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India Tours & Travel Plans >> Tibet Tours >> Destinations of Tibet

Destinations of Tibet
[ Lhasa | Tsetang | Shigatse | Zhangmu | Nyalamu | Gutsuo | Xegar | Lhaze | Xigatse | Gyantse | Nagarje ]


Tibet's capital Lhasa (11,850 ft.) was, and still is, the religious, cultural and economic centre of Tibet with a history going back over 1,300 years. The magnificent Potala Palace, former seat of the Dalai lama, presides over the city. Built in 1645 at the top of a hill, the palace contains 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and 200,000 religious statues. The old city revolves around the Jhokhang Temple and the quaint Barkhor market that surrounds it. The Jhokhang, built in the seventh century, is the holiest Buddhist shrine in Tibet. Its mural paintings finely worked golden roofs and other artworks are something to see. At a little distance from the old city core, Lhasa is also a modern capital of concrete high-rises, fancy department stores and wide boulevards. Norbulingka consists of wooded greenery and three palaces once used by the Dalai Lama as summer retreat. Drepung Monastery lies about 10 km from the city. Built in 1416, it is the largest monastery in Tibet. The Sera Monastery, about 5 km to the north of Lhasa, is another important center of Buddhist learning. Sera Monastery: Sera means Hail stone in Tibetan. Set on the foot of the Wudu hill to the north of Lhasa city, Sera comprises of a great sutra chanting hall, a college and 32 sections. Jokhang Temple: Jokhang temple built in 647 A.D. is the spiritual centre of Tibet and the holiest destination for Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims. It houses the sitting statue of Sakamuni when he was 12 years old. Barkhor Bazaar: is the oldest street of ancient Lhasa city, circling the Jokhang Temple. Potala palace: Potala palace, located on the Red Hill, was built in 640 A.D. during the region of Songtsen Gampi. The original Potala palace was destroyed in the 9th century but was rebuilt in the 17th century. During the region of the 5th Dalai Lama. Monastery is situated to the west of Lhasa city and was founded in 1417 by one of the disciples of Tsong Khampa. It was the largest and richest of the three major yellow sect monasteries in Lhasa. Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in western Tibet are intensely scared pilgrimage sites for the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Bon faithful - besides presenting an entrancing natural sight. Kailash is 1,257 km over a mountain highway from Lhasa.



To the east of Lhasa Gonggha airport is Tsetang,the political and economical centre of Shangnan is located between two mountain ranges(at the nothern side of Himalayas,to the south of Nyanchen Tanggula mountains,just by the Yalong zangbu river,with land area over 800,000 square kelomiters.the Yalong river flows from the sourh through the area and empty itsself into Yalong zangbu river,hence the Yalong river formed a huge river delta at its end when it merges into another.there are sevral No.1s-- the first farming land,the first king of Tibet,the first palace (Yhongbulakhang),the first monastery in Tibet(Samye monastery) and several kings tombs are here,the world treasure-Pearl thangka( A type of painting ) was also and is still kept in Changdrok monastery.the Chenpu meditation caves area(located to the north of Samye monastery) is still a dream place for Tibetan Budhism this place,you can have a touch and vist to the holy lake Larmulatso--which was and now srtill is the image reflection watching lake for finding clues to choose the reincarlated boy of the Past Dalhai Lhama and Panchan Lhama.



It is the center of Shigatse prefecture, about 285 kms to the west of Lhasa city and the joining part of Yalong zangbu and Niantsu river,over 5 hours drives along the Yalong zangbu river.the meaning of it ,by local langhuage,is “the most fertile farming land.”in 13th and 14th century,here was the capital of Tibet under the Yuan dynasty's support.the population is around 100,000 in town area.Mt.Everest ,Mt.Makalu,Mt.Luozi and Mt.Choaoyou are the most famous mountains in the world,such monasteries as Tashilunpo,Xilu,Nhatang,Perkhor are famous and well known in Tibet and across the world,thereis an old saying to descript the beauty of the ladies in Shigatse area:Best horses from Amdo,Brave men from Chamdo,looking for beautiful ladies ,come to Shigatse.



Zhangmu (7,000ft.) better known by its Tibetan name, Khasa, is a small settlement clinging to a hillside 10 Km inland from the Friendship Bridge across the Bhotekoshi rover. After the closure of the Chinal India border from Gangtok, Zhangmu has become the major trading post between Tibet and Nepal. The climate is quite different from the hinterland. The hills around Zhangmu are heavily wooded with innumerable waterfalls in the summer and frozen 'icicles' during the winter. It has a bank, a post office, government store, and is presently undergoing a construction boom to meet the demands of trade and tourism.



Nyalamu (12,200 ft.), known as 'Kiti' to Nepalese traders, used to be an important trade post tucked into a fertile valley. Now-a-days, barrack style Chinese communes surround the typical old, flat roofed, mud-brick houses. Although vegetation is sparse, one can see and abundance of alpine fauna on the hillside during the summer months.



Gutsuo (14, 200 ft.) is a military base camp situated at the start of the plateau, after passing through the Thongla pass (16,400 ft.) from where a most panoramic views of the northern face of the Himalayan range unfolds. The best view of Mt. Everest and its neighbouring peaks can be seen from the road at Gutsuo. Accommodation here would be in tented camps or at the barracks itself.



Xegar (13,800 ft.) is a new Chinese commune built at the foot of the ruins of Xegar Dzong, and is 7 Km from the main road. With a population of 3,000, its importance lies in the fact that it is the centre of this large and remote where country and also a base from where expeditions to Mt. Everest and other peaks are launched.



Lhaze (13,100 ft.) is situated at the crossroads from where the road turns westwards towards Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. During the short summer season, the whole valley is covered with green barely fields and bright- yellow mustard meadows, and is a welcome change after the barren lands of the Tibetan plateau. There is also a small, hot spring located a few kilometers away.



Xigatse (12,600) is most famous for its Tashilhunpo Monastery - the seat of the Panchen lama, who is regarded as the reincarnation of the Buddha of Endless Enlightenment. Items of interest inside this monastery built in 1447 by the first Dalai Lama are : the relics of Sakyamuni, the Hall of Maitreya, and a mind-boggling collection of Thankas, frescoes and statues. There is a bustling 'free' market at the foot of the ruins of the Xigatse Fortress where one can buy local handicrafts, embedded with coral and turquoise, Tibetan daggers, Chinese procelain and yak butter.



Gyantse (13,050 ft.) is a small agriculture town famous for its wool carpets and the Phalkor Choide Chorten. Amongst the lamasery and the fort, this unique structure built in 1414 consist of five steps to enlightening the five storeys representing the five steps to enlightenment, topped by thirteen rings which symbolise the stages of advancement towards Buddhahood. There are 108 halls inside, each with frescoes showing a strong Indian coming from Kalimpong and Gangtok (India) used to enter Tibet through Yandong and then to Gyantse, enrouted to Lhasa.



Nagarje (14,300 ft.) is settlement by the shores of Yamdrok lake. This freshwater lake, unlike other Tibetan lake, is sweet and non-saline, extending for 624 sq. Km., in the shape of the two pincers of a large scorpion. During summer, it is turquoise green in colour, but during winter it has thick crust of ice over it. It is abundant in fish and migratory birds can be seen in its vicinity. At a mountain pass at of 16,000 ft. enroute Nagarje one can see, even in summer, the holy pinpointed glacier.



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