Ruins of Guge Kingdom

Guge Ruins Travel Guide, Ngari, Tibet

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Overview

The Ruins of Guge Kingdom is located on a mountain in Zhabran Village,18km west of the county town of Zhada, 310km south of Shiquanhe Town.

The Guge Kingdom was founded in about the 10th century by a descendant of King Glang Darma, who fled from Lhasa after the collapse of the Tupo Kingdom. The kingdom played an important role in the second renascence in Tibet and survived for about 700 years before disappearing mysteriously in the 17th century.

Large-scale archaeological work in the Ruins of Guge Kingdom began in 1985. A lot of sculptures, Sutras and murals were excavated in the following years. Houses, caves, monasteries and stupas were found on the mountain where the ruins are situated.

Most of the sculptures are gold or silver Buddhist statues. The murals are very well-preserved.The artistic and aesthetic value of Guge murals is deemed comparable with that of Dunhuang in Gansu.

The Ruins of Guge Kingdom has attracted numerous explorers, tourists, photographers and artists from all over the world. Britishman Michael Young was the first one who investigated the ruins. In 1912, he traveled along Xiangquanhe River from India and reached the Ruins of Guge Kingdom.

Entry Ticket: ¥105

Transportation

The daily bus running between Shiquanhe and Zhada costs ¥220-260/head, but if there is not enough passengers, it may be cancelled.  The most convenient way is to charter a van from Shiquanhe Town to Zhada, which costs around Y2,500~3,000 for a round trip, the journey takes 6~8 hrs.

If you come from Mt. Kalish towards the north along Road G219, just get off at Namuru and hitchhike to Zhabran Village, which is south of the Zhada county town, then walk for several kilometers before reaching the place.

Accommodation

Most travellers stay in Zhada county seat. Hebei Shuili Binguan(河北水利宾馆) is the best hotel in town as of  2011, ¥200~300/std. room. There are also a few cheap guesthouses and hostels along the main street.

The restaurants mainly sell Sichuan food. As the town is not far to Shiquanhe River, fresh vegetables are available without being so expensive.

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