Guge

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.

Experiences

A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.

Dukhang Assembly Hall

Adorning the walls of the central, single-storey hall are detailed paintings of emperors, monks, lamas and deities. They are depicted in bright vivid colors and clothed in rich textiles - a fascinating insight into the artistic style and dress of the time.

Silver Eye Statue

The Guge Kingdom was rich in gold and silver and these precious metals were used in much of the sculptural designs. Perhaps the most famous is the Guge Silver Eye, an intricately-carved and miraculously-preserved sculpture.

Surrounding villages

Surrounding the site are the neighboring villages of Dongga, Daba and Pingyang. Though the original inhabitants of Guge kingdom were all but wiped out in the 17th century, many of their treasure and relics were rescued and now have their homes in these humble villages.

Tholing Monastery

Once the capital of the Guge region, Tholing was home to one of the oldest and most important monasteries, central to Tibet’s second diffusion of Buddhism. Built in distinctive red brick, it’s surrounded by ruins but many of its central buildings and artifacts have survived including beautiful sutras written in silver ink.

Yeshe-Ö Temple

Part of the Tholing monastery complex, the temple is built of mud brick with elaborate, decorated towers. In the 10th century, the Indian master Atisa organized one of the first conferences here and two exquisite, detailed murals remain intact despite heavy demolition over the centuries.

TIBET Regions

Explore in-depth information, experiences and highlights by navigating to specific regions using the links below on the right.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

Multi-Country Specialists

tibet Goes Well With

Remote Lands

Explore 400+ Journeys in
33 Countries Across Asia

Choose somewhere you’d like to visit, something you’re interested in, and when you’re planning to travel and we’ll suggest sample itineraries to inspire your bespoke journey.

1

Where to go

Choose Your Destination
2

What to do

Choose Your Interest
3

When to go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Filter to Select Your Itinerary

Travelogues

An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands – a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.

What Others Say

Here is a small selection of the kind words our guests have said about us, as well as features by journalists and travel writers.

More Testimonials

Stay Informed: Newsletter