Shangri-La conjures up the image of an earthly paradise; a utopia located high in the Himalayan Mountains; a mythical paradise of happiness and isolation. Tibetan scriptures describe Shangri-La as having been created as a refuge for Buddhists during times of turmoil. Tibet, the ‘forbidden’ land, protected by the great Himalayan chain in the south and west, and even more inhospitable mountains to the north and east, has haunted the ambition of travelers for centuries, and it is only in the last twenty years that more than a handful of travelers have managed to penetrate its remote secrets. Although there are now frequent visitors to Tibet the allure is still there: the very remoteness, inaccessibility and mystery are still enough to attract most people. Tibet is a land of great beauty, of vast landscapes and glittering peaks, high altitude desert, densely forested gorges, brilliant skies, clean rivers, and little modern development. Read More
Om Namah Shivay to everybody. Last month to day we completed our Kailash Yatra with a unique experience of Helicopter.What I experienced was:I was close to a his adobe according to scripture where “We are nobody, because he is everything, because we are within him” I mean Lord SHIVA.I experienced that what a human being can achieve with Faith and Determination. Because it was these two elements with OM NAMAH SHIVAY drove Yatris thru barren mountain range in cold and low oxygen climate.It was amazing to experience that Nature is mightier than man though we were lucky and blessed that the weather during 3 days of “KORA” was friendly and all 20 of us made thru. FYI I heard that a good number of Yatris from Florida Group (led by Roshni Patel) a week after us could not make it.I will be really thankful to Lina and Himalayan Glacier for planning smooth transition from 4000 feet in Kathmandu to 19,500 at Dolma La. I am also grateful to a team of Sherpas who’s sincere and skillful support made everything possible.
Tibet is all you’ve heard and everything you’ve imagined: a land of intense sunshine and towering snowcapped peaks, where crystal clear rivers and sapphire lakes irrigate terraced fields of golden highland barley. The Tibetan people are extremely religious, viewing their daily toil and the harsh environment surrounding them as challenges along the path to life’s single goal, the attainment of spiritual enlightenment. The region’s richly decorated monasteries, temples, and palaces—including the Potala Palace—were not constructed by forced labor, but by laborers and artisans who donated their entire lives to the accumulation of good karma. Here are top 8 things to do in this magical land.
Over the centuries pilgrims have constantly been braving their way to Mt. Kailash in order to attain spiritual enlightenment despite the harsh weather and often forbidding terrain. Hike the age-old pilgrims’ path around Mt. Kailash, Asia’s holiest mountain. The holy Kailash Circuit (parikrama or kora) is the three-day ritual circumbulation that takes you along a 52km kora. The circuit is considered to be the holiest of all Hindu as well as Buddhist pilgrimages and is believed that a single circuit erases the accumulated sins of a lifetime while 108 circumbulation will achieve salvation or nirvana. Read More
The land of the snows, the roof of the world – 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.
The cultural, political and economic hub of Tibet, Lhasa is the heart and soul of Tibet, and an object of devout pilgrimage. Visit Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace, Jokhang Temple Sera and Drepung monasteries to explore the spiritual side in you. The Jokhang Temple and Barkhor circumbulation circuit is filled with pilgrims from all over and innumerable shops and wayside peddlers selling everything from prayer flags to yak skulls!
Winding through India, Nepal and China (Tibet), the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra is a gritty test of will and endurance, but its rewards are manifold and ethereal.Over the centuries pilgrims have constantly been braving their way to Mt. Kailash in order to attain spiritual enlightenment despite the harsh weather and often forbidding terrain. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is undertaken by thousands of Yatris every year and is best known for its religious value, cultural significance, and entrancing natural beauty.Here are 5 interesting facts on the holy Mt. Kailash – Mansarovar: Read More
1. Don’t Forget Your Tibet Entry Permit:
All non-Chinese passport holders need a Tibet Entry Permit to visit Tibet, and the only way to enter Tibet is to travel in groups. No individual travelers are allowed to travel to Tibet at the moment. All tours must be booked in advance by a Chinese travel agency. Your whole tour in Tibet must be accompanied by a licensed tour guide.
2. Best Times to Visit:
In general, the best time to visit Tibet is from May to October when the weather is pleasant. It is also regarded as Tibet’s golden travel seasons.
3. Consider flying into Tibet and Taking a Train out:
The quickest and most convenient way is to fly in and fly out. But if you want to experience the train trip, and see amazing mountain plateau views then you should fly in and take a train out.
4. Plan Your Tour Far Enough in Advance:
All Tibet Tours must be booked at least 20 days in advance. Usually it takes 2-3 days to confirm hotel bookings and almost 10 days more for the Tibet Tourism Bureau to issue the Tibet Entry Permit. You should make sure you secure an Entry Permit, especially if new restrictions are brought in, before you apply for a visa and make the final preparations for your trip, unless you are willing to consider alternatives to Tibet once you arrive in China. If your travel is limited to areas around Lhasa, 4 days is enough whereas if you want to go to Mt. Everest, you are recommended at least one week duration for your Tibet visit.
5. What to Pack/Carry/Wear:
- Clothes: Warm clothes, such as sweaters and fleeces are needed even in summer as the day-night temperature drop is big. A thick down coat is essential if you go to the Everest. If you go in the low season bring mountain winter clothes.
- Lip cream: It is very dry so bring a lip cream to protect your lips.
- Sunscreen cream
- Comfortable walking shoes: Almost all monasteries have steep steps to climb.
- Snacks if your tour includes long road trips
- Altitude sickness medicine: Taking the medicine one day before arriving at high altitude increases effectiveness.
- Motion sickness medicine if you have motion sickness on long mountain road journeys.
- Anti-diarrhea medicine: Tibetan food is very different from what you are probably used to, and it may not agree with your digestive system.
- A good camera
The unit of currency is Chinese Yuan. The Bank of China can exchange all foreign currencies. The banks in Tibet/China are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Travelers Cheques and credit cards are very difficult to be cashed outside the banks especially outside Lhasa. ATM facilities are easily available in Lhasa and Shigatse; however, it may be difficult to find one in other smaller towns or in remote places.
7. Must-See Attractions:
- The Potala Palace
- Jokhang Temple
- Sera Monastery
- Drepung Monastery
- Yamdrok-Tso Lake
- Tashilunpo Monastery
- Mt. Everest
8. Keep Healthy:
Try to keep healthy and not catch a cold before entering and while in Tibet, as illness makes any altitude sickness feel worse. Take it easy and rest well, keep warm, drink a lot of water, and eat simply the first two days in Tibet to reduce any altitude sickness symptoms.
9. Respect the Tibetan People and Avoid Trouble:
Do not talk about sensitive topics like politics when in Tibet. Taking photos of Buddha statues is not allowed in the majority of Tibetan monasteries. In some monasteries, such as Tashilhunpo Monastery, you can take pictures of the Buddha statues after paying some money. Ask permission first before taking pictures of other people in Tibet. Sometimes they will even ask you for money. Do not enter monasteries without permission. Smoking is not allowed when visiting monasteries. Dress properly, not in shorts or sunglasses.
10. Know the Local Conditions and Lower Your Expectations:
Keep in mind that you travel to Tibet for its old culture and scenery, but not comfort. Visiting a Tibetan house will probably be a big culture shock. The facilities and service standard of hotels in Tibet is not what you would expect from a hotel with the same rating elsewhere. Hotels in Lhasa are relatively comfortable with heating systems and hot water in winter. Some star-rated hotels have in-house doctors to take care of minor discomforts. Whereas hotels in small cities and towns outside Lhasa only have very basic facilities, some even without a heating system and hot water in the freezing winter.
The sixth highest mountain (8,201 meters) in the world and the most frequently climbed 8,000m peak, Cho Oyu needs no introduction. Often regarded as a stepping-stone to an attempt on Everest, Cho Oyu presents one with an excellent opportunity to extend one’s experience to extreme altitudes. The literal meaning of Cho Oyu is “Goddess of Turquoise’, as its stark shadows appear turquoise against the light of the setting sun when viewed from Tibet. Located on the Tibet and Nepal border and a part of the Great Himalaya Trail, this expedition not only tests your limits in high altitudes but also provides a unique chance to experience the Himalayan Tibetan culture. Read More
Situated in the south-western part of Tibet bordering the Kumaon hills and Nepal, is Mt. Kailash, Asia’s most sacred mountain. Mt. Kailash is a mountain divine and holy to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bon-Pos, those adherents of ancient animistic beliefs. It dominates the region with the sheer awesomeness of its four-sided summit, and its centrality in the mythology of a billion of people. The supreme mountain is believed to be the physical embodiment of the mythical Mt. Meru from Sanskrit, said to be the center of the universe or ‘navel of the world’ that forms the axis of this world system.
To Hindus, Kailash is the abode of Shiva and nearby Manasarovar Lake is the soul of Brahma. Tibetans call Kailash Kang Rimpoche. Jains worship it as Mt Ashtapada, the peak from which the religion’s founder, Rishabanatha, achieved spiritual liberation. Followers of Bon-Po, the ancient pre- Buddhist shamanistic religion of Tibet, revere Kailas as the soul of Tibet. Read More