Shelkar or Shelkar Dzong (Shelkhar = "white crystal"), also called "New Tingri", is the administrative centre for Tingri County, Shigatse Prefecture in southern Tibet.


The town lies 7 km off the Friendship Highway between Lhatse and Tingri, at the southern foot of 5,260 m high Gyatso La.


Shelkar is famous for the Shelkar Chode Monastery, founded in 1266 by a Kagyu lama, but it has been a Gelugpa monastery since the 17th century, and formerly had some 300 monks. Although dismantled by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, the assembly hall and been rebuilt, and there is an active branch monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal.

The ruins of the old dzong are located on the hill behind the monastery.

Gateway to Everest

The early British expeditions to Mount Everest in 1921, 1922 and 1924 all stopped at Shelkar Dzong on their way from Darjeeling to the northern side of Everest.



  • Dorje, Gyurme (1999). Footprint Tibet Handbook with Bhutan (2nd ed.). Bath, England: Footprint Handbooks. ISBN 1-900949-33-4. 
  • Strachey, Henry (1854). "Physical Geography of Western Tibet". Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. XXIII: 1â€"69, plus map. ISSN 0266-6235. 

External links

  • Photograph of Shekar Dzong in 1924 at The Bentley Beetham Collection

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