Nomadic Villagers Benefit from (Mt Kailash) Gang Rinpoche Tourism.
Lying in the shadow of the world’s most sacred mountain, Mount Kailash, the small village of Gangsha is benefiting from the increase in tourism to the Tibetan plateau.

Gansha Village which is also known as Darchen, lies at the foot of Gang Rinpoche, or Mount Kailash as it is more popularly known to tourists. Year on year, tourism to the Ngari Prefecture of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China has increased, with thousands of pilgrims and tourists making the trip across the vast Tibetan plateau to the sacred mountain.

The reason for their long journeys? To walk the ritual kora route around the mountain. For the pilgrims, the trip to the mountain is a sacred pilgrimage to what is largely considered to be the most sacred mountain I the world. In Tibetan Buddhism the mountain is believed to be the legendary Mount Meru, the center of the universe. Legends also tell of how the Buddhist sage, Milarepa, defeated the Bon magician, Naro Bon-Chung by beating him to the summit of the mountain in a race to decide who would hold mastery over the region.

In Hinduism, it is believed to be the home of Shiva, the most important deity in the Hindu religion and the protector of the people and the world. Every year, hundreds of Indian pilgrims make the 3,000-kilometer journey to the mountain, to pay homage at its feet and perform the ritual yatra around the base of the mountain.

For the tourist, it is the chance to take on one of the most amazing treks in Tibet, and definitely one of the most arduous. A 52-kilometer circuit around the base of this huge pyramid of unusual black rock, the trek takes tourists around three days to complete, staying in monasteries along the way.

The small village of Gansha is now profiting from this tourist boom to Mount Kailash, by providing horse and guides to take the pilgrims and tourists, along with their packs, around the kora route of the trek.

Dawu Norbu, along with his two oldest sons, both in their 20s, is one such Tibetan entrepreneur. With six well-fed and well-kept horses at his command, he and his sons use them to transport those pilgrims or tourists that are not up to the task of walking around the long circumambulation of Gang Rinpoche.

According to Dawu, who is now in his 50s, the nomadic family earned around 40,000 yuan from their venture. That is around 6,0476 dollars of foreign investment into the region. The small village provides food, lodgings, shopping services, and traveling means to hundreds of thousands of tourists and pilgrims every year, which has been a major boost to the economy in this remote and desolate area of Ngari.

Tourism in Ngari around Mount Kailash began just thirty years ago, and the local yak herders would charge just 2-3 dollars for the entire trip around the sacred mountain. Today, the cost of hiring a yak or horse for riding or transporting packs around Mount Kailash is around 37 dollars a day, giving some of the more business-minded nomads a relatively decent income.

Now, with the massive increases in tourism over the last 30 years, many more of the nomads from Gansha Village are able to earn money in this way, where before they made a scarce living from the Tibetan grasslands. The yak herds remain, as they always will, but the tourism at Gang Rinpoche has allowed a better lifestyle for these villagers.
TAG: Mt Kailash Tourism Nomadic Family Life influenced by Mt Kailash Tourism


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