Visit Dzogchen Monastery and Other Sacred Sites in Kham, Tibet
Discover the spiritual transcendence of Tibet’s sacred places and the rich cultural heritage of Tibetan Buddhism. Whether you are part of a dharma center or a meditation group or simply exploring your own path to spirituality, embark with us on a special Spiritual Pilgrimage to Tibet.
Dzogchen Pilgrimage Trip to Tibet takes you through mountains and monasteries of Kham. Highlights of sacred places include Shechen, the monastery of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche; Dzogchen, the monastery of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche; and Derge Parkhang, Tibet’s oldest printing house. Dzogchen Lineage refers to the specific transmission of the Buddha’s teachings known in Tibetan as “Dzogchen” or “Great Perfection.”
Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, known as Kardze in Tibetan, is located in western Sichuan Province. It is set amongst the scenic high alpine mountains of the province and is historically part of the Tibetan region of Kham, making the area interesting for both landscape and culture. Shechen, Dzogchen, and Derge Parkhang are some of the key attractions of this region.
The journey is ideal for students of Tibetan teachers who are connected to Shechen and Dzogchen monasteries and would like to make a pilgrimage. This is also for those who are passionate about sustainable community development and adventure travel or for those looking for a sense of self-discovery that travel to remote areas often evokes.
You will fly to Chengdu. Please be sure to send us all of your detailed flight information, including the name of the airline, flight number, departure airport, arrival time, etc. We will have our staff waiting to greet you at the International Arrival Gate with a Conscious Journeys sign.
We will visit Chengdu Panda Base in the morning and explore Tibetan Quarter in the evening. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan, China’s southwestern province, and a major hub for all Tibetan areas. The city has a large Tibetan population with a Tibetan Quarter, which is very much a “little Tibet” on its own. Chengdu is famed for its Sichuanese cuisine, especially the hotpot. This is an excellent opportunity for visitors to taste the local flavors of Sichuan. Chengdu is also home to the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation center where you can view the endangered giant pandas in their natural habitat. This is a major highlight for anyone touring China and is not to be missed!
We travel along the ancient tea-trading routes and will stop for lunch at a local restaurant. If we leave the hotel by 8:30 AM, we should arrive in Kangding before 5 PM (385 km-239 mi). After hotel check-in, we will have dinner at a local Tibetan restaurant, and some of our friends and family members might be joining us as well. Since we climbed from 500 meters (1,640 ft) in Chengdu to 2,616 meters (8,582 ft) in Kangding, altitude may affect us a little. So it will be a good idea to rest well. At 7 PM, several hundred of the locals come out to Kangding Love Song Square and dance. There is a large social gathering, which you could certainly join.
Dzogchen Monastery is one of the six great monasteries of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It was established by Dzogchen Padma Rigdzin (1625-1697), the 1st Dzogchen Rinpoche, in 1684. Today Dzogchen Monastery is well known throughout the world as the 7th Dzogchen Ponlop, has established many centers, and teaches extensively. Ponlop Rinpoche currently lives in America and is an abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, the president of Nalandabodhi, and the founder of Nītārtha Institute.
While visiting Dzogchen Monastery, you have an opportunity to visit Shira Sing Buddhist University, Pema Tung Great Perfection Retreat Centre, and Guru Rinpoche’s cave. In addition, three turquoise lakes area is a great place for a hiking option if you plan to stay longer in the area.
Shechen Monastery in eastern Tibet was the heart of a network of nearly one hundred sixty monasteries. It was founded in 1695 by Rabjam Tenpai Gyaltsen, who had been sent by the 5th Dalai Lama to Kham with the mission to establish a Nyingma monastery. Shechen rapidly became one of the six principal monasteries of the Nyingma tradition. Many important teachers, including Shechen Gyalstab, Shechen Kongtrul, Khenpo Gangsar, and Mipham Rinpoche, have studied there. For Western Buddhist practitioners, Shechen came to be known through Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa, who also studied there. Shechen is located just 15 km from Dzogchen Monastery.
The Derge Sutra Printing Temple (Parkhang in Tibetan) is one of the most important cultural, social, religious, and historical institutions in Tibet. Founded in 1729 by Demba Tsering, the 40th King of Derge (1678–1739), it prints and publishes Tibetan Buddhist sutra and commentaries, using woodblock prints. Today it serves as a spiritual and cultural center that attracts many visitors and is preserved as a historical site.
It takes about two days (around 6-8 hours/day) from Garze to Kangding. You will have time to stop at scenic sites and go souvenir shopping. Kangding has a small airport that is used mostly by government officials and locals, as most travelers like to drive up to avoid altitude sickness. If you would like to take this 50-minute flight back to Chengdu from Kangding, instead of driving, please be sure to coordinate this with us in advance.
For most working adults, around 2 weeks has been an average length of a trip to Tibet. However, many travelers take advantage of our Add-on Trips by traveling to other parts of Tibet, such as Lhasa, for few nights. For most travelers, Tibet is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and they want to make the most out of the time, cost, and experiences. If you would like to go home as planned, we will be happy to drop you off at the Chengdu airport and say good bye for now.
Is this not quite what you are looking for? With access to a vast network of Tibetan travel companies and tour guides on the Tibetan Plateau, Conscious Journeys offers an incredible range of experiences with customized trips for everyone. Please take a few minutes and tell us what you want by filling out this Tailor-Made Journeyinquiry form today.