Drakkar Taso Hermitage


The 12th-century Kagyud hermitage of Drakkar, or Chakar, is famous as the site where 11th-century Tibetan yogi and poet Milarepa spent nine years meditating in two caves. The collection of retreat residences and chapels are perched high on the cliffs above the Dzongkhar–Kyirong road, 34km south of Dzongkhar. Milarepa's hometown is not far away, near Tsarong (Zalung) village. The site was being renovated at the time of research, and is home to 20 nuns.

Getting to the main shrines involves a climb of around 350 vertical metres on concrete steps. Halfway up branch left to the cave where Milarepa spent three years in retreat, then continue up to the main cave where he spent a further six years. A small inner chamber holds his stone staff and footprint. To the right is the recently renovated assembly hall. A small kora leads behind the assembly hall past several trees to a valley viewpoint. Budget around 2½ hours for the return trip.

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