• Last Updated on Jan 25, 2024

Milarepa Cave in the mountains, not far from Lapchi Kang Village, is a sacred place. It's located in Lapchi Village, towards the Dolakha District's northernmost fringes. 

The cave is also known as the Milarepa's Meditation Cave or Milarepa's Hermitage. It has great significance for Tibetan Buddhism and is closely connected to the life of Milarepa (1052- 1135), a key figure in the history of Tibetan Buddhism.

Along the Lapchi Pilgrimage Trek in Nepal, when trekkers reach the Lapchi Village, many find refuge in Milarepa's teachings. Many are captivated by the mystical beauty and want to know why they travel here. Between the mountains of Nepal and Tibet, this valley might not be a Beyul, but for hundreds of years, it has attracted Buddhist yogis and gurus from both sides as a peace haven, refuge, and place to meditate.

Lapchi and Milarepa Cave are in the Rolwaling area, at the border of Nepal and Tibet. Trekking to Lapchi village with the Milarepa Cave means visiting some of Nepal's isolated and exciting secret corners. In this famous Buddhist pilgrimage around Mount Lapchi, many miracles were performed by the great Tibetan Yogi Milarepa. 

Many of Milarepa's caves overlooks the entrance to the hidden valley of Milarepa'' The entire area is protected by the Conserved Area formed around Mt. Gaurishankar. This Lapchi village area is considered a restricted area too. Moreover, for the trek to Lapchi village and Milarepa Cave, you must obtain a GCA special permit and a restricted area permit. 

Milarepa is not only a Buddhist yogi; He'salso a poet and singer. He was an ancient Tibetan magician, too. After Kailash and Tsari, the sacred destination of the Himalayas is the Lapchi trek and Lapchi region. Ancient Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu literature says there are three holy mountains in Jambudvipa: Mount Kailash, Mount Labchi Kang, and Mount Tsari. They are the provisional power places governing spiritual mountains not only for Buddhists but also for Hindus. Holy Lapchi Mountain is located east of Nepal and is about 4,850 meters high. Trek to Lapchi from Nepal is cheap and best: You need not arrange a Tibet visa and permit to visit holy Lapchi (Lapche) once in a lifetime. 

Nepal's least visited, isolated, and exciting secreted corners come alive with a Lapchi and Milarepa Cave trek. Lapchi and Milarepa Cave are holy places for Buddhists. Famous Tibetan Yogi Milarepa lived in his cave study center and died there. There are 12 caves in Lapchi, among which 8 are famous as caves where Milarepa meditated for a long period. Milarepa performed many miracles in Lapchi and has left behind sacred traces such as footprints.

It isn't easy to get there. You will walk through rhododendron forests and across snow-capped peaks for days until you reach the remote Lapchi village and Milarepa cave. But for those willing to take the trip, a magical adventure beckons. 

Inside the little cave, you'll see carvings in ancient rock and a stone meditation platform used by Milarepa, Tibet's most famous yogi and poet of the 11th century. You will probably find peace as you sit and reflect. As you sit and reflect, you may just find the peace and clarity that Milarepa himself sought in these mountains so long ago. 

Table of Contents

Where is Milarepa Cave and Lapchi Village Located?

The Milarepa Cave is situated in Lapchi, an area on the northernmost extremity of Dolakha District. For state security and economic interests, the former Tibetan region of Lapchi was surrendered to Nepal in geopolitical negotiations between these two Himalayan neighbors. 

One hour west of Lapchi village is an unceremonious-looking mountain pass that leads to the Tibetan hamlet Tashi Khang in Nyalam County, Shigatse Prefecture.

Lapchi is in the Rolwaling region along the border with Nepal and Tibet.

The cave is said to have been the home of 11th-century Tibetan Buddhism Siddha Milarepa when he stayed in what later became modern northern Nepal.

Lapchi (or Lapche) is a supreme spiritual mountain; this place was Milarepa's Hermitage. The village is at an altitude of about 4900 meters in Rolwaling, east Nepal, on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Nowadays, in Nepal, Lapchi is located astride the present-day political border between Nepal and Tibet, north of Dolakha District's eastern township of Lamabaghar.

Why are Lapchi Village and Milarepa Cave Famous?

This fame of Lapchi in the Tibetan world comes because there was once a great Buddhist saint and hermit named Milarepa (1040-93), who spent several years living in meditation here on orders from his spiritual master Marpa. 

Milarepa is famous for opening a sacred site and establishing pilgrimage routes, thereby overcoming those local gods and spirits that opposed introducing Buddhism. Subsequently, other spiritual masters, especially those of the Drikung-Kagyü school of Tibetan Buddhism, came to the site for days or months to meditate.

Thirty yogis on Lapchi have come originally from various parts of the Tibetan cultural area in Nepal or India. Following Dordzin Rinpoche and Nubpa Rinpoche's guidance, they meditate. Their retreat houses are small residences scattered on the main cliff, which is rocky above and below the monastery itself). The monastery's enclosure is home to five monks, all from Lapchi. Roughly forty people living in thirteen households make up the lay community. They all cultivate both pastoral and agricultural pursuits.

Milarepa Cave is thought to have been one of the caves in which Milarepa meditated and performed his austerities. It is considered a place of great spiritual power and remains sacred since Milarepa's presence still lingers.

The cave is a simple, humble structure cut out of the mountainside. Inside the cave, one can see a small shrine, meditation area, and offerings left behind by pilgrims and devotees. Inside the cave, it is usually adorned with prayer flags, religious symbols, and pictures of Milarepa so that an aura of reverence prevails.

Many people, including pilgrims and spiritual seekers, come to Milarepa Cave to pay homage to the place where Milarepa lived and find inspiration. Here, they also meditate or engage in meditation. Its private and quiet setting provides the perfect place for meditation and a connection with Milarepa's teachings and spiritual legacy.

Getting to Milarepa Cave is itself a journey in search of spiritual awakening, through which one can enjoy the scenic views of the region amidst gorgeous scenery along Himalayan trails once-walked by a sacred master on his path to enlightenment.

Who Are Lapchi People? 

Lapchi people are official border citizens within the Sino-Tibetan Nepal border. They can trade without a passport or visa in China proper up to Tashi Khang, the first settlement on Tibet's plateau.

There are a total of 13 families living in Lapchi Village. All 13 families live in two settlements here, Lumnang (elevation: 3620 m) serving as a winter residence and Lapchi (4250m) as a summer residence. 

Lapchi village is located at the foot of Lapchi Khang, a mountain range with a reputation throughout Tibetan culture as an important place to make pilgrimage. According to the biography of Jetsun Milarepa ( 1052-1 135), one of Tibet's greatest saints and poets, he spent many years meditating at Lapchi.

Villagers praise the caves of Rechen Phug, Dudul Pass, and Ze Phung, located on the main mountain, as places where marks to identify him- footprints and sacred springs- were left behind.

The main monastery of Lapchi, Chöra Gephel Ling, was built by the great Tibetan philosopher Shabkar Tsogdrug RangDrol (1781- 50). Seven widows 65 years or over live out the rest of their lives in stone and wood hovels just nearby.

Secluded refuges can be seen spanning the mountain. 16 people from the Himalayan region (Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and India) practice severe meditation. This is a testament to Lapchi's wide fame.

An hour west of Lapchi village is an extremely undistinguished mountain pass linked with the Tibetan Village in Shigatse Prefecture's Nyalam County.

Quite a few people in Lapchi villagers take yak caravans to shop for commodities at Tashi Khang, and they cross this border frequently.

The Lapchi people mostly depend on market access because of the harsh Himalayan climate: The remainder is grown in the limited agricultural land, but only barley. Potatoes and spinach are confined to kitchen gardens.

Large bovine herds are also used to produce fresh and processed dairy products, which people mostly consume. Lapchi has no electricity, broadcast station, or cell phone services. The monastery only retains a satellite phone for emergency use.

The nearest motorable road that joins the area with lowland Nepal ends at Lamabagar, a small Sherpa village two days away. Villagers use mules to carry goods and travel through rough terrain, wooden ladders, and bridges with cliffs on either side. 

Milarepa Cave- History, Significance 

The Milarepa cave has significant historical and spiritual importance. According to Tibetan Buddhism, Milarepa, the famous 11th-century yogi and poet, attained enlightenment in this very cave after years of meditation.

The Life of Milarepa

Milarepa lived an extraordinary life. Originally a sorcerer who used black magic for revenge, he regretted his deeds and sought enlightenment. He found a teacher, Marpa the Translator, who put him through difficult trials to purify his past actions. Milarepa persevered, and Marpa eventually taught him the Dharma.

According to legend, the 1st-century poet and great ascetic Milarepa lived in nearby Nye Shang (modern Manang), where he meditated for six years inside a cave. Finally, in Nepal's mountains, Milarepa attained enlightenment and wrote many songs on his way. The deer, hunter, and dog are popular in Manang's hinterland. So it's said that once somebody disturbed Milarepa in his meditation when a deer was being chased by a dog, followed by the hunter Kera Gompa Dorjee. So when the hunter couldn't kill the deer because Milarepa wouldn't let him, he shot his arrows at Milarepa.

The arrows couldn't harm the yogi at all. Instead of getting mad at the hunter, he decided to teach all three of them how to find peace through the deer's song, the dog's song, and the hunter's song. Milarepa greatly impacted the people of Nye Shang, and many, including the hunter, became his followers.

An Enduring Influence

Milarepa continues to inspire with his journey to enlightenment against all odds. His cave has become a place of pilgrimage, representing the ultimate spiritual goal of enlightenment in Tibetan Buddhism. Many lamas, monks, and devotees visit the cave to meditate and connect with Milarepa's enduring wisdom and presence.

The story of Milarepa gives hope that anyone, no matter their circumstances, can achieve enlightenment through perseverance and devotion. His cave is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and its infinite capacity for transformation. Visiting this cave and lapchi village allows you to reflect on your journey to awakening.

History of Milarepa Cave 

Also called Namkading, Milarepa'sMilarepa's cave is part of the monastery known as Nyelam Pelgye Ling. This monastery was destroyed in the 1960s and has only recently been restored.

Before it was destroyed, the monastery had more than 70 monks living there. In fact, the monastery is built right within Milarepa's cave (1052- 1135), where he spent most of his life. This famous Tibetan Buddhist philosopher attracted many students seeking to hear him teach there. These students later became important lineages in their own right.

Today, there are only seven monks in the same monastery. Moreover, among 7, 2 are assigned to guard the cave, which is kept preserved in a glass case Milarepa statue.

The cave overlooks Lapchi Gang. It's a hidden valley. A Google search shows that the place is richer in healthy vegetables, fruits, and crops. Their colors are beautiful, especially when the lands around them are little but harsh.

The cave is simple. The cave's structure is overhanging rock. This structure gave Milarepa very good sheltering cover from wind and rain. If you were one of the fortunate few who looked in, there is an imprint on Milarepa's interior wall. His hand and sitting meditation pose are visible.

Milarepa, a Vajrayana Mahasiddha, was no ordinary Tibetan saint. In the earlier part of his life, he killed many people through sorcery. This was out of revenge against the injustice he had seen growing up as a family member. Under Marpa of Lhobrag, or as he is popularly known--Mar-ma the Translator (), he recognized that revenge was bad and studied under him until his death.

It is said that Milarepa was the first to attain Vajradhara. He wrote his songs and poems, for which he is famous. 

How do You Get to Lapchi Village and the Milarepa Cave Entrance? 

Lapchi Village and the Milarepa  Cave can generally be reached from Tibet and Nepal. However, travelling from the Nepal side is considered easier and hassle-free. From Nepal, you are not required to obtain any Chinese visa and permit, which, in fact, takes a long process and time to acquire. 

With our specially designed 13-day Trek, you will be able to reach the Lapchi Village and the Milarepa Cave.

It takes an adventure just to reach the Lapchi Village and Milarepa cave. In northern Nepal, Lapchi Village is located in the Himalayas at an elevation of 3,600 meters (11,800 feet). The way there will take you through beautiful mountain scenery, rhododendron forests, and traditional Tibetan villages.

Travelling to Lapchi Village and the Milarepa Cave entrance is a beautiful excursion full of picturesque scenery and cultural experiences. Your journey of a lifetime begins as you leave Kathmandu for Lamabagar (1950m).

From Lamabagar, the Trek officially begins with a gradual ascent along Lapchi Khola (2400m), giving you a chance to get lost in what nature has to offer. Afterward, you ascend to Lapchi Village (4900m), where the mountains are beautiful. You take a two full-day tour around the Lapchi village and even take a trip to Milarepa Cave, where you can share this area's spiritual traditions. 

Visiting here is once in a lifetime. It is a rather treacherous ascent, but the scenic beauty and cultural importance of Milarepa will make any memory you take away from this adventure to be cherished. 

What to Expect Inside the Milarepa Cave?

The Milarepa Cave has immense historical value because it was where the Tibetan yogi of the eleventh century, Milarepa, spent his time in meditation. For generations, his legendary story has captivated hearts with its teachings of embracing inner demons.

This sacred place is visited by pilgrims from all corners each year to seek great peace and consolation in the wildflowers arrayed around it under this harsh terrain. 

The path to the Lapchi Village and Milarepa Cave may seem daunting initially, but it's all worth it as this short pilgrimage tour provides an enlightening journey. 

The cave is very simple, with only 2 monks looking after the site. Walking into the vestibule of this gompa, you'll find a glass case containing the statue of Yogi Milarepa in his traditional sitting meditation position. According to what is believed, this part was left behind by Milarepa and has since been included in pilgrims 'gifts.

In the cave, there is an impression on one side of the rock, which Milarepa left behind when he was doing sitting meditation, and also a handprint that Millepaira made with his right palm while helping Rechungpa to use this large boulder used by him to prop up. 

The images of Milarepa, Tsongkhapa, and Shri Devi are all there. Shri Devi is a guardian who appeared to Milarepa in a dream riding her mule, which left the footprints on the rock.

As you wander inside, please keep your voices down. Some of the many visitors here come to find great peace and silence in these old walls.

Some visitors like to sit and meditate silently, while others repeat mantras or Milarepa's songs. But going into the cave with an open heart and mind can create a great silence of peace and give one deep satisfaction in being connected to this great Tibetan master. Leaving the isolated loneliness for bright, bracing mountain air, you might change in small but important ways.

Taking in the Views From Outside the Cave

The views outside Milarepa's cave are breathtaking. As you emerge from the dimly lit cave, your eyes adjust to the bright sunlight reflecting off the snow-capped Himalayan peaks surrounding you.

Majestic Mountains

The cave sits near the Holy mountain Lapchi Kang, overlooking a sweeping valley. Many majestic mountains will be great if you go to the Lapchi village and Milarepa cave. You will see a great view of the Ama Bamare Himal, the Lapchi Kang Peak, and the labyrinthine-turned slopes. These slopes and the rock towers and sheer bluffs provide a great environment for the snow panther. 

Verdant Valley

Pine trees blanket the valley, their branches swaying gently in the breeze. Wildflowers in yellows, purples, and reds dot the grassy meadows. Yaks and Himalayan tahr graze on the alpine grasses and mosses. The melodic sounds of birds singing and the river rushing over rocks float from the valley below, mixing with the whistling wind.

Your journey to reach The Lapchi Village and Milarepa Cave follows the  Tama Khosi waterway up to Lamanabagar. We leave our main route there, hiking into thick bamboo and cloud forests before finally coming upon the secluded pocket of dense Lapchi Kang under an unclimbed tower on Ama Bamare ( Mother Feces Peak). 

Spiritual Solitude

The remoteness and scale of the surroundings evoke a sense of solitude and spiritual connection with nature. You can understand why Milarepa chose this place for meditation and enlightenment as you sit on the ledge outside the cave, gazing at the pristine vistas. The beauty and power of your surroundings make all your everyday worries and attachments seem trivial. You feel a deep peace and clarity, as though you could stay in this timeless place forever. The stunning views from outside Milarepa's cave inspire wonder and solitude.

The majestic snow-capped peaks, verdant valleys, and sounds of nature come together to create an atmosphere of profound beauty and spiritual meaning. Sitting here, you can tap into a deep sense of peace and clarity, gaining a glimpse into why Milarepa found enlightenment in this sacred place.

Best Itinerary for Lapchi Village and Milarepa Cave

There are many individual caves in the Himalayas of Nepal where Milarepa has meditated in isolation and wilderness. These caves where he meditated are usually called "Milarepa caves."

The very hidden and unexplored Milarepa cave just beyond the Nepal-Tibet border lies in perfect hiding near Lapchi Village, covered completely by mainstream trails and destinations for years.

A trek to Lapchi Kang and Milarepa Cave is an exciting adventure. It takes travellers through the Himalayan foothills pass of Nepal into one of the oldest monasteries in Tibet, as well as a hidden cave dedicated to Lord Mila re-Pa himself. Inside is a bronze statue of saint Milarepa, which is very sacred to Buddhists. It is said that the sincere disciple Rechungpa carved this figure with his master's nosebleed and kept it until he died.

Here is the best Itinerary for Lapchi village and Milarepa Cave trek below. 

​​​​​​Lapchi Kang Milarepa Cave Trek- 13 Days

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu and Hotel Transfer

Day 2: Kathmandu to Lamabagar (1950m) by bus/ jeep.

Day 3: Trek to Lapchi Khola(2400m)

Day 4: Trek to Lapchi Village(4900m)

Day 5: Explore Lapchi Kang Village and Visit MIlarepa Cave

Day 6: Explore Lapchi Kang Village and visit Milarepa

Day 7: Trek to High Alpine Lakes

Day 8: Trek to Kharka Ground

Day 9: Trek to King Dong Kharka(2800m)

Day 10: Exploration Day at King Dong Kharka

Day 11: Trek to Samling

Day 12: Trek to Lamabagar(1950m)

Day 13: Drive Back to Kathmandu Valley

Is Trek to Lapchi Village and Milarepa Cave Trek Difficult?

The Trek to Lapchi Village and Milarepa Cave is a medium-difficult trek featuring both natural beauty and spiritual significance. Hidden in Gaurishankar Conservation Area, this trek takes you to the region of Lapchi, which is very important for Buddhist pilgrims because the famous Milarepa Cave rests here. Though a demanding trek, the highest point around 4000 meters means there is little risk of altitude sickness, and this alone makes it an appealing destination.

Thus, in order to make this trek, one needs permits to access the restricted area and those of the Gaurishankar Conservation Area. Acquiring such permits is easier on the Nepalese side and more cumbersome if when done through Tibet. This efficient administrative aspect makes the whole trek more enjoyable. There is less worry for adventurers who can concentrate on just enjoying themselves all along.

The medium degree of difficulty requires adequate physical conditioning as the trail meanders through beautiful landscapes and cozy villages while negotiating uphill climbs. They will cross varied terrain--lush forests to alpine meadows-plunging themselves into the natural grandeur of the Gaurishankar Range.

With its spiritual significance, the Milarepa Cave gives a cultural aspect to this trek, which appeals especially to people interested in Buddhism and meditation. Trekkers see the various surrounding Himalayan peaks as they climb higher and are rewarded with beautiful panoramic views.

Accommodation Options in Lapchi Village

Once you've trekked to Lapchi Village, you'll want to find a place to rest your weary feet. Accommodation options are rustic but charming, allowing you to experience traditional Nepalese village life.


The best way to immerse yourself in the local culture is by staying in a homestay. Local families open their homes to visitors, providing basic but comfortable rooms and home-cooked meals. This is a chance to learn about daily life in the village, participate in activities like farming or weaving, and forge new friendships. Homestays can be arranged through guides in Kathmandu before your trek.


Like mountain lodges, simple teahouses offer basic accommodation and meals for trekkers and visitors. Teahouses typically have dorm-style sleeping quarters with shared facilities. They serve traditional Nepalese fare like dal bhat, rice and lentil soup. Teahouses are budget-friendly but fill up quickly during peak season, so arrive early if you haven't booked in advance.


For a truly rugged experience, you can camp in Lapchi Village. Find a scenic spot to pitch your tent, like a grassy field with mountain views. Be extremely cautious with food storage and trash to avoid attracting wildlife. The village has no facilities, so you must pack in all your gear and supplies. Camping is only recommended for experienced trekkers and during the dry season from October to May.

While in Lapchi Village, you can also ask locals for recommendations on other simple accommodation options. Wherever you stay, you'll experience the warm hospitality and cultural traditions of the Tamang people in this picturesque mountain village.

Major Attractions Around Lapchi Village and Milarepa Cave

The village of Lapchi offers more to see than just Milarepa's cave. Here are a few other major attractions around the area. 

Lapchi Monastery

Despite what people call the monastery, its ancient name is Choraghefiring.

Perched at an elevation 4200 meters above sea level, the Lapchi monastery dates from about 845 years ago. The monastery is older enough. Yet the government of Nepal cannot help with anything concerning renovations. There are only 18 households in this Lapchi village. There are no NGOs and INGOs. There is no school to read nor a medical health post. Your expectations may not be met in terms of facilities.

The monastery is situated on a steep rock-hewn hill. They also say that 800 years ago Milarepa had come here to build the monastery. So it is that the monastery of Rekcheng has a footprint of Milarepa here. Every 12 years, a fair is held at this location. Food, meanwhile, is always free throughout the fair.

Lapchi Village

The village itself is picturesque, with traditional stone and wood houses, cobblestone paths, and fields of barley, buckwheat, and potatoes. Friendly locals may invite you in for a meal or cup of tea. Take time to wander the winding lanes, soak in the views, and get a glimpse into the simple lives of the villagers. 

Yuthok Cave 

Yuthok Phug cave is located On the cliffs west of Bepa Gong. This is the famous cave where the Medicine Buddha Tuthok Yonten Gonpo meditated. This cave is famous among the pilgrims, too. This being said, pilgrims often travel here and meditate for hours. 

Ze Phung Cave 

Standing proud in Lapchi, Ze Phug is the highest cave of all. Outside its entrance door exists a footprint, which Milarepa supposedly left on his ascent into heaven to Rongshar. Near the cave is a sacred well provided by the 4-Armed Mahakala. The water level remains constant throughout the year.

Three revered mountains stand facing Ze Phug. To the left is Kar Po Boom Ri, or Holy Mountain of Chenrezig; at the center is Nga po Boom Ri, or Holy Mountain of Vajrapani; and to the right is Ser Po Boom Ri (Holy Mt. Of Manjushri).

Inside this lonely cave without human inhabitants, the solitary practitioner sometimes catches a glimmer of distant chants with tunes on musical instruments.

Dul-Dul Cave

The first residence of Milarepa was a cave called Dul Dul. Du means demons, Dul is to subjugate, Phug has the meaning of cave. Here, Milarepa defeated the 5 Sisters of Long Life or Tseringma.

Soon, Milarepa arrived, and snow fell continuously for 18 days and nights, blocking access to the cave right up where he was. Heaven kept him there for six months, but he survived in such a condition on his own. Incredibly, he lived off next to nothing in Tampa then and learned how to perform Tummo's psychic heat yoga.

Six months later, Milarepa had already become a snow leopard when his disciples came looking for him. Even today, near Ramding, one can still see the body print of a snow leopard, and Du Dhul Phug is marked with its claw mark. Likewise, Milarepa stayed in Tak Tsang Phug (Tiger Nest Cave), and claw prints are still visible on the rocks. The nearby cave Drang Chang Phug (Bee Cave) is next to Tak Tsang Phu.

Lungten Cave

In the 13th century, Lord Jigten Sumgon sent his disciple Dorzin Yangdru Padrak to Lapchi to meditate.

The meditation would begin in a cave hewn out of rock in the shape of an upside-down human heart. Also, he foretold that 55,525 disciples would be sent out to train. Just what he said, and so the disciples came.

Today, more than 20 lamas and anis dedicate their whole lives at Lapchi to practice Dharma on behalf of the profound compassion of Chetsang Rinpoche. 

Dipak Pande

Dipak Pande

Dipak starts to step up from potter, guide, and trekking leader to the company owner. Sometimes he share his experience with others as well as wrote in local travel news. Most of time he spend his time on mountain and his company.