On the way to the Kailash Mansarovar yatra, 22 kilometres from Darchen which is the base camp- the beginning of the Parikrama, one comes across Diraphuk. After the completion of formalities related to permit, one starts the Parikrama from Darchen and first passes through Yamdwar or Tarboche, which is also known as outer Ashtapada. from here, Diraphuk ( 4860 metres) is a 7 kilometres trek. It is a vast green meadow with a view of the Holy Kailash’s North West face.
The Dira Phuk monastery is a south facing monastery on the side of a steep, narrow valley near the base of the sheer, 6000 ft north face of Kailash. It is built around the cave of Dira Phuk and was renovated in the late 1980s. Despite the renovations, the monastery itself dates back to the 13th century. The Buddhists believe that the first explorer of the mount Kailash Parikrama trek, Gotshangpa meditated here during 13 th century. It is said that he was led to the cave by a dri (female yak) goddess named Senge Dongpa (the Lion Faced Celestial Angel) who came to his rescue when he was caught in a heavy rainfall after making a pilgrimage down to Lake Mansarovar. Thus the monastery’s name means “cave of the female yak horn.
One enters a south facing main entrance into an open-air courtyard, used by pilgrims for tea and rest. From there, one proceeds to the dukhang main hall where the Dira Phuk cave is. At the rear of the cave is a new statue of Gotshangpa. Also, imprints from the dri’s horn can be seen on the cave walls.
This spot is the beginning of the Kailash mansarovar kora, which introduces one with the real gradure of the Holy Mountain. There are basic lodging facilities available.