Tibet: The land of Myths and Mysticism

April 9, 2014

Tibet

Tibet, the “forbidden land’ that was once shunned to the outer world, lies beyond the mighty Himalayas on the highest plateau in the world. Located 5,000 meters above sea level, Tibet is also known as the ‘Roof of the World’. This Buddhist Kingdom that remained long closed to foreigners and isolated to the world outside until recently, holds a strong fascination for many people, scholars, pilgrims, travelers and explorers alike who are all in pursuit of real “Shangri La”. The land of snows – Tibet never fails to charm visitors from all over the world. Heavenly lakes, mysterious rivers and breathtaking landscape, Tibet is nature’s paradise and is sure to leave you amazed with an unforgettable experience of land, people and mysticism. Apart from its geographical and natural wonders, Tibet’s long history, ancient culture, heritage and religion appeals people worldwide to visit this mysterious land.  Read more

10 Inherent Facts about Norbulingka

November 7, 2013

Norbulinka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, lies in a quiet and beautiful garden in the west part of Lhasa. Norbulingka represents confluence of Tibet and inland cultures. The well preserved murals, superb mandalas and frescoes are fascinating sights not to miss. One particular mural inside depicts the history of Tibet and all the Dalai Lamas. The Dalai Lama was living here during his last days in Tibet. The rooms have remained as they were when the Dalai Lama left in 1959. If you are interested to explore the 10 inherent facts about Norbulingka, then go for Explore Lhasa tour.

Tibet

Tibet

 

  1. Norbulingka in Tibetan language means “precious garden”. It is the summer palace for all Dalai Lamas. It was first built in the 18th century by the 7th Dalai Lama, Kelzang Gyatso, and then expanded into the present size of 360,000 square meters in the 20th century.
  2. The building complex has over 400 rooms of various sizes. The Norbulingka is the biggest and most magnificent and representative large-scale palace garden in Tibet.
  3. The main part of the Norbulinka architecture complex includes Kelzang Potrang (palace), Chensel Potrang, and Tagten Migyur Potrang. Their color, style, and decoration feature in Tibetan traditional architecture characteristic; whereas, their layout and overall structure treatment absorb and take after Han style architecture.
  4. Norbulinka is also a confluence of Tibetan quintessential arts of architecture, painting, statue and sculpture. As the political, religious and cultural centre of Tibet in the Qing Dynasty, the Norbulingka is a symbol of multi-ethnic cultural confluence.
  5. Norbulingka was announced to be national key cultural relic protection unit in 1988 by the State Council, and was enlisted as world cultural heritage by the UNESCO in 2011.
  6. Tibet became under the central government’s administration as early as in the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century. The live record in the Norbulingka architecture of the confluence of Han-Tibetan culture is strong evidence that Tibet’s land, people and culture were destined to be indispensible part of China.
  7. Another feature of Norbulingka is the frescoes in its main hall. Frescoes records Han-Tibetan national unity and cultural exchange history. The frescoes can be categorized into religious and non-religious themes. The religious paintings are about Buddhist doctrines and stories of eminent monks. The non-religious paintings are about historical figures and stories. All of them are reflections of the diverse and unique traditional culture of Tibetan people.
  8. It is recorded that the 13th Dalai Lama sent craftsmen to Beijing especially for cultivating traditional decoration ornamentation skills and arrangement of Han architecture. The emblazonry of “the Eight immortals crossing the sea” and the totem of “happiness, wealth, longevity, and auspiciousness” is almost identical with that in the inland. Moreover, there are Chinese characters of “fu” (happiness), “lu” (wealth) and “shou” (longevity) written amid the painting decoration.
  9. The stone lion corridor and the pair of stone lions in front of the Norbulingka’s gate look almost exactly the same shape and style with those in the inland.
  10. Inside the Tagten Migyur Potrang is a set of fine frescoes displaying important historical political events in Tibet, such as the story of Princess Wencheng and Jincheng coming to Tibet and Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty issuing the empowerment document and golden seal to the 5th Dalai Lama. The paintings also is a combination of traditional Tibetan painting and the Han style painting with exact delineation and enriched colors and line drawing.

Top 7 must see landmarks in Lhasa

October 30, 2013

Explore Lhasa and capture its top 7 must see landmarks into your canvas of life long memory. Lhasa means in Tibetan “The land of gods”. Lhasa houses most of the important monasteries and cultural treasures of Tibet. There are numerous scenic spots, among which Potala Palace, Nobulingka, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery and Jokhang Temple are the most famous. Wipe away the mists of imagination and meet the real people of Lhasa – bargain for souvenirs in Barkhor Square, witness Buddhist monks debating on theology and meet reverent worshippers as they make pilgrimages to the holy sites of the Tibetan capital. A visit to Lhasa is not just the visit of Tibet’s capital but it will allow an opportunity to experience Tibetan culture, visit the numerous heritage sites and watch the daily life of the Tibetans. The top 7 must see landmarks in Lhasa are shown here.

Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple

 

  1. Jokhang Temple, one of top must see landmarks in Lhasa, occupies an unchallenged position in Tibetan Buddhism. Located at the centre of old Lhasa city, this majestic temple, forms the “heart” of ancient Lhasa. Built in 647 by Songtsen Gampo, Jokhang Temple is the oldest civil-structure building in Tibet that has a history of more than 1,300 years. It well mixed Tibetan, Tang-Dynasty, Nepalese and Indian style of architecture together, initiated a new space layout model for Tibetan monastery. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lhasa, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace’. Together with Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street is another must visit site at the center of Lhasa. The street is the road that pilgrims tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries. Buddhist pilgrims walk or progress by body-lengths along the street clockwise every day into deep night. It is a place where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts assemble.
  2. Potala Palace, a must see attraction in Lhasa, is a landmark of Tibet. The history of this awe-inspiring construction can be dated back to the 7th century, some 1,300 years ago that built by King Songtsen Gampo. With an area of over 360, 000 square meters, Potala Palace is a spectacular castle-like building complex of Lhasa, which is used to be the unification centre of political and religious of Tibet. With grand stele commemorating the architectural achievements of ancient Tibetans, the Potala Palace is truly a cultural treasure on the Tibetan Plateau. In December 1994, it was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. Furthermore, the Potala Palace worked as the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas since the 7th century. The palace is famous for its grand buildings, complicated constructions, special atmosphere, splendid artworks, precious scriptures, murals, jewels and antiques.
  3. Drepung Monastery, another top must visit site in Lhasa, is the largest monastery in Tibet. It was founded in 1416 by a disciple of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelukpa School. Drepung Monastery was one of the best schools of the Middle-Ages and during the 1930s it housed over 10,000 monks from all regions of Asia. After the Chinese invasion and the persecution that followed, many of them retreated to India where they started a new monastery. Now only a few hundred monks remain at Drepung, but its history makes it a popular attraction.
  4. Tibet Museum, a must see site in Lhasa, is located in the southeast corner of Norbulingka. The museum houses a rich collection of prehistoric cultural relics including Buddha statues in different postures, imperial jade seals, gold albums, gifts granted by emperors, colorful Thangkas, and various printed Sanskrit and local scriptures. Visitors can also see variety of folk art such as unique local handicrafts, costumes, jewellery, and adornments made of gold, silver, and jade, as well as fine Chinese pottery. In addition to showing the civilization of Tibet, the museum is also an ideal location to hold cultural exchanges and seminars, to preserve cultural relics, and to encourage the archaeological study. The museum is not only a source of information for the locals, but also attracts an increasing number of people from overseas and educates them about Tibetan culture.
  5. Sera Monastery, one of the three grand monasteries in Lhasa, is famous for its copper Buddhist Statue, Religious Painting and Buddhism Debating, etc. The whole construction mainly consists of the Coqen Hall, the Dratsang (place for studying) and the Kangcun (residence), etc. The Hayagriva Statue in Coqen Hall is the most popular attraction for tourists, but it has a special religious meaning for local followers. Besides, the intense Buddhist Debating is another spotlight of this monastery. Every day in the afternoon, monks with an intention of learning Buddhism come to the courtyard of this monastery and participate in Buddhist debate.
  6. Norbulinka Palace, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, lies in a quiet and beautiful garden in the west part of Lhasa. The well preserved murals, superb mandalas and frescoes are fascinating sights not to miss. One particular mural inside depicts the history of Tibet and all the Dalai Lamas. The Dalai Lama was living here during his last days in Tibet. The rooms have remained as they were when the Dalai Lama left in 1959.
  7. Ganden Monastery, one of the sacred monasteries of Gelugpa branch of Tibetan Buddhism, was founded in 1409 by Tsongkhapa, the originator of the Gelugpa sect. Ganden consists of many temples and other buildings. It covers an enormous area, as building continued for generations. One building called Cuoqin Vihara has 108 pillars and is large enough to house 3500 monks. It contains the beautiful and skillfully carved bronze statues of Maitreya (the future Buddha) and Tsongkhapa. The monastery is listed as one of Tibet’s cultural relics. The Lhasa’s must see site is perched just short of the top of Mount Wanrigu or Wangbur, 30 km east of Lhasa, at an altitude of 4500m.

15 Things You Must See in Lhasa

October 29, 2013

Go ahead and indulge! See the ideal ways to explore the City of Spiritual Awareness, including an Explore Lhasa tour, where you enjoy spiritual delights. Spend some quality time with someone you love in the Himalayas. Lhasa is a unique and spiritual city. After a thousand years of turmoil, it has managed to retain its ancient palace, religious history, ancient temples, relics and streets. Visitors have every reason to pay a visit to Lhasa when they come to make Explore Tibet tour. A visit to Lhasa will be a trip of a lifetime! No other destination provides so many unforgettable memories. The 15 things you must see in Lhasa are included here.

Potala Palace

Potala Palace

 

  1. Potala Palace, a must-see attraction in Lhasa, is a landmark of Tibet. The history of this awe-inspiring construction can be dated back to the 7th century, some 1,300 years ago that built by King Songtsen Gampo. With an area of over 360, 000 square meters, Potala Palace is a spectacular castle-like building complex of Lhasa, which is used to be the unification centre of political and religious of Tibet. With grand stele commemorating the architectural achievements of ancient Tibetans, the Potala Palace is truly a cultural treasure on the Tibetan Plateau. In December 1994, it was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. It is a must-visit site for tourists enjoying Tibet tours. The Potala Palace worked as the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas since the 7th century. It symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley. The palace is famous for its grand buildings, complicated constructions, special atmosphere, splendid artworks, precious scriptures, murals, jewels and antiques.
  2. Jokhang Temple, the famous landmark in Lhasa, is the irreplaceable representative of Tibetan religion. Located in the center of old Lhasa city, this majestic temple, which with the Barkhor Street surrounded, formed the “heart” of ancient Lhasa. It is said that Jokhang Temple occupies an unchallengeable position of Tibetan Buddhism. Built in 647 by Songtsen Gampo, Jokhang Temple is the oldest civil-structure building in Tibet that has a history of more than 1,300 years. It well mixed Tibetan, Tang-Dynasty, Nepalese and Indian style of architecture together, initiated a new space layout model for Tibetan monastery. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lhasa, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace’.
  3. Barkhor Street, a must visit site at the center of Lhasa, is the oldest street in a very traditional city of Tibet. Barkhor is the road that pilgrims tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries. Buddhist pilgrims walk or progress by body-lengths along the street clockwise every day into deep night. Now, the street is a famous commercial and commodity-distributing center in Lhasa, consisting of more than 120 handicrafts shops and more than 200 stalls. It is a good choice that should never be missed by tourists coming to Lhasa, for you can buy anything Tibet-related, from sacks of incense, chunks of yak butter to monk outfits. It is a place where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts assemble.
  4. Sera Monastery, one of the three grand monasteries in Lhasa, is famous for its copper Buddhist Statue, Religious Painting and Buddhism Debating, etc. The whole construction mainly consists of the Coqen Hall, the Dratsang (place for studying) and the Kangcun (residence), etc. The Hayagriva Statue in Coqen Hall is the most popular attraction for tourists, but it has a special religious meaning for local followers. Besides, the intense Buddhist Debating is another spotlight of this monastery. Every day in the afternoon, monks with an intention of learning Buddhism come to the courtyard of this monastery and participate in Buddhist debate.
  5. Norbulinka Palace, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, lies in a quiet and beautiful garden in the west part of Lhasa. The well preserved murals, superb mandalas and frescoes are fascinating sights not to miss. One particular mural inside depicts the history of Tibet and all the Dalai Lamas. The Dalai Lama was living here during his last days in Tibet. The rooms have remained as they were when the Dalai Lama left in 1959.
  6. Drepung Monastery, another top attraction in Lhasa, is the largest monastery in Tibet. It was founded in 1416 by a disciple of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelukpa School. Drepung Monastery was one of the best schools of the Middle-Ages and during the 1930s it housed over 10,000 monks from all regions of Asia. After the Chinese invasion and the persecution that followed, many of them retreated to India where they started a new monastery. Now only a few hundred monks remain at Drepung, but its history makes it a popular attraction.
  7. Ganden Monastery, one of the sacred monasteries of Gelugpa branch of Tibetan Buddhism, was founded in 1409 by Tsongkhapa, the originator of the Gelugpa sect. Ganden consists of many temples and other buildings. It covers an enormous area, as building continued for generations. One building called Cuoqin Vihara has 108 pillars and is large enough to house 3500 monks. It contains the beautiful and skillfully carved bronze statues of Maitreya (the future Buddha) and Tsongkhapa. The monastery is listed as one of Tibet’s cultural relics. The Lhasa’s must see site is perched just short of the top of Mount Wanrigu or Wangbur, 30 km east of Lhasa, at an altitude of 4500m.
  8. Drak Yerpa Monastery, located about 40km northeast to the city center of Lhasa, is a hermitage built on a hillside of the mountain at the altitude of 4885 meters. There are two popular Tibetan verses in relation to Drak Yerpa. One verse says that “While Tibet’s holy place is in Lhasa, Lhasa’s holy place in Drak Yerpa”. Another verse goes like that “Visiting Lhasa without going to Drak Yerpa is just like making a new clothe without adding the collar”. These two verses pinpoint the importance of Drak Yerpa in the hearts of the common Tibetan pilgrims. The hermitage is composed of many meditation caves. Some say there are now still 80 meditations left on the hillside. Some houses were built to accommodate the caves, hence cave temples. So actually Drak Yerpa is a cave monastery.
  9. Tibet Museum, a must see site in Lhasa, is located in the southeast corner of Norbulingka. The museum houses a rich collection of prehistoric cultural relics including Buddha statues in different postures, imperial jade seals, gold albums, gifts granted by emperors, colorful Thangkas, and various printed Sanskrit and local scriptures. Visitors can also see variety of folk art such as unique local handicrafts, costumes, jewellery, and adornments made of gold, silver, and jade, as well as fine Chinese pottery. In addition to showing the civilization of Tibet, the museum is also an ideal location to hold cultural exchanges and seminars, to preserve cultural relics, and to encourage the archaeological study. The museum is not only a source of information for the locals, but also attracts an increasing number of people from overseas and educates them about Tibetan culture.
  10. Ramoche Temple, a must see Tibetan Buddhist monastery, is regarded as the most important temple after the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. It is one of the great three Geluka university monasteries after the Jokhang Monastery. It is situated in the northwest of Lhasa City and about 500 meters away from the north of Barkhor Street. The temple shrines a small bronze statue of the Buddha. The temple was once badly destroyed by Mongolia invasion and Red Guards during Cultural Revolution. The original building was destroyed by fire and the now temple was reconstructed in 1474. At present, the temple is the key national cultural relic protection sites in Tibet.
  11. Tombs of the Early Tibetan Kings, a must see site for learning about ancient Tibetan civilization, is around 100 km southeast of Lhasa at south of the Yarlung Zangbo river and southwest of Mt Zongsam. Visitors who would like to explore the rich histories of the tombs of the early Tibetan kings, as well be want to intermingle with the local culture, should visit the site. The area is comprised of nine mausoleums of Tibetan kings, and one of the most famous grave sites, that of Songtsen Gambo’s, is said to cover an area of one hundred square meters alone for its inner tomb. Furthermore, there are three tombs worthy of note, and these are the tombs of Songtsen Gambo, Chide Songzan, and Dusong Mangbujie. The tomb of Songtsen Gambo has nine chambers inside, with the main chamber being a Buddhist hall. There is a coral lamp in the middle of the hall that never runs out of light. It was said that the four corners of the great king’s tomb used to hold treasure.
  12. Taklung Monastery, a most sacred site located just 120 km north of Lhasa, is a stunning building of bright red brick that contrasts beautifully with the rich green grass surrounding it. Thousands of prayer flags attached to the building catch the wind and provide a deeply moving display of faith. The over eight hundred years old monastery has been an important seat of the Kagyu Buddhist sect. The land on which the monastery now rests was once inhabited by a famous lama named Potawa. The site has been an area of sacred and religious activity for many centuries even before the current structure was built. The townspeople who reside nearby today hold the monastery in high esteem and are deeply proud to have it as the focal point of their village. Nowadays visitors enjoy it as a place of immense spiritual and cultural significance.
  13. Canggu Nunnery, the only Buddhist nunnery in the old city of Lhasa around Barkhor Street, is very popular among local residents. The nunnery is especially famous for its underground cave, in which Srongtsen Gampo, a renowned Buddhist, once cultivated himself. Inside the cave now enshrines a statue of Srongtsen Gampo. For centuries, this ancient sacred cave has welcomed tens of thousands of pilgrims from around Tibet to pray and chant. Canggu Nunnery has unique tradition and style. It is an ideal place for female Buddhists as well as women in society to learn about Buddhism and knowledge. As a public nunnery, Canggu Nunnery focuses on passing on and promoting ceremonies and rituals of believing Goddess of Mercy and Buddha Tara.
  14. Pabonka Hermitage, one of the most ancient Buddhist sites in Lhasa, was founded by Songtsän Gampo in the 7th century. Part of Sera Monastery, it is about 8km from Lhasa in the Nyang bran Valley on the side of Mount Parasol. Pobanka means “on the top of a giant rock” in Tibetan language. It got its name due to its construction on a giant rock. It is said that it was built even earlier than the Potala Palace and Jokhang Monastery. Several of famous Tibetan kings and monks used to meditate there in different times, and Pabonka is said to be the place where Tibetan Alphabets were created.
  15. Lhasa Carpet Factory, situated at Hebalin to the east of the old city of Lhasa, is a significant tourist attraction in the holy city. The carpet factory is renowned for its beautiful and delicate Tibetan and Persian carpets, as well as the Oriental Artistic carpets. Carpet weaving is an ancient craft in Tibet. Tibetan carpet is a symbol of the traditional Tibetan arts and crafts. With over 900 years’ history, a distinctive production procedure has been formed, including spinning, dyeing, weaving and trimming and so on. Stepping into the factory, travelers can not only enjoy the elegance of this fine craft, but also appreciate the delicate weaving processes used to create each masterpiece.

6 reasons that make nice winter tour of Tibet

October 10, 2013

Are you making a plan for winter Tibet tour? Do you want to cover the “Roof of the World” at your Explore Tibet or Explore Lhasa tour in this winter? Do not worry? Tibet welcomes you in this winter with hospitable environment despite being cold season.

Because of the high altitude, Tibet is known as snow-covered area and a winter tour there is taken no account of by most visitors. However, it is still possible and loved by thousands of visitor to make a trip to Tibet in the winter season.  Here are listed the 6 reasons that make nice winter tour of Tibet.

TIBET

TIBET

 

1. With its flat land and mild weather, Lhasa is free of both freezing winters and unbearably hot summers, having an annual average daily temperature of 8 degrees C (43 degrees F).

2. It enjoys more than 3,000 hours of sunshine annually. In fact it is called the “Sunlit City.” In winter, it rarely snows in Lhasa.

3. Though night is cold in Tibet, you can always find a warm room from where you can have magnificent experience of Tibet.

4. You can even cross Himalayas into Nepal from Tibet and winter is the best time to visit Nepal.

5. Even visiting for Everest Advanced Base Camp Trek in Tibet is possible in the winter.

6. The bright sun with healthy air shines the golden roofs of Potala, Jokhang, Sera, and Drepung and Kyichu River flows with the glory. Tourists find much the same in other places, such as Nyingchi and Shigatse.

Top 9 Tibet Escapes

October 6, 2013

Would you like to make a top Tibet escape in the tallest pristine mountain region of the world? The top Tibet escapes help you to traverse through Tibetan mountains, cultures, religions, local people, age-old monasteries, and different untouched lakes. Tibet, the mystical land of spirituality, is the heart of Buddhist culture and philosophy. The Roof of the World is the most mesmerizing destinations not only for the geographical and natural enchants but also for historical, cultural and religious enthusiasts. Spiritual traditions, temples and monasteries, lakes and rivers, and mighty snow clad peaks are just a few of the impressive landmarks that appeal the visitors to visit Tibet at least once in a lifetime. Here are listed the Top 9 Tibet Escapes.

Explore Tibet

Explore Tibet

 

1. Explore Tibet, one of the top Tibet escapes, helps you to explore stunning Himalayan views, high plateau, beautiful Buddhist monasteries and extraordinary people of Tibet. In Tibet, you will travel around Tsedang, Yumbulakhang, Thandruk, Samye, Tsurpu, and Ganden monasteries. Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaaar, Sera and Drepung Monasteries, and Tibetan Nunnery and Tibetan Medicine Center will be the prime attractions of this tour while you are strolling around Lhasa. Of course, you will also cover Tibet’s famous turquoise lake, Yamadroke Lake. Truly speaking, this escape suits to those who are interested to experience the people, culture, monks, monasteries, land and palaces of Tibet.

2. The Most Popular Tour of Tibet, one of the outstanding escapes of Tibet, begins and ends in Lhasa with visits to other popular Tibetan cities like Tsedang, Gyantse and Shigatse. In Lhasa, you make excursion around the stunning Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Tibet Museum, Barkhor Bazar along with a couple of important Tibetan monasteries like Sera, Drepung and Jokhang Temple. Then, you take a day tour of the amazing Namtso Lake (4,718m), believed by many as the most beautiful lake in Tibet. In Tsedang, you pay your visit  to Samye Monastery. In, Gyantse, you visit Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong (fortress). Then, you move towards Shigatse and visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery. All of these monasteries have their own history and religious significance. While on this escape you also cross a few high passes while being in constant company of the high Himalayas.

3. Mount Kailash Yatra, or Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, the most sacred escape for spirituality, is the most sacred and revered pilgrimage for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists – lie in the southwestern part of Tibet. Mt. Kailash (6638m) located to the north of the Himalayan barrier in Western Tibet. The mountain is religiously sacred for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bons. So every year many visitors of different religions and from different countries visit the holy site. Mostly pilgrims of Nepal, India, Mongolia, Tibet, Japan, China, Southeast Asia and other countries, follow this yatra to pay homage to deities. According to the Hindu mythology, Mt. Kailash is believed to be the residing place for Lord Shiva (Mahadeva- the supreme god). And similarly according to the Buddhist mythology, it is believed to be home to Buddha Demchok. The spiritual experience of Kailash Mansarover Yatra is believed to go beyond the confinement of any religion or belief, and the region is open to people of all religion. When traveling by bus, the journey begins from Kodari and trails to the ends of remote Tibetan villages before reaching Kailash Mansarover. The trek is filled with hours of bus rides and adventurous treks. Along the trail, enjoy a spectacular view of some of the most majestic snow capped mountains such as Gaurishanker, Shishapangma, Lantang Himal and many other mountains ranges surrounding this region. Through the slopes of Mt. Kailash flows a stream to Manasarovar Lake (the highest body of fresh water) and from this lake the four of Asia’s greatest rivers the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Karlani, and Sutlej flow.

4. Explore Lhasa and Tsedang with Namtso Lake, the ultimate trek in the pristine region of the world, covers popular landmarks in Lhasa and Tsedang with a day tour of the Namtso Lake. In Lhasa, you visit the astonishing Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Tibet Museum and Barkhor Bazaar. Furthermore, you stroll around a number of Lhasa’s impressive Tibetan monasteries like Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Jokhang Temple. In Tsedang, you escape for the 8th century Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. A separate day has to set aside to explore the Namtso Lake, one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet.

5. Lhasa to Kathmandu Mountain Bike Tour, one of the dream overland escapes in the Himalayas, is another best way of making Tibet Overland Tour. The biking overland tour of Tibet travels through the land of ancient Buddhist culture having awesome landscapes, artistic monasteries and centuries’ old caravan trails. The biking adventure in the Himalayas comes across a sacred land of myths and mysteries inhabited by the ever smiling people. Tibet has not only exerted magnetic spell upon travelers for centuries but also upon spies, missionaries, scholars, geographers, mystics, soldiers and cranks etc. Tibet being extremely remote and isolated by the most formidable Himalayan ranges, a fascinating world of timeless splendor, unique tradition and breathtaking scenery awaits all travelers.

6. Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour via Everest Base Camp, the grandest escape in the Himalayas, begins from Lhasa and ends in Kathmandu. In between, you travel through beautiful Tibetan cities and towns such as Tsedang, Gyantse, Shigatse, Sakya, Rongbuk and Zhangmu. One of the major highlights of this escape is reaching the base camp of the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest, which you have to accomplish. The Lhasa to Kathmandu escape also allows you to explore the mystical Yamdrok Tso and Namtso Lakes and conquer a few high passes. Besides, you stroll around popular Tibetan landmarks like Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Tibet Museum, Barkhor Bazaar and Gyantse Dzong. This escape also includes touring quite a number of spectacular Tibetan monasteries including, but not limited to, Sera, Drepung, Samye, Phalkot, Tashilhunpo, Sakya and Rongbuk, the world’s highest monastery.

7. Extended Tour of Lhasa, the enticing escape of Tibet, begins and ends in Lhasa with visits to other beautiful Tibetan cities and towns like Tsedang, Gyantse, Shigatse and Rongbuk. Besides, you will also accomplish one of the major highlights of your escape, reaching the Everest Base Camp. The escape of Lhasa covers popular Tibetan landmarks like the amazing Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Tibet Museum, Barkhor Bazaar and Gyantse Dzong. You also visit a number of impressive Tibetan monasteries like Sera, Drepung, Jokhang, Samye, Khumbum, Phalkot, Tashilhunpo and Sakya. Each of these monasteries has their own history and religious importance. Another important aspect of this escape is the opportunity to explore the Namtso Lake, one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, also believed by many as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

8. Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour, the spectacular escape of Tibet, passes through wonderful scenery dominated by green meadows, river gorges, snow capped mountains, waterfalls and enchanting flora and fauna in the Himalayas. Besides, mingle with the local people, who are following the same lifestyle for thousands of years, enjoy their reception with Tibetan Yak butter tea. Tibet, once Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom, has captured the hearts and minds of the travelers from all around the world since the ancient times. The highland of Tibet and its typical geographical position has been exploited since the ancient times by explorers and adventurers, pilgrims, traders, and even missionaries. Whether you are a spiritual seeker in search of the mystery of life or seeking an adventure, this epic escape across the Tibetan Plateau into the remotest and mystical highlands takes you to the land of paradise in Earth. This tour explores Lhasa as well as other famous places such as Gyantse, Shigatse, and Sakya. In Lhasa, you visit most holy Jokhang temple, see the legendary eighth-wonder Potala Palace, Norbulinka Palace, Drepung, Sera Monastery and more. On the way, you will be viewing the most exotics of Tibet:  Yamutso Lake, Pelkhor and Tashilunbu monasteries.

9. Explore Lhasa, the shortest possible escape of Lhasa, is very popular amongst international travelers. The top escape begins and ends in the heart of Tibet, Lhasa, and covers popular landmarks of this beautiful ancient city such as the Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, the Tibet Museum and Barkhor Bazaar. You also stroll through a number of impressive Tibetan monasteries in Lhasa like Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Jokhang Temple. They are all amazing monasteries with a history and religious relevance of their own. This escape also takes you further to the outskirts of Lhasa where you visit the 15th century Ganden Monastery and explore the Drayerpa Cave, which is still a meditative sanctuary for Tibetan monks.

Top 10 must see landmarks of Tibet

September 13, 2013

Explore Tibet and behold it’s the top 10 must see landmarks. While discovering the top 10 must see landmarks of Tibet you will capture the true essence of why Tibet is still so mesmerizing destination for the world travelers. The moment you start to explore Lhasa – the capital city of the Roof of the World you see the deeper aspects of culture, art, architecture and history of the spiritual paradise. Besides, the more you strive to travel for Mount Kailash Yatra in Tibet, the deeper you put forth yourself into the greatest path of enlightenment. All the must see landmarks of Tibet are the source of spiritual inspiration, peace of mind, and are the treasure-troves of Tibet. The Top 10 must see landmarks of Tibet are listed here.

Tibet

Tibet

 

  1. The Potala Palace is a landmark of Tibet. The history of this awe-inspiring construction can be dated back to the 7th century, some 1,300 years ago that built by King Songtsen Gampo. With an area of over 360, 000 square meters, Potala Palace is a spectacular castle-like building complex of Lhasa, which is used to be the unification centre of political and religious of Tibet. With grand stele commemorating the architectural achievements of ancient Tibetans, the Potala Palace is truly a cultural treasure on the Tibetan Plateau. In December 1994, it was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. It is a must-visit site for tourists enjoying Tibet tours. The Potala Palace worked as the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas since the 7th century. It symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley. The palace is famous for its grand buildings, complicated constructions, special atmosphere, splendid artworks, precious scriptures, murals, jewels and antiques.
  2. Jokhang Temple, the famous landmark in Tibet, is the irreplaceable representative of Tibetan religion. Located in the center of old Lhasa city, this majestic temple, which with the Barkhor Street surrounded, formed the “heart” of ancient Lhasa. It is said that Jokhang Temple occupies an unchallengeable position of Tibetan Buddhism. Built in 647 by Songtsen Gampo, Jokhang Temple is the oldest civil-structure building in Tibet that has a history of more than 1,300 years. It well mixed Tibetan, Tang-Dynasty, Nepalese and Indian style of architecture together, initiated a new space layout model for Tibetan monastery. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lhasa, it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace’.
  3. Norbulinka Palace, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, lies in a quiet and beautiful garden in the west part of Lhasa. The well preserved murals, superb mandalas and frescoes are fascinating sights not to miss. One particular mural inside depicts the history of Tibet and all the Dalai Lamas. The Dalai Lama was living here during his last days in Tibet. The rooms have remained as they were when the Dalai Lama left in 1959.
  4. Samye Monastery, the first monastery ever built in Tibet, was founded by the Tibetan King Trisiong Detsen and belongs to the Nyingmapa and Sakyapa sects. The construction consists of three styles, namely, the Han, the Tibetan and the Indian. It is said that the monastery was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt three hundred years as the residence of the 6th Dalai Lama. Finally, it was completed by Rating Rimpoche. To visit this monastery a ferry across the Yarlung Zangpo river has to be taken from the road to Tsetang.
  5. Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet. It was founded in 1416 by a disciple of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelukpa School. Drepung Monastery was one of the best schools of the Middle-Ages and during the 1930s it housed over 10,000 monks from all regions of Asia. After the Chinese invasion and the persecution that followed, many of them retreated to India where they started a new monastery. Now only a few hundred monks remain at Drepung, but its history makes it a popular attraction.
  6. Tashilunpo Monastery, the residence of the Panchen Lamas, is one of the six big monasteries in Tibet that located in the central area of Shigatse. It is the oldest monastery in Shigatse which was constructed in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama. But actually the monastery is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking Tulku lineage in the Gelukpa tradition, only after the Dalai Lama. The highlight of the monastery is the statue of Maitreya Buddha made of copper with 22.4 meters high, which looks graceful and dignified in appearance. It is considered to be the highest statue in the world. Standing on the entrance of Tashihunpo, you can see the grand buildings with golden roofs and white walls. The remarkable Tangka wall which is nine-floor high, displays the images of Buddha on the 14th, 15th and 16th of May every year following the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. Since the early 1980s parts of the Tashilhunpo monastery have been open to the public and it is an important tourist attraction in Tibet today.
  7. Mt. Everest, the famous landmark in Tibet, is the highest mountain of the world. It locates at the south part of Tingri County in southern Tibet, the international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point. With a height of 8,848 m above sea level, this mountain is permanently covered with snow. Its body assumes the shape of a pyramid with its peak stabbed the sky. Its snow peak sends out silver radiance year after year. Its waist is hidden in the clouds. With a challenging height, it is the ultimate goal of every mountain lovers.
  8. Yamdok Yumtso, the sacred lake in Tibet, is one of the three largest lakes of Tibet. The lake lies about a hundred kilometers’ distance to the southwest of Lhasa. The surface of the lake, with its fathomless depth, covers some six hundred squire kilometers. To the interior of the lake ten or so hilly islands stand independently one from the other which give homes to flocks of wide ducks. Fish in the lake is plentiful and tasty for diet.
  9. Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar are the remotest and yet popular tourist destinations in Tibet. Mount Kailash is 6,714m high and with its four sheer walls and snow capped peak it is an awe-inspiring sight. For Hindus it is the holiest of the holy place as the abode of Lord Shiva. It also has geographical significance as four great rivers flow from it: the Karnali, the Indus, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra, which drain the vast Tibetan Plateau to contribute to the Ganges in India. Kailash is an object of devout pilgrimage also for the Buddhists. Likewise, Lake Manasarovar is situated approximately 30km from Mt. Kailash and is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. The sacred lake is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus, as it is believed that bathing in the holy waters will cleanse one’s sins.
  10. The Namtso Lake, one of the three holy lakes in Tibet, is perched near the Dangxiong County in the middle of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Standing 4,710 meters above the sea level, it is the highest salt water lake in the world. Located on the border between Damxung County and Baingoin County, Nagqu, Tibet, Namtso is renowned as one of the most beautiful places in the Nyainqêntanglha mountain range with pure clean water which reflected the color of the sky. Thus, the local people named it Nam as in Tibetan language, Nam means “Sky”. There are 5 islands lie on the water, which is said that they are embodiments of gods. Every year, hundreds of thousands pilgrims come here to worship the Holy Spirit it represented.

Top 7 Tibet Overland Tours

September 4, 2013

Tibet, the mystical land of spirituality, is the heart of Buddhist culture and philosophy. The Roof of the World is the most mesmerizing destinations not only for the geographical and natural enchants but also for long historical, culture and religion traditions. Spiritual traditions, temples and monasteries, lakes and rivers, and mighty snow clad peaks are just a few of the intoxicating wonders that appeal the visitors to visit Tibet at least once in a lifetime.

 

TIBET

TIBET

 

 

The top 7 Tibet Overland Tours are the ultimate finest ways to explore Tibet’s landmarks. The overland tours are highly customized to cover Tibet’s cultural, religious, and natural wonders in a best possible way.

1. Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Tour promises to be an experience of lifetime as you get to look at the stunning landscape, architecture and the spiritual populace of Tibet. The overland journey from Kathmandu to Lhasa, over spectacular Passes and revealing views of the majestic Himalayas, traverses through the “Friendship Highway”. The drive is well worth as you encounter some enchanting Buddhist monasteries and remote villages untouched by modern civilization. While approaching Lhasa, you will be able to notice the Potala Palace, a vast white and ochre fortress that dominates the Lhasa’s skyline. The Jokhang temple, 2 km to the east of the Palace, has become the spiritual hub of the country. Bustling with worshippers and redolent with mystery, the Jokhang is an unrivalled Tibetan experience. The medieval Barkhor Bazaar with crowds, street performers, hawker’s stalls selling everything from prayer flags to jewel-encrusted yak skulls and the devout touching their foreheads to the ground at every step to Jokhang is an exotic brew that few newcomers can resist. A visit to Drepung monastery is well worth the effort and for some can be a very enlightening experience. The Norbulingka Palace along with a round of the Sera monastery is the other attraction of this tour.

2. Lhasa to Kathmandu Tour passes through wonderful scenery dominated by green meadows, river gorges, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls and enchanting flora and fauna in the Himalayas. Besides, mingle with the local people, who are following the same lifestyle for thousands of years, enjoy their reception with Tibetan Yak butter tea. Tibet, once Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom, has captured the hearts and minds of the travelers from all around the world since the ancient times. The highland of Tibet and its typical geographical position has been exploited since the ancient times by explorers and adventurers, pilgrims, traders, and even missionaries. Whether you are a spiritual seeker in search of the mystery of life or seeking an adventure, this epic journey across the Tibetan Plateau into the remotest and mystical highlands takes you to the land of paradise in Earth. This tour explores Lhasa as well as other famous places such as Gyantse, Shigatse, and Sakya. In Lhasa, you visit most holy Jokhang temple, see the legendary eighth-wonder Potala Palace, Norbulinka Palace, Drepung, Sera Monastery and more. On the way, you will be viewing the most exotics of Tibet:  Yamutso Lake, Pelkhor and Tashilunbu monasteries.

3. Explore Tibet helps you to explore stunning Himalayan views, high plateau, beautiful Buddhist monasteries and extraordinary people of Tibet. In Tibet, you will travel around Tsedang, Yumbulakhang, Thandruk, Samye, Tsurpu, and Ganden monasteries. Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaaar, Sera and Drepung Monasteries, and Tibetan Nunnery and Tibetan Medicine Center will be the prime attractions of this tour while you are strolling around Lhasa. Of course, you will also cover Tibet’s famous turquoise lake, Yamadroke Lake. Truly speaking, this tour suits to those who are interested to experience the people, culture, monks, monasteries, land and palaces of Tibet

4. Explore Lhasa, the shortest possible tour of Lhasa, is very popular amongst international travelers. The tour begins and ends in the heart of Tibet, Lhasa, and covers popular landmarks of this beautiful city such as the Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, the Tibet Museum and Barkhor Bazaar. You also visit a number of impressive Tibetan monasteries in Lhasa like Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Jokhang Temple. They are all amazing monasteries with a history and religious relevance of their own. This tour also takes you further to the outskirts of Lhasa where you visit the 15th century Ganden Monastery and explore the Drayerpa Cave, which is still a meditative sanctuary for Tibetan monks.

5. Extended Tour of Lhasa begins and ends in Lhasa with visits to other beautiful Tibetan cities and towns like Tsedang, Gyantse, Shigatse and Rongbuk. You will also accomplish one of the major highlights of our tour, reaching the Everest Base Camp. The tour of Lhasa covers popular Tibetan landmarks like the amazing Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Tibet Museum, Barkhor Bazaar and Gyantse Dzong. You also visit a number of impressive Tibetan monasteries like Sera, Drepung, Jokhang, Samye, Khumbum, Phalkot, Tashilhunpo and Sakya. Each of these monasteries has their own history and religious importance. Another important aspect of this tour is the opportunity to explore the Namtso Lake, one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, also believed by many as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

6. Explore Lhasa and Tsedang with Namtso Lake covers popular landmarks in Lhasa and Tsedang with a day tour of the Namtso Lake. In Lhasa, you visit the astonishing Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, Tibet Museum and Barkhor Bazaar. Furthermore, you stroll around a number of Lhasa’s impressive Tibetan monasteries like Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Jokhang Temple. In Tsedang,you visit the 8th century Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. A separate day is set aside to explore the Namtso Lake, one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet.

7. Lhasa to Kathmandu Mountain Bike Tour is another best way of making Tibet Overland Tour. The biking overland tour of Tibet travels through the land of ancient Buddhist culture having awesome landscapes, artistic monasteries and centuries’ old caravan trails. The biking adventure in the Himalayas comes across a sacred land of myths and mysteries inhabited by the ever smiling people. Tibet has not only exerted magnetic spell upon travelers for centuries but also upon spies, missionaries, scholars, geographers, mystics, soldiers and cranks etc. Tibet being extremely remote and isolated by the most formidable Himalayan ranges, a fascinating world of timeless splendor, unique tradition and breathtaking scenery awaits all travelers.