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Darchen (also Tarchan or Taqin) is a small town in Purang County of Tibet Autonomous Region. It is situated right in front of the sacred mountain, Mount Kailash, and 330km to the southeast of Shiquanhe.

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Darchen (also Tarchan or Taqin) is a small town in Purang County of Tibet Autonomous Region. It is situated right in front of the sacred mountain, Mount Kailash, and 330km to the southeast of Shiquanhe. Its altitude is 4,575 metres (15,010 ft) and it is the starting point of Kailash Kora. It is also the only town and base for visiting both Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. Darchen was previously known as Lhara and still signposted as such. It was previously an important sheep station for nomads and their flocks and had only two permanent buildings; only one of which survived the Cultural Revolution and is now used to house Tibetan pilgrims. Darchen is a completely Tibetan town though there are now more and more Chinese settling down opening hotels and restaurants. It contains a couple of restaurants and hotels or guesthouses. Mountain Horse Kee Restaurant by the main road is favored by travelers for its bright the environment and its attention to health. There are several good accommodations for travelers to choose, such as Kailash Hotel, Mount Kailash Hotel, Gangdise guesthouse, Zhusu guesthouse next door and Gandise Hotel where Public Security Bureau PSB officers are stationed from spring until October, and where pilgrims must get their travel permit stamped, and buy a "ticket" if they wish to circumambulate Mt. Kailash. The Darchen town is not exactly on the main road that connects Shiquanhe and Purang but buses to/fro these two places will turn into Shiquanhe to drop and pick up passengers. By the way, the main road is also part of the southern route to Lhasa. Generally the buses run every other day but occasionally they may skip a day. There is also a bus going to Shigatse every other day. You also can hire a 4WD, which is quite easy for there are many 4WD’s that are happy to do the run to Lhasa. Moreover, there is a bus, actually only a one day bus running from the town of Shiquanhe (or Ali) to the northeast, where Kunsha Airport is located offering flights twice a week to Lhasa and Chengdu. However, if you want to visit the holy Lake Manasarover which is only 22 km south of the town, the only transport to the lake is to charter a 4WD; there are many 4WD’s for charter and their drivers normally hang around the town square.


Tickets:CNY 20.00

Opening Hours:All day long

Address: Tibet Ngari

Tel:+ 86 0891-6650823

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