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Tibet

 Tibet is most unusual and beautiful place. The majority of its land rests above 4000 meters and it is bounded by the Kunlun Mountains to the north and the Himalaya to the south. The awe- inspiring Himalayas are the highest in the world, as is the never ending Tibetan Plateau. It is a place for the rugged adventures as well as the spiritual wanders.

Tibet covers an area of 1.2 million sq km. And has a population of 2.3 million.

The region covers more than 1.2 million square kilometers, accounting for one eighth of China’s total land mass, and ranking second in China.

Tibet’s capital Lhasa is a cultural city with a history going back 1,300 years. The magnificent Potala Palace, former sear of the Dalai Lamas, 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.

 Capital: Lhasa

Population: 3,002,166

Area: 1.2m sq km

Language: Tibetan

Places to visit in Tibet

Lhasa (3650m): Lhasa is an ancient city which has about 1,400 year’s history. The population was less than 30,000 when it was peacefully liberated in 1951. The so-called city at that time was referring to Barkhor Street and the place around it which was less than 3 square kilometers. After Tibet Autonomous Region was established in 1965, Lhasa was set as the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.

Potala Palace: Potala dominates the Lhasa skyline from every corner. Originally there were buildings from 640 AD but the present Potala palace was built in 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama. It has served as the residence of the Dalai Lamas .It is 117 m high, 13 storied and has 1000 rooms. Different sections of the palace houses a great wealth of cultural and art objects of Tibet. Many parts of the palace, now turned to a museum are open for the visitors.

Jokhang Temple: About 2 km east of Potala and built in 647 AD, Jokhang is the holiest and the most active of the Buddhist temples in Tibet. Jokhang was built by the greatest of the Tibetan King Shrong Tsong Gompo to house the Buddha image brought from Nepal by his Nepalese wife Bhrikuti.

Norbulingka Palace: Norbulingka, 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. Here you can also see the cars which the Great 13th Dalai Lama imported to Tibet.

Shigatse (3900m): Situated around 250 km south west of Lhasa via the new highway, Shigatse is the second largest city in Lhasa. It has long been an important trading town and administrative centre and the traditional capital of Tsang province .Mostly interesting here for tourists are the famous Tashilhunpo monastery and the traditional market. Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the largest functioning Buddhist monasteries in Tibet and there is much to explore within its high surrounding walls. It contains the world’s largest brass statue of Maitreya Buddha, which is over 80 feet tall and has extremely delicate features. Tashilhunpo is also the traditional residence of the Panchen Lama, second only in religious importance to the Dalai Lama himself.

Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar: These two places 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.
Lake Manasarovar is situated approximately 30km from Mt. Kailash and is one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. This beautiful and 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. With views to Gurla Mandhata (7,728m) on the backdrop, this is a place of serene beauty. On the northwest shore of the lake is the picturesque Chiu Monastery.

Namtso Lake: Situated at an altitude of 4720m Namtso Lake is a popular tourist destination in Tibet. It is a heavenly lake as one finds described in story books. The water is blue and crystal clear. In the skyline are beautiful White Mountains. The surrounding plain is dotted with yak herds and nomad camps making the scenery more intoxicating. This is the biggest lake in Tibet and highest salt water lake in the world. Summer is the best time to visit Namtso Lake. Never take a visit to Namtso Lake lightly, take proper care for acclimatization.

Everest Base Camp: The northern Everest Base Camp is one of the highlights for adventure travelers in Tibet and it provides stunning views of the Everest massif, as well as Makalu and Shishapangma. The spectacular Rongbuk glacier forms part of the amazing panorama you will be able to enjoy from your tent. Rongbuk monastery, which was founded in 1902 has a series of meditation caves which had been in use for over 400 years, is the last hint of civilization in this area. The lama here traditionally blesses all expeditions aiming for the summit of Mt. Everest. The trek to “Advance Base Camp” provides even more incredible views and a real sense of the awesome grandeur of Mt Everest.

Gyantse (3950m): Situated 254 km south-west of Lhasa, Gyantse is the least Chinese influenced towns in Tibet. Here, we’ll visit the Gyantse Dzong and Gyantse Kumbum. The Dzong is a fort dating back to the 14th century and the views of both Gyantse itself and the surrounding Nyang Chu Valley. It was here that the Tibetans bravely fought the British invasion by Colonel Young husband in 1904, at the height of British colonial aspirations in Asia. The Mandala-shaped Kumbum is a large gold-domed stupa and its many small chapels house an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals.

Sera Monastery: Though not as big as Drepung it is another big and important Gelukpa monastery in Lhasa which has served as “university monastery “. It is about five km north of central Lhasa. Built in 1419 it was the home for 5000 monks in the days of its highest glory, though the number now is reduced to few hundreds. Like Drepung it houses different colleges to teach Buddhist Philosophy. In the debating courtyard you can see the monks debating from 3 to 4 pm.

Important Issues regarding Tibet travel permits

  • Tibet travel permits may be acquired through a travel agency, except by the following groups of people: diplomats, journalists, and government officials; People falling within these categories need to contact the Foreign Affairs Office of the Tibetan Government in order to arrange a permit.
  • After you have got a Tibet travel permit, a travel agency can buy you the air tickets, and only with the permit in hand can you pass the airport check-in counter.
  • Once in Tibet, your tour guide is required to retain your permit. You may not carry it on your person, or travel within Tibet with it in your possession. The Alien Travel Permit is required for travel outside of Lhasa. If you attempt to travel outside of Lhasa with only a Tibet entry permit and are stopped by the police, you will be sent out of Tibet, and could face legal difficulties. Furthermore, the travel agency which helped you acquire the permit could also face sanctions.
  • Do not trust a travel agency that offers to sell you a Tibet travel permit without requiring you to book a tour. No legitimate travel agency will offer “permit-only” service. Avoid wasting your money, as this is almost certainly a scam.
  • There is a service charge (imposed by the government) that must be paid in order to get a Tibet travel permit. ATT will also charge a minimal fee for the time, paper work, and to reimburse the transportation and delivery fees involved in acquiring a Tibet travel permit.

 

General Information

Tibet is a high desert plateau consisting of sparse grasslands and gravely plains.

Altitude sickness: is the effect of the thin air at great heights. Travelers to Tibet may suffer some discomfort like breathlessness and headaches before becoming acclimatized. Many hotels keep bottled oxygen for emergencies.

Access: China Southwest Airlines operates direct flight between Kathmandu and Lhasa (One hour) the trans-Himalayan overland journey retraces the old mule caravan route (962 km, three to six days) Lhasa is also connected to BeijingXianChengdu and Chongqing by air.

Season: March through October is the best time to visit. Layered clothing is recommended as day and night-time temperatures vary greatly. Down Jackets are required from October to March (there is snow) the rainy season is June-September. The mean temperature is 8 degrees Celsius in the south and 0 degrees in the north.

Adventure: Trekking, mountaineering and mountain biking.

Accommodation: There are modern hotels and restaurants in Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and Tsetang.                                                             

 

 

 

What Our Clients say About Us ?

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    Dear Madan ji, Our memories remain deep in our hearts even after such a tiresome journey of almost 45 hours. We reached Pune on 19th May. Our minds are still in the green thoughts of the jungle and the gloomy winds of the mountain peaks. we are not far away from the sweet recollections of […]

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