Mt. Kailash: Abode of Lord Shiva

April 2, 2014

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.

kailash

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

Top 5 Adventure Treks to Go for 2014

November 20, 2013

Go for mountain adventure treks in the spectacularly grandest Himalayan region of the world for 2014. The top 5 adventure treks to go for 2014 are in Nepal and Tibet. Nepal, a perfect destination for adventure holiday, prides itself in keeping majestic range of Himalayas including the major tallest peaks in the world. Besides, in exploring Tibet’s age-old intact culture you travel through the Roof of the World. The top 5 adventure treks to go for 2014 in the Himalayas are included here.

Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek

 

  1. Everest Base Camp Trek, one of the top adventure treks in the world, is the grandest walk in the Himalayas. The trek helps you to unleash you passion for adventuring in the Himalayas. The world’s most awe inspiring mountain trail trek takes you to the yards of world famous Sherpas, the quaint Namche Bazzar, the Sagarmatha National Park, the mightiest view point-Kala Patthar, Everest Base Camp itself and close to four of the world’s six tallest peaks Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, and Cho-Oyu – those rise above everything else. Starting the trek through Lukla all the way through the colorful landscapes, you take steep ascent to Namche Bazaar, the capital of Sherpas, where you will be greeted by spectacular mountain vistas. You enjoy the Sherpa village, their culture and monasteries, the mountaineers and wild life museums. While passing through the verdant alpine forest and wildlife, raging glacial rivers and waterfalls, stony trails, mountains, and Buddhist monasteries, you get closer day by day to Everest along with other mighty mountains.
  2. Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the top adventure trek for 2014, is one of the most stunning treks in the world. Throughout the trek, you just imagine being in the company of some of the highest mountains on earth and the magnificence of the sunrise over the snow-capped Himalayas. This stimulating trek to Annapurna Base Camp passes through waterfalls, villages, farmlands, rhododendron forests, and mountain vistas. You also pass through a diverse geographical and cultural variation with amazing ranges of flora and fauna in between. Throughout this trek you enjoy the sheer magnificence of the Himalayas, including two mountains that are above eight thousand meters – Mt. Annapurna (8091 m) and Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m); hospitality and rich culture of the local community and the brilliance of nature.
  3. Everest Advanced Base Camp Trek in Tibet, the heroic and stunning walk in Tibet for 2014, helps you to experience the beautiful mountainous landscape of Tibet, the ‘Roof of the World’, while exposing you to its rich culture and history. Beyond acquainted with Tibetan culture and history, the walk will also be full of adventure and fun. Besides, you visit popular landmarks in Tibet like Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, ancient monasteries like Tashilhunpo, Sera, Drepung, Rongbuk, and Sakya, explore Namtso Lake, and finally reach the Everest Advanced Base Camp, your top adventure destination. Basically, the adventure begins from Lhasa and ends in Kathmandu. In nutshell, the adventure trek takes you to the advanced base camp of the north face of Mt. Everest (in Tibet)-the highest mountain in the world, and offers you cultural experience of Tibet.
  4. Mount Kailash Yatra, one of the top adventure treks to go for 2014, is basically known for its religious value, cultural significance, spiritual importance and thrilling nature. The celestial beauty of Mount Kailash is not only fascinating, it is also one of the greatest pilgrimage destinations for Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon religions from around the world. The Kailash region also includes the two turquoise-blue, pristine high-altitude lakes and that are Mansarovar and Rakshesa. Another uniquely contributing fact to the spiritual aspect of Kailash is that four most sacred rivers of the Indian sub-continent begin from here and those are Sutlej, Karnili, Brahmaputra and Indus.
  5. Upper Mustang Trek, the top adventure treks for 2014, encompasses a spectacular remote Trans-Himalayan mountain region with Tibetan cultural influence. The Upper Mustang region also known as the “Last Forbidden Kingdom” is a treasure trove of thousand years’ old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes. The top adventure journey starting from world’s deepest gorge to the world’s highest regions of  Lo-Mangthang Valley passes through an almost tree-less barren landscape, a steep rocky trails and astounding views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The surprising fact of this region is that the thousands years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle and heritage of this region intact.

See our top 15 picks in the Himalayas

November 13, 2013

Still waiting to get wanderlust adventure? We have got your adventure dream of the year in the Himalayas. Himalayan Glacier’s top 15 picks present this year’s must-trek adventures. Our top 15 picks cover cross-border trek of India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. What could be your interest for travelling in the Himalayan region – cultural, recreational or adventure – our top picks garnish your dream of adventuring in this region. The adventure treks in the Himalayan region will be a once in a lifetime adventure in the company of inspiring and breathtaking scenery. See our top 15 picks to find yourself encircled by majestic vistas of eight-thousanders.

EBC Trek via Gokyo Lakes

EBC Trek via Gokyo Lakes

 

  1. Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek from Nepal (EBC), one of our top epic walks in the Himalayas, offers a huge sense of accomplishment and unbeatable views of beautiful forests, Sherpa villages, glacial moraines and foothills that surround the Everest region. Likewise, the trek takes you closer to the rich Sherpa culture while following the trail of Sir Edmund Hillary to EBC. It will also take you to some of the most popular places in the region like Kala Pathar which provides a stunning view of Everest along with other high mountains and the very famous Tengboche monastery, which is the largest monastery of the region of Nepal. Of course we will be at our final destination, EBC. Overall, the trek materializes the dream of reaching to the base camp of highest peak in the world.
  2. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the most stunning treks in the world, leaves you just being in the company of some of the highest mountains on earth and the splendor of the sunrise over the snow-capped Himalayas. This invigorating trek passes through waterfalls, villages, farmlands, rhododendron forests, and mountain vistas. You also pass through a diverse geographical and cultural variation with amazing ranges of flora and fauna in between. Throughout the trek you enjoy the sheer magnificence of the Himalayas, including two mountains that are above eight thousand meters – Annapurna and Dhaulagiri; hospitality and rich culture of the local community and the brilliance of nature.
  3. EBC Trek via Gokyo Lakes, one of the top adventurous treks in the Everest region, takes you to fabulous Gokyo Valley, the large Ngojumba Glacier, the famous Cho La pass, and the celebrated view points of Gokyo Ri and Kala Patthar along with Everest Base Camp (EBC). The trek further traverses through the landmarks of Everest region in the company of majestically soaring mountains, friendly Sherpas, colorful monasteries and prayer flags, the Namche Bazzar, the Sagarmatha National Park, and many more. Beyond the tranquil glacial lakes, you can enjoy 360 degree panoramic views of four above 8000 m massifs and other mighty mountain ranges from the best view point of Everest Region, the Gokyo Ri.
  4. Makalu Base Camp Trek, one of our top 15 picks in the Himalayas, makes a trek to the base camp of world’s fifth highest mountain. Mount Makalu is a close neighbor of Mt Everest, lying in the northeast region of Nepal. Following the beautiful Barun river valley in the Makalu Barun National Park, you cross various high passes and lakes. While trekking, you rise from lowland of Tumlingtar on the Arun River to one of the highest Base Camps on earth, the Makalu Base Camp at 5000m. While on the way, you will enjoy the views of the highest mountains such as Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Chamlang, Mt. Baruntse and other mighty Himalayan mountains along with Makalu (8481m) itself.
  5. EBC Trek in Tibet, one of the top adventure walks in Tibet, enhances you to experience the beautiful mountainous landscape of Tibet, while exposing you to its rich culture and history. Beyond acquainted with Tibetan culture and history, the trek will also be full of adventure and fun. Besides, you will visit popular landmarks in Tibet like Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, ancient monasteries like Tashilhunpo, Sera, Drepung, Rongbuk, and Sakya, explore Namtso Lake, and finally reach the Everest Advanced Base Camp. Basically, the trek begins from Lhasa and ends in Kathmandu. In nutshell, the trek takes you to the advanced base camp of the north face of Mt. Everest (in Tibet) – the highest mountain in the world.
  6. Everest View Trek, one of our best picks, offers a wide range of spectacular scenery combined with unique cultural encounters with the Sherpa people who inhabit in the high altitude regions of the world. The trek continues through the lush vegetation of Sagarmatha National Park, with pine forests, rhododendron flowers and an abundance of wildlife, to Namche Bazaar (3440m). Furthermore, the trek brings you to the village of Tengboche (3930m), home to the highest Buddhist monastery in the world (4100m) and also reputed by photographers as one of the best places to capture the awesome beauty of Mt. Everest (8848m) and its neighboring peaks.
  7. Bhutan Tour is a special cultural tour to the living masterpiece of ecological conservation of the world today in which you will be introduced to the mystical and unspoiled cultural and natural grandeur of Bhutan. Filled with rugged terrain and steep mountain valleys, Bhutan is sandwiched between Tibet and India. Predominantly a Buddhist country with Vajrayana Buddhism being state religion, Bhutan deliberately preserves its unique way of life, culture and flora and fauna. Along with exploring the rich coniferous forests, glacial lakes, beautiful passes, and amazing views of snow-capped mountains, this tour traverses through various Dzongs, monastic sites and religious legends of Bhutan.
  8. Bhutan Cultural Tour introduces you to the imposing Dzongs, or temple fortresses, that are intrinsic to Bhutanese cultural way of life. You begin this tour from undoubtedly the most beautiful valley in Bhutan, Paro. The masterpieces of Paro like Tiger’s Nest Monastery, 8th century Kichu Monastery, and the national museum will be the prime attractions of this tour. Furthermore, following north along the Thimphu River, you will arrive Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan which is a potpourri of traditional and modern culture. After making excursion of Thimphu, you drive to Punakha valley across picturesque Dochula Pass (3150m) for great views of Himalayan ranges. Beyond exploring Punakha valley, you walk for the Dzong- the famous fertility temple in the region.
  9. Annapurna Circuit Trek, one of our best picks for magical trek, takes you around the entire Annapurna massif reaching the Zenith at Thorong La Pass (5,416m). During the trek, you pass through a diverse geographical and cultural variation with an amazing range of flora and fauna of the region. Just imagine the thrills of walking through world’s deepest Kali Gandaki Gorge, with Annapurna I rising to 8091m to the east and Dhaulagiri hovering at 8167m to the west! Cross the highest pass, Thorong La on the way from Manang to Muktinath, savor the fabulous mountain views from Poon Hill (3,210m) and discover more than ten different culturally rich ethnic groups that reside in different climate zones of Annapurna Circuit.
  10. View of Mt. Kanchendzonga also known as Dzongri Trek is the best choice for an extraordinary mountain adventure into the hinterlands of Mt. Kanchendzonga. The trek lies in Sikkim in the Eastern-Himalayan foothills bordering with Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. The attractions of the trek includes the great preview of a variety of Sikkim’s biodiversity encompassing beautiful rhododendron flowers, bird population and some amazing views landscapes and of course the majestic Himalayan peaks. The trail runs through the meadows of Dzongri at 4,000m with exceptional mountain views. The snow covered mountains, lush dense green valleys, and the extravaganza of nature’s beauty bewilder one’s soul.
  11. Jomsom Muktinath Trek helps you to explore the years old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of Annapurna region. The trek will be the most rewarding once the visitors make an adventurous start from world’s deepest gorge to the world’s highest regions passing through an almost tree-less barren landscape, and panoramic views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The trek gets interesting once the trekkers pass through Jomsom and Kagbeni, the entry point of upper Mustang. The grandeur of the region intensifies as the first glimpse of the windy Tibetan Plateau on the way to the holy Hindu pilgrimage site of Muktinath (3800m) emerges. From Muktinatht downhill to Jomsom, travelers land into the land of “Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang”, and get a glimpse of the ancient traditions still in practice.
  12. Upper Mustang Trek encompasses a spectacular remote Trans-Himalayan mountain area with Tibetan cultural influence. The Upper Mustang region also known as the “Last Forbidden Kingdom” is a treasure trove of thousand years’ old monastery, caves, local tribes and scenic beauties of the different landscapes. The great adventure journey starting from world’s deepest gorge to the world’s highest regions of  Lo-Mangthang Valley passes through an almost tree-less barren landscape, a steep rocky trails and astounding views of Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and several other peaks. The surprising fact of this region is that the thousands years of isolation has kept the culture, lifestyle and heritage of this region intact.
  13. Explore Tibet, one of our best picks, is for those who are interested to experience the people, culture, monks, monasteries, land and palaces 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.
  14. Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, one of our top picks for spiritual walks in the Himalayas, is basically known for its religious value, cultural significance, spiritual importance and thrilling nature. The celestial beauty of Mount Kailash is not only fascinating, it is also one of the greatest pilgrimage destinations for Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon religions from around the world. The Kailash region also includes the two turquoise-blue, pristine high-altitude lakes and that are Mansarovar and Rakshesa. Another uniquely contributing fact to the spiritual aspect of Kailash is that four most sacred rivers of the Indian sub-continent begin from here and those are Sutlej, Karnili, Brahmaputra and Indus.
  15. Nepal Sunrise Tour encompasses some of the most spectaculars natural and cultural destinations of Nepal and you will enjoy the company of dozens of waterfalls and mountains, flora and fauna, and rural villages sprawled over the mountains. The tour starts from Kathmandu valley. The valley holds high number of places recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, and contains three medieval cities famous for their arts and architectures – Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. There are also some interesting cultural centers on the outskirt of the valley: Dhulikhel and Panauti. You make a visit to all these places and end your Kathmandu valley tour with the mesmerizing sunrise views over the Himalayas from Nagarkot. Then, you drive deep into the mountains to the resort town of Daman for a typical mountain experience. Driving further deep into the mountains, you spend a day at Bandipur and continue your journey to the fantastic Lake City, Pokhara.

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.

Mt. Kailash in Tibet – the Most Attractive Cultural Destination

October 25, 2013

Located in the west of Tibet, Ngari is known as the “roof of the world” because its average altitude is over 4,500 meters. In the vast, desolate land of Ngari stands a snow-capped mountain shaped like an enormous pyramid. This is Mt. Kailash, the main peak of Gangdise. With an altitude of 6,656 meters, it is one of the most beautiful mountains in Tibetan Plateau, and listed as one of the must-see places for a tour to Tibet.

Mt. Kailash is called Gang Rinpoche in Tibetan, meaning “Mountain of God”. This mountain is said to be the place where Sakyamuni practiced Buddhism, so it is regarded as the most sacred mountain and the “Center of the World” by Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, ancient Jainism, and Bonism. Over the last few decades, it has been a hot destination that pilgrims and outdoors enthusiasts yearned for.

Pilgrims believe that to walk around the mountain for one circle can erase their sins of a lifetime, while 108 circles break the cycle of rebirth and assure one of nirvana at death. If one walks around it in a year of the horse, one round is equal to 13 rounds because the horse is the zodiac symbol of Buddha Sakyamuni. 2014 is the next year of the horse in Tibetan calendar and may attract over 60,000 pilgrims to travel to Mt.Kailash. Moreover, one can accumulate much more merits if walking around the mountain on the 15th day of the fourth month than any other date in Tibetan calendar, for the date was when Sakyamuni was born, got enlightened, and attained Nirvana.

Not far from the mountain lies a picturesque lake Manasarovar which is also regarded as a sacred destination. Therefore, this place is scenically and culturally attractive. A three-day trekking trip around the mount is the best way to explore it fully. The greatest time is summer and autumn when the weather is pleasant for outdoors activities and the scenery is also amazing. Now Tibet Travel CITS has launched Kailash tour packages for the holy year of 2014.

source: Tibettravel.Org, 22 OCT 2013

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.

7 Reasons to Visit Tibet

December 3, 2012

Are you dreaming of discovering the “Roof of the World” Tibet? Tibet has everything that you’re seeking for other worldly experience. Throughout Tibet and especially in the Himalayan region, life is surrounded by the mysterious landscapes and legends. Imagine a caravan of yaks that progresses slowly in landscapes where snowy peaks, plateaus and mountain lakes are bathed in an extraordinary light, that of the high mountains. From Lhasa’s streets, to medieval towns of Tibet to ancient monasteries, Tibet has long been a mysterious land of lakes and rivers, mighty snow peaks, and temples and monasteries – with its spiritual air, an unearthly mystical land of Buddhist culture and philosophy. Immerse yourself in the world of ancient monasteries, mountains, lakes, springs, and a totally back-to-history lifestyle.

7 Reasons to Visit Tibet

1. Lhasa: Lhasa, the Tibet Capital, is perhaps the most exotic destination in the world. Some of the important landmarks in Lhasa are:

Potala: Perhaps, Potala is the most famous landmark in Tibet. The Potala Palace used to be the winter palace of the Dalai Lama.

Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Street: Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Visit to Barkhor Market can be quite a change from other visits as you roam around the city.

2. Everest Base Camp in Tibet
Everest – ‘The roof of the world’, the highest peak in the world. Interestingly, from Tibet Side, you can drive right up to the Base Camp of the Everest. Most of Tibet’s territory being high mountains above 4,000 meters, the region has rightly earned the nickname of “The Roof of the World.”

3. Mount Kailash & Lake Mansarovar
Mount Kailash (6714 meters) is perhaps the most sacred mountain in the world. For the Hindus, Kailash is the abode of Lord Shiva and the region of Mount Meru. Mount Kailash is also origin of many Himalayan rivers including the four greatest rivers of Asia. Mt. Kailash and Lake Mansarovar hold an important place among the followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, Bön and Jainism.

4. Monasteries in Tibet:
The 14th century Drepung Monastery, which lies on the Gambo Utse Mountain about 8km west of central Lhasa, used to be one of world’s largest monasteries.
Yambulakhang was the summer palace of Songtsen Gompa and his wife before Norbulingkha was completed
The Samye Monastery or Samye Gompa is considered to be the first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet.

5. Dzongsar Valley & Horse Racing Festival:
The Dzongsar region is an isolated and exotic place to visit in Tibet. Visit the 13th century Dzongsar Monastery which is perched on a steep cliff. During the Litang Horse Festival celebrated in August, people from the whole region come here to trade, celebrate, ride, and compete with each other.

6. Kham & Derge:
Derge, also called Dege, is the cultural center of Kham area as well as Tibetan Printing Center. Derge is the birthplace of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, the founder and guide of the Dzogchen Community in the West. At an early age, he was recognized as the reincarnation of Adzam Drugpa, another great teacher of Dzogchen.

7. Garuda Valley:
The legendary Garuda Valley, lying southwest of Mt Kailash, is one of the center points of the ancient Zhang Zhung Kingdom. The Garuda Valley still contains mysterious caves some of which have never been explored. For those interested in the archeological and historical sites, Garuda Valley offers a magnificent exploration.

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