TIBET- a sacred land of myths and mysteries was opened for tourism in 1985. Before this, it avoided influence from the west and this country developed its unique culture and religion independently. Since the spiritual leaders governed Tibet, monasteries and religious institutions were the backbone of power so the importance and prestige were shown by the size and magnificent architecture of these buildings. Tibetan Buddhism contains many elements of their older religion,” Bon Po” which worshipped the sky, moon, sun, fire, soil and even evil spirits and this is why a monastery such as Tashilhumpo contains thousands of unique statues, paintings (thangka), religious and historical books that to visit it in detail would take weeks. Pilgrims till today often travel long distances to have their wishes fulfilled and crowd the monasteries which shows that religion still holds a very important place in their daily lives.
Tibet – extremely remote and isolated by the most formidable Himalayan range in a fascinating world of timeless splendor, unique tradition and breathtaking scenery awaits all travelers to "”the Roof of the World”;.
After arrival at Gonggar Airport in Tibet complete immigration formalities start scenic drive along with Bramhaputra river passing through barley and wheat fields brings you to the third largest city in Tibet, Tsedang. En route Tsedang you stop at Nyethang, a temple built in 10th century by Atisa, an Indian Buddhist. The temple contains interesting artifacts and hold significant importance in Tibetan Buddhism, meet, assist and start.Upon arrival in Lhasa Check in at Hotel Tsedang. Overnight at The Tsedang hotel in Tsedang.
After breakfast start drive to Lhasa via Yarlung Valley. According to ancient Tibetan history, Tibetan Civilization originated from Yarlung valley. Over there you can spot massive burial mounds of Tibetan Kings. Today’s sights also include Tandruk monastery, a 7 th century monastery, which holds a fantastic carved wooden altar, interesting relics and murals. Later on drive to Lhasa.
Overnight at hotel.
Am: Visit the Norbulingkha: The ‘Jewel Park’ as it is known in Tibetan, was built in the 18th century and served as the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. This colorful garden landscape was the site of picnic and public gatherings. The place is richly decorated, creating an atmosphere of peaceful repose.
Pm: Visit the SERA Monastery: 5 Km (3 miles) north of Lhasa. Sera’s setting is one of the prettiest Once a community of more than 5,000 monks, it was virtually extinguished by the Chinese invasion. The restored monastery sits below the brow of the hill on which Tsongkhapa built a hermitage and spent several years in meditation. One of the monk & disciples started building the Sera in 1419 AD”. Overnight at hotel.
Am: After breakfast visit Potala Palace, this legendary palace built atop a single hill is synonymous with Tibet. The first King Songtsen Gampo expanded it to its present structure during the 17th century. This 13 storey, 1000 room citadel served as the headquarters of the former Church-state" of Tibet and was home to successive Dalai Lamas who, from the later half of the 18th century used it as their "Winter Palace".
Pm: Jokhang Temple: Situated in the heart of old Lhasa houses Tibet’s most precious religious relic, a golden Sakyamuni Buddha which was brought as a gift by the Chinese princess Wen Cheng on her wedding to the Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. Devout pilgrims prostrate themselves at the entrance of the temple and make the inner holy circuit to offer yak butter to the gods and pay homage to the golden statue of Sakyamuni. Surrounding the Jokhang Temple is the busy bustling Barkhor Bazaar. A marketplace, which is the religious and social focus of Lhasa. This is the Spiritual Center of Tibet and is also the heart of Lhasa. Overnight at hotel.
Today we start our overland journey towards Kathmandu. Traveling by jeep along the Friendship Highway we cross the Khamba La (4794m) from which there is stunning views across the waters of Yamdrok-tso Lake to the snowy summit of Nazin Kang Sa [7252m]. We continue westwards over another high pass the Karo La [5045m] where we are treated to the spectacular sight of a huge glacier tumbling down to within a few hundred meters of the road. After passing through beautiful valleys and colorful Tibetan villages we arrive in the town of Gyantse for Lunch.
After lunch we have time to visit Gyantse Dzong and Gyantse Kumbum. The Dzong is a fort dating from the 14th century from which there are amazing views of both Gyantse itself and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. The Kumbum is a large gold-domed stupa and its many small chapels house an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Am: After breakfast visit Tashilhunpo Monastey. This monastery is one of the largest functioning Monastery in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding wall. Later visit local market and have lunch
in a nice restaurant.
After lunch continue along the Friendship Highway, marveling once more at the barren yet spectacular landscape of Tibet to Lhasa.
Dinner and overnight at hotel.