The mysterious ancient kingdom of Guge lies in Zanda county in the Ngari prefecture in Tibet's south west, almost on the border with India. In the Sutlej valley, in the shadow of the mighty Mount Kailash, the ruins of the once great capital and its surroundings can be found. Founded in the 10th century by the descendent of the last Emperor of Tibet, it's cited as the start of the second wave of Buddhism into Tibet. Ruled, conquered and annexed by dynasties and monarchies over the years and finally lost in the 17th century in mysterious circumstances, the site of Guge was rediscovered in the 1980s during a large archaeological project, and now tells a fascinating story of the area's history.
Built into an earthy hill, the sculptures, carvings and murals were that were discovered, not to mention the houses, once-inhabited caves, monasteries and soaring stupas are an irresistible draw for visitors seeking to find the treasures revealed in this sprawling site. To explore Guge is to journey back in time and discover the relics, sculptures and murals uncovered in these sacred buildings, lost for three centuries.