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.
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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