Located in Dagzê County, about 16 kilometers northeast of Lhasa on the northern bank of the Kyichu, Drak Yerpa Hermitage is famous for its integration of caves and temples. It has an altitude of 4,885 meters above sea level. "Drak" means "cave" and "Yerpa" means "spiritual practice" in Tibetan language. Drak Yerpa is one of fanes constructed under the order of King Songtsen Gampo as a present to his concubine Princess Mangsa Chizun, which then graduated to one of retreat monasteries in Tibet.
Tibetan ballad sings, "the auspicious place of Tibet is Lhasa, and the propitious place of Lhasa is Yerpa; reaching Lhasa but did not visit Yerpa is equal to making a new cloth without collar.” “Yerpa” in the ballad refers to the Drak Yerpa, one of the four big propitious places for hermits in Tibet.
Built on a hillside with more than 80 meditation caves, Drak Yerpa is described as the “life tree” or spiritual axis of Lhasa. So it has attracted many eminent monks to practice. Visiting and worshiping here will have a good luck.
The famous legendary hero Gesar of Ling is said to have visited the valley. The holes his arrows left in the cliffs are believed to be evidence of his presence. There is also an ancient sky burial site opposite the main caves.
The peaceful site offers lovely views and is a great day trip from Lhasa.