Whether you are drawn to Tibet for its natural surroundings or culture you will have a diverse experience with lots of extremes. Treks and expeditions encounter mountains, lakes, plains, glaciers, grasslands and more. Tibet's cultural philosophy, religion, and spiritualism can be found in contact with native people and their arts. Architecture, rug weaving, Thangka painting, metal work, butter sculpture, sand mandalas, textiles and jewelry are just few things to be sampled.
The mighty Himalayas, like a silver screen, zigzag along Tibet’s southern horizon adjacent to Nepal. Mount Everest, known locally has Qomolangma, needs no introduction, as it is the world’s highest peak ( 8,848m). The optimal weather season is from April to June for adventurers set on mountaineering. Lhotse (8,516m), the world’s fourth highest peak, Makalu (8,463m), the fifth highest, Cho Oyu (8,201m), the sixth highest and Shisha Pangma (8,012m), the 14th highest, also reside Tibet
The landscape at the northern side of the Himalayas is as attractive as it is in the south. The world’s highest glaciers are found on these slopes, which are mysteriously in wait for man’s exploration. A pilgrimage to Kailas can take you through the northern grasslands with many beautiful lakes to experience Tibetan nomadic life of long ago. Also, Kailas may be approached from another direction that offers a rich view of bird life.
Any trip to the Himalayas promises lots of unforgettable memories!
Lhasa – The Land of Gods
Lhasa is the capital of Tibet. Bordered by the north bank of the Kyichu River, Lhasa is at an altitude of 3,650m above sea level. Its 1,300 year history has put it at the center of politics, economy, culture and religion in Tibet since ancient times.
There are numerous scenic spots and famous historical attractions among which Potala Palace, Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ramoche Temple, Jorkhang Temple and Barkhor Street Market.
Shigatse – The Estate that Fulfills One’s Wishes
Shigatse, is Tibet’s second biggest city and it is the center of transportation and a distribution center for agriculture and husbandry products into the southeast. Monasteries such as Tashilhunpo and Shalu are its major historic attractions.
Yamdrok Yumtso – The Sacred Lake
One of the three largest lakes of Tibet, lies about a hundred kilometers southwest of Lhasa. The surface of the lake covers some six hundred square kilometers. Interior hills form islands that provide homes to flocks of wild ducks. Fish are plentiful and supply a tasty for diet for the locals.
Terrestrial Heat in Tibet
Northern grasslands, called Changthang, bear an extremely cold climate. Eight or nine months a year is the freezing season. Boiling hot springs send cloudy vapors into the air and provide a picturesque landscape. This Terrestrial Heat is eighty–seven km northwest of Lhasa and covers some forty km. You can see underground steams shooting up a hundred meters into the air and can be seen from ten kilometers away.
Founded in 1409 by Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelugpa Sect, this monastery is the earliest of the Three Great Monasteries of Tibet.
Four storied temple of Golden Splendor featuring architecture of the Tang Dynasty from the 7th century AD. Murals and historical relics depict famous figures and stories from the past.
The Karo Ruins
These four to five thousand year old ruins include house architecture, stone paved roads, stone built walls, cave dwellings, and many different kings of chipped stone implements. Their discovery provides new threads for the study of migration and exchange between people of the Neolithic Age.
Ruins of Guge Kingdom
Originally built in the 10th century, historical records show sixteen hereditary kings that dominated this kingdom. The extensive ruins are found on a hillside about 300 meters in height and cover an area of 180,000 square meters. They include more than 300 chapels, 300 caves, 3 stupas and five magnificent temple palaces. In the temples many lively murals and clay sculptures can be still seen.
Tumuli of Ancient Kings
The tombs are massive knolls of earth with flat top-like platforms. There are eight or nine tombs among which some have been identified with Kings Songtsen Gampo, Tride Tsukten and Trisong Detsen.
Established by King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and belonging to the Gelugpa Sect (Order of Excellence), the main building is the Assembly Hall. The images enshrined here are all bronze and the corridors are full of murals.
Situated at three kilometers to the north of Lhasa. Jamchen Choje, a disciple of Tsongkapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect founded sera Monastery in 1419. The Monastery is erected grandly at a mountain slope with a colorful architecture. Sera Monastery together with Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery in Lhasa are known as the Three Great.
Known as the first monastery ever built in Tibet. It 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 for three hundred years as the residence of the 6th Dalai Lama. Finally, Rating Rimpoche completed it.
This monastery is the center of the Sakyapa Sect (White Earth Order). The northern part of the monastery was built in the year 1079 and the southern founded in 1268 by a famous abbot of Sakya named Pagpa. The monastery has great influence over the Tibetan history and cultural development. Owing to its valuable and voluminous amount of Buddhist sutras and cultural remains, the monastery is often considered as the "Tunhuang the Second".