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Unveiling the Spiritual Beauty of Kari Holy Mountain: Unique Pilgrim

Kari Holy Mountain: A Tibetan Sacred Site


Discover Kari Holy Mountain (kha-ri), a renowned sacred mountain in Tibet. It is nestled between the west of Karze Township in Nagartse County and the east of Padang Township in Renbu County. This mountain serves as a natural boundary between Nagartse and Rinbuk counties. Kari Holy Mountain is also the watershed for Yamdrok Lake and the Nyangchu River. According to the “Chronicles of Holy Places,” Kari Mountain is likened to an immeasurable palace, with surrounding forests representing its courtiers.

The Legend and Spiritual Significance

Kari Mountain, reaching towards the heavens, embodies a legendary status. King Gesar famously left a sword-cut-like mark on the summit when he shot down a giant bird with his arrow, earning the name “Daidong” (meaning ‘arrow sheath’). During Tibetan King Trisong Detsen’s era, the revered Guru Padmasambhava visited and traversed Kari Mountain, engaging in profound spiritual practices.

Legends state that a self-formed image of Guru Padmasambhava resides in the Domuna Cave at Lunbu Jue on Kari Mountain. In a similar vein, the southern part of the mountain spontaneously reveals images of Buddhist deities. Sacred water from the Dolma Lotus Cave reportedly purifies and grants favourable outcomes to those who bathe in or drink it.

The Kari Pilgrimage: A Vibrant Tradition


Annually, from the 15th day of the fourth month to the 15th day of the sixth month of the Tibetan calendar, Kari Mountain hosts the “Kari Yekor” pilgrimage, meaning “Circumambulating Kari.” This event includes circumambulating the mountain’s summit, middle, and tail. Devotees and monks from nearby counties and regions like Kang and Amdo flock to the mountain, creating a lively and spiritual atmosphere.

The Pilgrimage Route and Attractions

Pilgrims begin their spiritual journey at the Kagyu monastery ‘Kari Zhude,’ located on the east slope of the mountain. Their journey encompasses visits to nearby meditation caves and involves the ritual of eating rose leaves. It is believed to be stained by the blood of a saviour goddess. Key attractions along the route include the Pumuzhu Monastery. Lama Shang’s carvings are adorned in this nunnery, and there is also a sacred lake reputed to reveal one’s destiny.

The path also leads to Padmasambhava’s meditation caves ‘Tsoje Pu’ and ‘Wese Lin.’ Additionally, ‘Sangye Lin’ on the west slope offers a miraculous sight where clear stream water emerges on the 15th day of the fourth Tibetan month, despite the region’s typically dry conditions.

Discovering the Northeast Slope of Kari Mountain


The northeast slope, known as ‘Jingmu Chusa,’ is fabled as a site of Dakini dances. Here, visitors can explore dozens of meditation caves and a large Dakini Hall that can accommodate 400 people. The hall features a self-appeared “Six Syllable Mantra” gifted by thousands of Dakinis and a sacred “White Soil,” a gift from Guru Padmasambhava.

The Pilgrimage Culminates

The journey concludes at the nunnery and stupas on the east slope, notably ‘Bumugaer’ or ‘Mengaer,’ built by 100,000 Dakinis overnight. Surrounding the stupa are numerous sacred objects, including Guru Padmasambhava’s footprints and self-manifested images of the Buddha of Infinite Light.

Annual Religious Activities

Each year, in the fourth Tibetan month and during the “6.4” circumambulation period, the community actively engages in religious activities. Holy water miraculously flows from the self-manifested Buddha image. To mark the pilgrimage’s conclusion, villagers from Kari and Padang Townships hold a song and dance competition. This competition symbolizes the harvest and the rights to the sacred water from Deqing Lake on the holy mountain. The community eagerly awaits the outcome of this spirited competition.

nyingchi Snow Mountain
Nyingchi Snow Mountain

Tourist Tips for Visiting Kari Holy Mountain


  1. Accessing the Mountain: From Nagarze County, the mountain is just over 30 kilometres away, accessible by horseback or on foot. This route is popular among pilgrims for its proximity and ease of travel.
  2. Alternate Route: Visitors can also approach from Renbu County, though the journey is longer and typically done by car. Once near the mountain, visitors can opt for horseback riding or hiking to reach the summit.

Kari Holy Mountain, with its rich spiritual history, legendary tales, and breathtaking natural beauty, offers a unique experience for both pilgrims and tourists. It stands as a testament to Tibet’s rich cultural and religious heritage, inviting travellers to explore its sacred grounds and partake in its age-old traditions.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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