Nyalam is a small town in Tibet near Nepal border. It is nearly 35 kilometres away from Zhangmu – another Tibetan town which is the entry point for Nepal. Nyalam is situated at the altitude of 3750 metres. It is seen being located on the Friendship highway between Lhasa and Nepal border. From Nepal border, it is only 40 kilometres away, and from Kathmandu it is 150 kilometres.
Pilgrims who start their Kailash – Mansarovar tour from Kathmandu, have their first overnight stay at Nyalam. Crossing the Friendship Bridge, they drive to Zhangmu to finish their immigration and custom formalities, and then towards Nyalam. Here they have to stay for acclimatization.
Nyalam County occupies 3051 square metres of rocky and sandy land area of Tibet. Apart from Nyalam, there are some other towns and villages like Zhangmu, Yalai, Suozuo, Nailong, Membu and Borong. As per 2010 data, the population of the county has a whole was just 10,000. Zhangmu- which is the entry point of Nepal – is at an altitude of 2300 metres, and bares typical mild and subtropical climate, which is a rarity for Tibet.
Though Nyalam is a small town, throughout the county, several good guest houses and hotels are around. Some of them are, She Sha Bang Ma hotel, Nyalam hotel, Auden guest house, Zhangmy Gang Gyan hotel; and some resorts like Fort resort and Nagarkot farm house resort etc. All these and many more hotels, guest houses and resorts are there in nd around the county within 25 to 50 kilometres range.
Being quite small, and situated at a geographically important place, Nyalam provides the pilgrims and mountaineers as the best spot to get acclimatized. There is the Milarepa Cave, which is a must see spot for pilgrims. It is said to be the retreat for the great Tibetan Buddhist philosopher Milarepa during the 11th century. The cave’s entrance is on a slope. It is located by the side of a holy spring called Gompa. The Chinese government got the cave restored in 1970s. The cave displays Milarepa’s statue, his handprints, the offerings made by the devotees, various paintings of the philosopher etc. Many mystic folk stories and songs are related to this beautiful and serene place of pilgrimage.
Nyalam provides not only with the spot to get physically acclimatized but even spiritually and emotionally too, by the beauty and sacred air of the cave of Milarepa.