Dedicated to the Tang dynasty Chinese Princess Wencheng, who was instrumental in converting her husband and Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, to Buddhism in the 7th century, this small, sacred and age-seasoned temple marks the spot where the princess (and possibly the king) paused for a month en route from Xi'an to Lhasa. It's said to be Qinghai's oldest Buddhist temple; the inner chapel contains a rock carving (supposedly self-arising) of Vairocana (Nampa Namse in Tibetan), the Buddha of primordial wisdom, which allegedly dates from the 8th century.
To the left is a statue of King Songtsen Gampo.
Fifteen kilometres south of Yushu, the small temple is set against the cliff and suffered minor damage from the 2010 Yushu earthquake. Look around the surrounding rock faces for ancient rock and scripture carvings. Do allow time to explore the nearby hills and marvel at the sprawling spider’s web of blue, red, yellow, white and pink prayer flags that runs up the slopes, down the slopes and over the ravine and road, covering every inch of land.
A steep trail (a popular kora route for pilgrims) ascends from the end of the row of eight chörtens (Tibetan stupas) to the left of the temple. At the end of the trail head up the grassy side valley for some great hiking and stunning open views.
Private minibuses (¥200 return) depart from outside the long-distance bus terminal in Yushu, or a taxi costs about ¥100 to ¥120 return. Consider stopping by on the way to the airport if you are flying out of Yushu as the temple is en route and the taxi driver should only ask for a bit extra to visit.