Gossul Monastery


South of Chiu Monastery on the shore of Manasarovar, this charming 16th-century monastery has long been part of the Manasarovar kora but can now be reached by road. The three resident monks will show you the tiny meditation cave of Götsangpa (the 13th-century ascetic who opened up the Kailash kora) and its sacred stone conch shell. The views of the lake from the short kora path are breathtaking.

Also worth visiting is the upstairs chapel with its painted stone carvings depicting the demons of Bardo (the state between death and rebirth), alongside a rangjung (self-rising) stone image of Mt Kailash. The monastery was completely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Pilgrims stock up on packets of holy Manasarovar sand, incense and natural soap here.

Dirt roads lead to Gossul from both south and north. If you are driving from Purang, an unsigned dirt road branches off the main road 10km north of the Gurla-la (around Km36), crosses a pass and then swings left to follow the lakeshore for 10km. From Chiu it's 6km south on the main paved road and then a further 7km on a dirt road to Gossul.

It's a lovely 12km (four-hour) hike from Gossul to Chiu along the shoreline Manasarovar kora path, or start from the turn-off to Gossul for the second 6km-long section.

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