Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall


Completely rebuilt after suffering extensive damage in the 2010 earthquake, this site is thought to be the world’s largest mani wall (piles of stones with Buddhist mantras carved or painted on them). Founded in 1715, the mani comprises an estimated 2.5 billion mantras, piled one on top of the other over hundreds of square metres. It’s an astonishing sight that (literally) grows as you circumambulate the wall with the pilgrims.

The mani wall is a very important religious site for locals, many of whom visit daily. All the mani stones are quarried from the hillside opposite and it's common practice for locals to purchase the locally carved stones to add to the wall. Simple ones cost between ¥1 and ¥10 while massive slabs with prayer chants cost well over ¥10,000. The earthquake unearthed mani stones appropriated by the Chinese during the Cultural Revolution for building materials: these were repatriated to the pile! A taxi from the town centre costs ¥10 or it's a 2km walk east.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Qinghai attractions

1. Jyekundo Dondrubling Monastery

2.65 MILES

First built in 1398, the Jyekundo Dondrubling Monastery suffered heavy damage from the 2010 earthquake (the main prayer hall was completely destroyed and…

2. Yushu Museum

3.05 MILES

This huge and excellent museum is a must-see to put some of the region's history and culture into perspective, including informative and well-presented…

3. Gesar Square

3.06 MILES

Alongside one of the tributary rivers of the Chang Jiang, Yushu’s central square is dominated by a colossal statue of King Gesar of Ling, the revered…

4. Yushu Earthquake Relief Memorial Hall

3.91 MILES

Located behind the Yushu Earthquake Memorial, this poignant museum is dedicated to the relief operation that ensued after the 2010 earthquake that killed…

5. Yushu Earthquake Memorial

3.92 MILES

Standing at the entrance to town is the only surviving building from the 2010 earthquake. As it was low season, no guests were staying at the Gesar Hotel …

6. Princess Wencheng Temple

8.51 MILES

Dedicated to the Tang dynasty Chinese Princess Wencheng, who was instrumental in converting her husband and Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, to Buddhism in…

7. Sebda Gompa

11.66 MILES

The main assembly hall at this monastery is impressive, but most surprising is the temple featuring a huge 18m statue of Guru Rinpoche, with smaller…

8. Drogon Gompa

18.45 MILES

This Sakyapa-school monastery is notable for its scary gönkhang (protector temple). Set atop a hill, it is adorned with snarling stuffed wolves and…