Drak Yerpa (tib.: བྲག་ཡེར་པ brag yer pa) – is one of the holiest cave retreats in central Tibet, associated with Padmasambhava, King Songtsen Gampo and Atisha. Nowadays there are monks, yogis and lay people still undergoing their meditation retreats.
Mt. Amnye Machen has long been considered a sacred mountain and a place of pilgrimage. In the past, up to 10,000 Tibetans would make the 120-mile circumambulation of the mountain each year. The first European explorers described it as one of the great geographical discoveries of the twentieth century. Itinerary for the Mt. Amnye Machen trek is here: Holy Mt. Amnye Machen trek
Ngakpa (tib. སྔགས་པ sngags pa) is a non-monastic practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. Padmasambava (Tib. Guru Rinpoche) founded it in the 8th century so that lay people could receive spiritual and cultural education. Traditionally, ngakpas have long hair and wear white robes. They can marry and have children. The Ngakpa lineage continues today and nowadays there are many Ngakpa Masters in Tibetan.
“Two communities of Sutra and Mantra practitioners, shaven-headed monks and long-haired Yogins, with the view of the Middle Way and the conduct of the Vinaya, and the ultimate union of the generation and completion stages, the Great Perfection—This is the great secret tradition of Ancient Translations in the Land of Snows, With its six qualities of greatness.”
His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche
Manasarovar or Mapham Yumtso in Tibetan (tib.: མ་ཕམ་གཡུ་མཚོ) is the highest fresh water lake in the world. It lies at 4590 metres above sea level. It is a holy lake for Buddhists and Hindus. Chiu monastery is located on a hill nearby the lake shore. If the weather is good, Mt. Kailash is visible from there. I spent one night in a small guest house nearby the lake shore. It’s very peaceful place for resting and meditating. There is also natural hot spring in 15 minutes walk. Slight salty hot spring water bath is a great relieve after long trip in remote Tibetan areas.