Milarepa's Cave

Useful Information

Location: 10 km north of Nyalam in the roadside near a tiny village called Zhonggang. (28°14'31.64"N, 86° 0'17.93"E)
Open: All year daily [2007]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1960s monastery Nyelam Pelgye Ling destroyed.
1970s monastery restored, financed by the Chinese.


The Saint Vajrayana Mahasiddha Milarepa (*1052-✝1135) was one of the most famous figures of Tibetan history. In his youth he was a magician, but he saw the futility of that pursuit and became a yogi. He was guided by Marpa of Lhobrag (*1012-✝1097).

Milarepa went into the mountains to live as a cave-dwelling hermit, and became a wise teacher attracting students who later also founded important lineages. He is also known as a singer of many dohas, songs of devotion and wisdom.

Today the cave where he supposedly lived has become an important place of worshipping. From the outside looking like a normal building or church, there is a natural cave inside. It is more or less just an overhanging rock, which was used as a shelter by the saint. This place is a stop on many organized travels to Tibet.

The cave is part of the monastery Nyelam Pelgye Ling. During the 1960s more than 70 monks lived here, but the monastery was destroyed when China invaded Tibet. But both cave and monastery were restored during the 1970s and so today again seven monks live in the monastery, two of them are guarding the cave.