Travel to Purang, A Holy Place in Tibet
Bordering Nepal and India, Purang is one of the main three regions of Ngari, western Tibet. It covers an area of 12,497 square kilometers and has a population over 8,000. The villages of Purang lie in a valley between the giant Mount Namonanyi and the Abi mountain ranges. Purang, therefore, is known as the region surrounded by snow-covered mountains.
Purang lies 398km (247 miles) south of the town of Shiquanhe and only 20km (12 miles) from Sino-Nepal border. The lower altitude (3,900m/12,795 ft), compared with other areas in the Ngari region, gives it a more hospitable climate and makes it the most favorable environment in the Ngari region for agriculture.
It is quite ordinary to come across Indians and Nepalese in Purang. As a frontier county bordering India and Nepal, Purang has been known as a center for foreign trade and a source of food supplies for the people of Ngari and pilgrims to Mount Kailash and Manasarovar for centuries. Purang is the only pass for Indian and Nepalese pilgrims to worship at Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.
In addition, its traditional frontier market, which has a history of more than 500 years, attracts many foreigners to do business here. As a seasonal market, the Purang International Market is open from July 15 to Oct 15 every year. In summer Tibetans, Chinese, Nepalese and Indian traders gather to sell different products from their countries, cloth, coffee and jewelry which are here for sale or to be exchanged for sheep and wool, which will be taken back home before winter comes. During the winter and early spring, the paths and the road to Purang are regularly blocked by heavy snow storms and the region remains in complete isolation.
10-minutes walk from the Purang International Market, tourists can find alluring Nepalese Mansion. The so-called mansion is in fact a 50-meter-high (164 ft) hillside honeycombed with dozens of caves which are used as lodgings by economical Nepalese and Indian businessmen.
The best-equipped hotel in Purang is Peacock Hostel next to the Government Office of Purang County. It offers clean and comfortable lodging facilities, standard rooms, double rooms and single rooms, without in-room toilets and bathrooms.