The World’s Longest Mani Wall

The World’s Longest Mani Wall / 世界上最长的嘛尼石城

This information is old. The original Mani Wall which you see in this article was destroyed in the Yushu earthquake in late 2009 a few months after these photos were taken. Click here for more photos.

The World’s Longest Mani Wall. Only three kilometers from Yushu lies one of the great sights in the Tibetan world, the Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall (), reputedly the largest in the world. Found all over the Tibetan lands, Mani Walls are rows of piled-up stones, engraved or painted with orations. The size of such Mani Walls can vary from the humblest pile to a circuit of several hundred meters. Pilgrims walk round these walls of holy stones in a clockwise direction, uttering prayers and twirling prayer wheels.  

The Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall is /was truly enormous

The Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall is truly enormous; a sign by its side proudly proclaims that it is 283 metres long, 74 metres wide, 2,5 metres high and consists of 2 billion stones! What’s more, the Wall is still growing, as we witnessed with our own eyes: devout pilgrims contribute new stones everyday, which are hoisted up on to the pile carefully. The billions of beautifully carved stones carry the Buddhist prayers “Om Mani Padme Hum” or, “Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus”, and other orations.


Tibetan pilgrims from all over the Kham region

Tibetan pilgrims from all over the Kham region and further afield descend on this huge Mani Wall from dusk to dawn. Dressed in their finest, they circumambulate the sacred stones in a constantly rising and ebbing flow. The early morning sees a high tide, while the crowds ebb during the afternoon, only to return again in the early evening.

Look out for ladies wearing amazingly colourful, flat, embroidered hats, which seem to be typical of the area between Yushu and Serxu. We certainly had never seen them before and found them most photogenic! 

best way to take in the ambience

The best way to take in the ambience is to join in with the pilgrims and accompany them on their walk around the Wall. The more times you circle the Wall, the more fascinating it becomes. Numerous dark chapels and prayer-wheel halls, lit up by thousands of flickering yak-butter lamps, provide a diversion from the routine.

 It would be interesting to know just how many kilos of yak butter get used here everyday day.

Coming and Going:

The Mani Wall is easily reached on local bus number 1 from Yushu. There are frequent buses throughout the day and the fare is just 1Yuan. 

Author: Adam

My name is Adam. I have a degree in Chinese History from SOAS and a masters in International Politics focused on China from the same university. I have travelled around China 9 times and since 2000 I have travelled every year for two months. I guess I kind of like the place!

9 thoughts on “The World’s Longest Mani Wall”

  1. I was waiting for these pictures, they didn’t load the last time. Wow, these are so beautiful, these are such amazing people. Thank you for bringing these pictures to the world.

  2. I’ve been using Firefox as my browser. I hadn’t realised that when using Internet explorer some photos were missing and some texts were broken up into code. I think I have solved the problem. I’ll be redoing some of the older texts again.

  3. amazing..this place seems very interesting .I’ve already been in Gansu province, and I also planned to go to qinghai..thank you to share those wonderfull photos with us.

  4. hello
    i just wanted to know if its possible to get to yushu straight from lhasa without by passing xining by road? if so, what is the route?? or villages that u pass through?? the landscape on the way??? the passes in between the two places and no of hours you take??? please help

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