Gyandrak Monastery
Gyandrak Monastery

Gyandrak Monastery

Gyandrak is a high mountain monastery at an elevation of 5.090m (16,699ft) above the sea level, located in Purang County of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

The monastery, also known as Gyandruk, is a wonderful place for meditation. The climb is simply terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. The bigger problem than the condition of the road is extremely low oxygen for engine combustion. The wind in Tibet is usually quite strong at mountain areas. Even in summer, the temperature might drop from 20°C at daytime to -10°C at night. In July and August, it may rain continually for several days and you even can confront with snowy days.
The road to the summit is gravel, rocky, tippy and bumpy with hairpin curves and dangerous dropoffs. It's usually impassable from October to June (weather permitting). The Gyangdrag Monastery is the oldest, largest and most important Drikung monastery in the region. It was founded by Ghuya Gangpa in the beginning of the 13th century. Great trail for experienced wheelers. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point.
Starting from Darchen (also known as Tarchan or Taqin), at 4.675m above the sea level, the road is pretty steep and narrow. The ascent is 4.03 km (2.50 mi). Over this distance, the elevation gain is 415 meters. The average gradient is 10.29%, with sections up to 15%. 4x4 vehicle required. Stay away if you're scared of heights. Wet conditions may make for tough driving along the muddy road.
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