Skip link for screen readers

Fortress-like Sakya is known as the "Great Wall of Tibet" and boasts an important collection of cultural relics.

Located on the road between Everest Base Camp and Shigatse, this fortified monastery is the principal seat of the Sakyapa 'Red Hat' sect of Tibetan Buddhism and formed the capital of the Tibetan government during the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). The large red and grey brick walls give Sakya an appearance quite unlike any other monastery in the area, earning it the moniker of the "Great Wall of Tibet". Despite this, the monastery suffered extensive damage during the Cultural Revolution and some ruins from the older buildings can still be seen.

It is also known to house one of the greatest bounties of ancient Buddhist cultural relics, including sacred scriptures, murals, statues and thangkas, plus what is thought to be the world's biggest sutra. Surveying the extraordinary collection of over 10,000 centuries-old scrolls contained within one book shelf is certain to be one of the enduring memories from your visit.

Some of our favourite places to visit and things to do in Tibet
What to do in Tibet

Tashilhunpo Monastery

One of Tibet's most historically significant monasteries and home to magnificent stupa-tombs and Buddhist statues.

Palcho Monastery & Kumbum

Follow the path to enlightenment of the rare Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy fine views over the Dzong hilltop fortress.

Yamdrok Lake

Hidden in the Tibetan mountains, the sacred Yamdrok Lake is a stunning sight and a deeply sacred place for Tibetans.