Degongbu Temple

Top choice in Sichuan

Surrounded by the mud-brick buildings belonging to the smaller of Ganzi's two Tibetan quarters, this 13th-century temple's two dimly lit halls (one historic, the other finished in 2007) are filled with the smell of yak-butter candles and the sound of spinning prayer wheels as locals make a small kora (circumambulation of a sacred site done as a pilgrimage) around both the exterior and interior of the compound. It's one of the most atmospheric temples in Kham.

The temple is dedicated to the Dharma protectors (fierce deities who protect the Buddhist religion and community from threats) and monks are present leading prayers 24 hours a day.

It's on the left just up from Qinghe Lu (清河路); look for the gateway topped with small white stupas. The neighbourhood it's in is full of shops selling everything the passing pilgrim, monk or nun might require.

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