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Shegar (New Tingri)

Shegar was once the capital of the Tingri region of Tibet. Shegar is a typical mix of the old and the new that that is common throughout Tibet. The modern Chinese buildings, most of them shops, lie along a single concrete road on the flat plain below, while older white-washed buildings climb the hillside up to a monastery about a third of the way up.


The ruins of Shegar Dzong, the crystal fortress, are on top of the hill overlooking the town. It’s well worth the walk up the numerous steps to see the ruins and the fantastic views over the town and the surrounding hills.


At the base of the Dzong is the Shegar Chode Monastery, the only monastery of the Gelugpa sect in this area. Founded in the 13th century, it began life as a series of meditation cells for Buddhist monks, only later developing into a fully-fledged monastery in the 17th century under the guidance of the Fifth Dalai Lama. In this vibrant period of its history, it housed hundreds of monks, had its own printing centre and amassed a vast library of woodblock texts. Tragically, the monastery was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution, but some buildings and chapels have been restored.