Protrainy | Aug. 4, 2023, 12:40 p.m.

Rongbuk monastery had been a center of meditaion, practiced by nuns and hermits for over 400 years. The monastery is located at the base of Rongbuk glacier at a height of 5009 meters (16434 ft.), making it the world’s highest elevated monastery settlement ever constructed. The Nyingmapa Lama Ngawang Tenzin Norbu, an accomplished Tibetan Buddhist master who lived on the northern slops of the mighty Everest, constructed the Nyingma coalition’s Rongbuk monastery in 1902. Even though Nyingmapa sect were considered as sceptics, it once offered early climbers protection and supplies. As a ritual before beginning their climbs, climbers would pray in the monastery in a holy manner. There used to be about 500 monks and nuns living in the monastery, but now there are only a few dozen left. The monastery has been a significant place of worship for the Sherpa people of the Khumbu region of Nepal ever since it was constructed. They often travel across the mountains to visit the monastery and walk the kora around its outside walls.



Due to it’s elevated location, the monastery become one of the best places to view the summit of mount Everest. Both pilgrims and tourists frequently stop there to enjoy the scenic mount Everest. You can see an unobstructed and astoundingly clear view of the world’s largest summit of this gigantic mountain from anywhere, including the monastery's parking lot, the monastery guesthouse across the street, and the top of the small hill behind. For many, the ability to stay overnight only enhances their enjoyment of the view. For those stopping overnight around Rongbuk Monastery, you can observe and capture some of the great sunset and sunrise photos of the mountain with sun turning the snow covered slopes a burnt orange colour. Well, who doesn’t like astonishing pictures for their Instagram profile.


Built at the hillside, the Rongbuk Monastery is of five storeys, while only two of which are being used presently. The second floor of the monastery has two halls. The outer hall of the monastery is the main hall, where monks and nuns can both pray. The inner hall of the monastery contains the spectacular statue of Padmasambhava, the ancient Indian sage responsible for the dissemination of Buddhism throughout Tibet in the 8th century. The history of the monastery tells of how Padmasambhava stayed here in the meditation caves more than 1,200 years ago.


As opposed to many traditional monasteries, Rongbuk Monastery does not separate monks and nuns, making it one of Tibet's most peculiar monasteries. Despite having separate accommodations, monks and nuns practice and pray together here. The numerous meditation caves in Tibet that were initially utilized by nuns before being mostly taken over by monks led to the development of this peculiar practice. When the monastery was being built, it was decided that the nuns would be allowed to stay and reside in the monastery alongside the monks. At its height, the monastery once contained more than 500 monks and nuns in total, though this number has reduced dramatically over the last 50 years. Now, the number of occupants is much smaller, with reports telling of there being only around 30 monks and nuns in attendance at the monastery at present. Nevertheless, it is one of the most amazing examples of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries there are, thanks to its allowance for monks and nuns to be under the same roofs.


Nearby Rongbuk monastery, there are a few hostels and guesthouses that provide accommodation. However, Rongbuk Monastery’s Guesthouse has great hospitality, electric blankets available to keep you warm all night long. Other hostels offer extremely modest amenities, so you shouldn't set high expectations because it would be unreasonable expecting so, given the remote location with very less connectivity. No experience can compare to waking up to immaculate views of the most famous snow-capped mountain in the world, visitors must concur. There is only one modest, cozy, rather pricey restaurant serving very small selection of meals and beverages. It is advised that you stock up on food before visiting Mount Everest Base Camp. Anyways you don’t want to keep your stomach happy.




The best time to visit Rongbuk monastery is in April and May, during the summer and even in the mid of June because it is not as cold as it is in the winter and you can see mount Everest well. Then there is a short window of opportunity from September to October, just after the monsoon passes and before the severe winter sets in, you can expect to see mount Everest in its best condition. The temperature in Rongbuk monastery is rather low, especially at night. Please note that at that height, this area is freezing and you must take adequate winter clothing. During the typical two visiting periods, you will have the most opportunities to see the Mt. Everest clearly with panorama view.




International tourists are required to be on a pre-arranged tour of the region with a registered Tibetan travel agency, and visit Rongbuk with the Tibet Travel Permits which will be applied by the travel agency on the behalf of them. The classic Mount Everest and Rongbuk Monastery tour departs from Lhasa, and heads past Lake Yamdrok, and through Gyantse, Shigatse, and Tingri, as it makes its way to the monastery. This makes it a drive of around 691 kilometers from Lhasa to Rongbuk, which roughly takes two days.




A visit to the Rongbuk, the highest Buddhist monastery in the world, is among the most exhilarating experiences of a trip to the Tibetan plateau. Although it might not be the oldest monastery in Tibet, it is one of the most significant and famous in Western Tibet. This can be a perfect site to wrap up your exploration of the Tibetan plateau with the breathtaking views of the World's Highest Mountain, right outside the door. A blog by Ayush Nayak.