Ser Gyergo Nunnery

Buddhist Monastery in Tǎgōng

Known locally as ani gompa (‘nunnery’ in Tibetan), Hépíng Fǎhùi is home to around 500 nuns and more than 100 monks. Lama Tsemper was a revered local hermit who spent much of his life meditating in a cave about two hours across the grasslands from Tǎgōng. Local nuns would bring him food and look after him, so when he requested a temple be built here just before his death in the 1980s it was decided that a nunnery be built too.

Lama Tsemper’s remains are in a chörten inside the original cave; you may have to ask a nun to unlock the door to look inside. Below the cave is the temple and a huge mani wall as big as the temple itself, which has its own kora that attracts many pilgrims.

Getting to the nunnery is half the fun. Heading south out of town, turn left after about 40m into an alleyway beside a large yellow house. Follow the dirt track to the top of the hill, from which you can see the stupa-topped walls and shining gold roofs of the monastic college (shedra) in the distance. Trace the dirt track along a fence line until crossing a bridge, then head off through the grasslands on a pathless walk to the base of the shedra. Interact with the students of Hépíng Dàxué Fǎhuì (和平大学法会) and explore the new temple halls of the Mùyă Dàsì (木雅大寺) before continuing to the bottom of the hill to the left of the college towards Ser Gyergo Nunnery, where a small village surrounds the main temple halls.