Guge Kingdom was built on a small hill in Ngari in the 10th century. Over time, 16 kings ruled this prosperous kingdom. What makes this kingdom mysterious is that it disappeared from the earth all of a sudden 400 years ago. All we have today are the ruins, which are the only remaining symbol of its former cultural and material prosperity.
Earthen-colored buildings can be found scattered among the ruins of Guge Kingdom. Except for several temples, all the roofs of other houses have fallen, leaving only walls standing in the sun. An old city wall once surrounded the entire area of the ruins. In each corner of the city wall there is a blockhouse for soldiers to scout the enemy in order to defend their motherland. The whole castle-like Guge Kingdom is situated in a very strategic location. Generally speaking, buildings are divided into three categories; palace, temples and folk houses. Today only the temples, which are imbued with strong Tibetan flavor, were kept in good condition. Other constructions have disappeared.
Over the past dozen years, the discovery of carvings, statues and frescos in the Ruins of Guge Kingdom have lifted the veil of this mysterious kingdom. Most of the statues are of Buddha and are made of pure silver or gold. Among these new discoveries, the best-protected frescos are largest in number. Although all the murals have been neglected by people for hundreds of years, they are still beautiful and attractive. It is little wonder that experts call them the 'essence of Guge culture'. The content of these frescos is especially rich, including Buddhist stories, myths and legends about the life of the ancient Guge people. All the characters in the frescos are vivid and lively, especially the robust female figures. If you have a chance to enjoy those frescos, you will acquire a general idea of the politics, economy, and culture of Guge Kingdom. Then it will be possible for you to seek the flourishing past of this fantastic kingdom.
Whether it is under the rosy dawn or beautiful dusk, you should not miss the opportunity to witness the solemn beauty of the Ruins of Guge Kingdom.
Accommodation and dining: You can stay overnight in the post office rest house, Guge hotel, or other rest houses in Zanda county. The average price is about CNY 30, and the service is quite enjoyable. There are some small restaurants in the county, most featuring Sichuan cuisine. Although the price of the meals may be a little high, it is acceptable.
The Ruins of Guge Kingdom are 18 kilometers (about 11 miles) away from Zanda county. Renting a car is a very convenient way to get there. Otherwise, you can hitchhike passing cars at a road crossing south of Zanda county, which leads to Zhabu Rang. You will only have to walk for a few kilometers to arrive at your destination. In addition, you can ask about tour cars that are available at some rest houses.
CNY 100 ---- CNY 350 (varies according to the seasons)