteenth century it gained great eminence as the oldest of Tibet’s three great printing centres (the other being the Potala and the Derge).
The Fifth Panchen Lama took control of the monastery and it continued printing the Buddhist scriptures the Kangyur and the Tengyur up until 1959. Narrthang’s five main buildings and large chanting hall were razed to the ground by the Chinese in 1966. They had contained priceless 14th century murals possibly painted by the artist scholars of nearby Shalu Monastery. Today only the mud-brick foundations can be discerned although parts of the Mongolian styled high-fortress walls are still standing.