Benri Mountain (Biri Mountain)

About 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) away from the Bayi Town of Nyingchi City, Benri Mountain, aka Biri Mountain, is a sacred mountain of the Bon Sect, a primitive religion that was prevalent in Tibet before the arrival of Buddhism. According to legend, Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche, the founder of the Bon Sect, once practised Bon doctrines on the mountain. Therefore, it holds a dominant position in Tibet.

With an altitude of about 4,572 meters (15,000 feet), the lofty mountain soars into the sky. Luxuriant trees and blooming flowers, in different seasons, constitute marvelous scenery. When spring comes, everything is injected with vitality. In summer, rhododendrons spread everywhere and flutter in the gentle breeze. The golden autumn turns all tree leaves on Biri Mountain red and yellow, while winter creates a crystal world with ice and snow. Not having a single protruding peak and always shrouded by dense fog, visitors can hardly know the true face of Benri Mountain.
 

Religious Tale

According to some historical records, Kongpo (today’s Nyingchi City) was one of the places where the Bon Sect originated. Before the establishment of the Tubo Regime, Bon Sect was popular in this region. Legend has it that an Indian Buddhist master named Padmasambhava once came here and challenged the Bon Sect. He assembled storms to wipe out nearby villages and plants. A Bon disciple, Aqiong Jiebo, stopped him by throwing a huge stone onto the top of the trees. Then Padmasambhava tried to destroy Mt. Benri, moving the mountain to block the Nyang River at its foot. However, he failed again. Therefore, the Bon Sect still survives to the present day.

Bon disciples regard Aqiong Jiebo as the hero who protected the holy mountain. They rest all their hopes on the sacred Benri Mountain. To eliminate their sins and illnesses, they circumambulate around Biri Mountain every year on the Saga Dawa Festival, which falls on April 15 of the Tibetan calendar.
 

Sejiagunqin Monastery

Sejiagunqin Monastery is located halfway up the Benri Mountain. With a history of more than 1,200 years, it is one of the oldest Bon monasteries. Eagle worshipping festival is held on April 30th of the Tibetan calendar every year to commemorate a living Buddha who made great contributions to the development of this monastery. It is said that he turned into 100 eagles after death and visited the monastery every year. Therefore, locals gather together and perform Qieba Dance during the festival to welcome the arrival of 100 eagles and pray for good harvest and health.
 

Tree Funerals

There is a giant hollow tree on the mountainside decorated with colorful prayer flags and offerings. Surrounded by the mist, the tree seems to pierce into the sky. Therefore, it has another name 'the Ladder to Heaven'. It's a holy place where tree funerals are held. Locals put the dead bodies of young children into cases first and then hang the cases between the branches. In this way, the children’s souls will ascend to heaven quickly.
 

Travel Tips

1. Circle around the mountain anticlockwise.
2. It takes around three to seven days to make a circumambulation around the Benri Mountain.
 

How to get to Benri Mountain from Lhasa

Visitors need to get to Bayi Town first, and then they can rent a horse or a yak in the town to visit the Benri Mountain. They can only climb from the eastern slope of the mountain.
1. Tourists can take long distance buses from Lhasa Dongjiao Bus Station to Bayi Town in Nyingchi. It costs around CNY 200 per person.
2. Take a flight from Lhasa to Nyingchi and then catch the airport shuttle bus to Bayi Town. The bus fare is around CNY 25 and the journey is around one hour. Or, they can choose a taxi to the town and the fare may be CNY 30-50.
 
Entrance Fee Apr. - Oct.: CNY 70
Nov. - Mar.: CNY 35

 Visitors can take a drift along the Nyang River. It costs around CNY 180 (including the admission fee) per person.
Nyang River and Yarlung Tsangpo River converge at the foot of Mount Benri, forming a fabulous view. Sandbars are scattered in the river. On the bank, cattle and sheep leisurely move around. Visitors should not miss this scenery.
Opening Hours 09:00-18:00
Drift is available from 10:00 to 19:00.
Best Time to Go March to October
- Last modified on Sep. 14, 2018 -
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