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Tibet - The Roof of the World

Tibet travel guide

Tibet, lies in the north of the Himalayas, is a plateau region in Asia and the home to the indigenous Tibetan people. With an average elevation of 4,900 meters (16,000 ft), it is the highest region on Earth and has been referred to as the "Roof of the World".

Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region, is located at the north bank of the Kyichu River, a tributary of the Yarlong Tsangpo River. With an altitude of 3,650 meters above sea level, it has been regarded as the highest city in the world. With a long history and unique natural environment, Lhasa boasts of rich ethnic folklore and magnificent highland scenery.

Tibet Highlilghts

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

[Potala Palace] located on the Red Hill of Lhasa, Tibet, is 3,700 meters above sea level and covers an area of over 360,000 square meters, measuring 360 meters from east to west and 270 meters from south to north. It symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and is the central role in the traditional administration in Tibet.

It was built in the seventh century and rebuilt by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1645. In 641, Songtsan Gambo, ruler of the Tubo Kingdom, had the Potala Palace built for Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, whom he was soon to marry. This structure was later burned to the ground during a war and was rebuilt in the 17th century by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Repeated repairs and expansions until 1645 finally brought the palace to its present scale. Over the past three centuries, the palace gradually became a place where the Dalai Lama lived and worked and a place for keeping the remains of successive Dalai Lama.

This ancient architectural complex is considered a model of Tibetan architecture. Potala Palace, which is of stone and wood structure, occupies an area of 41 hectares, with the 13-storied main building rising 115 meters high. It comprising the White and the Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, the Red Palace in the center, used for religious functions and the White Palace on both side, used as the living quarters of Dalai Lama. The Arya Lokeshvara, the Potala´s most venerated statue, is stated inside the Phapka Lhakhang, and it draws thousands of Tibetan pilgrims each day.

For more than 300 years, Potala Palace has treasured many culture relics such as murals, stupas, statues, thangkas, and rare sutras. Potala Palace is indeed a must-see for both visitors and researchers.

Jokhang Monastery of Lhasa

[Jokhang Monastery] an example of the earliest architecture in Tibet, is located in the Barkhor Market district, the spiritual center of Tibet.

With an area of 25,100 square meters (about six acres), It was built in 648A.D. the Jokhang Monastery expanded to the present scale in the 17th century after several renovations.

Jokhang Monastery is an exceptional Buddhist religious complex. It is a four-storey timber complex with a golden top. It adopted the architectural styles of the Tang Dynasty, as well as those of Tibet and Nepal. The monastery contains a sacred Buddha image that draws thousands of pilgrims every day.

On November 30, 2000, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee listed the Jokhang Monastery on the World Heritage List as a part of the historical assemblage of the Potala Palace.

The Monastery is a combination of Han, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural techniques. Visitors will see sphinx and other weird and sacred sculptures. Every year, the Great Prayer Festival is held in the temple. Originally named "Ruosha", the Jokhang, holiest temple in Tibet, was built in 547. It was founded by Tibet first Buddhist king, Songtsen Gampo. According to legend, it was princess Wen Chen who chose the site for the temple through the methods of Ying-Yang and the Five Elements.

Summer Palace Beijing

[Barkhor Street] Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the Tibetan people are always proud of it. It is also called Bajiao Street.

Barkhor Street is not only a very ancient round street, but also a place where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts assemble and a place to which a visit must be paid. Barkhor Street is a magical place showing the original outlook of Lhasa. The street was paved by hand-polished stone boards. Though it is not broad, it accommodates thousands of tourists every day.

Barkhor is the road on which pilgrims tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries. Buddhist pilgrims walk by body-length kowtow along the street clockwise every day into deep night.
Barkhor Street is also a marketplace where shaggy nomads, traders, robed monks and chanting pilgrims join together. Shops and stalls sell printed scriptures, cloth prayer flags and other religious vessels, jewelry, Tibetan knives and ancient coins etc.

Barkhor Street is a place full of religious atmosphere and a world of exotic articles. If you have been attracted by it, you should go there. Believe your eyes, and you will get a lot of surprise there.

Drepung Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet

[Drepung Monastery] Drepung Monastery was known for the high standards of its academic study, and was called the Nalanda of Tibet, a reference to the great Buddhist monastic university of India. It is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism.

Located in the hills on the northern outskirts of Lhasa, 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the western suburb of Lhasa, Drepung Monastery was established in 1416 as an institute of higher Buddhist education by Khenpo Lekden, a direct disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the founder of the eclectic Geluk School.

It covers an area of 250,000 square meters, consisting of a number of grand halls, chambers, and residential units for lesser lamas. At its zenith Drepung Loseling housed some ten thousand monk students. These were drawn not only from Tibet, but also from China, Himalayan India, Mongolia, and the Mongol regions of Eastern Russia.

The First Dalai Lama was also a disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa, and the Second Dalai Lama built a residence in Drepung, called the Ganden Potrang, which remained a hereditary seat of all subsequent Dalai Lamas. The word Drepung can be literally translated as "rice pile", a name whose meaning becomes clear when you see the white-walled buildings scattered along the hill. The ground of the monastery is organized on the caves and temples for Jamyang Qoigyi, together with two magnificent white pagodas. The buildings of the monastery are centered on these pagodas, The major buildings are Ganden Potrang, Coqen Hall, the four Zhacangs (or Tantric colleges), and Kamcuns. It is the largest monastery of the Gelugpa Buddhism.

Sera Monastery, Tibet

[Sera Monastery] The Sera Monastery at the foot of Tatipu Hill is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. It is one of three famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery.  And it is regarded as the "third Pillars of the State".

The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built.

The Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples built the monastery in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built.

Covering an area of 114,946 square meters (28 acres), the monastery is magnificent and splendid. Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall, Zhacang (college) and Kamcun (dormitory). Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa´s other famous monasteries.

Privately Guided Tibet Tours

travel to Xian terra-cotta warriors museum   Holy City - Lhasa City Tour
Duration: 4 days Available: daily
Visiting: Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor street, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastey
Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet. The tour contains most of Lhasa's MUST SEEs and escorted by private guide and driver. We will show you the best of Tibet.

Lhasa Highlights Tourdetails...

Lhasa Tour   Pilgrimage to Tibet Lhasa
Duration: 5 days Available: daily
Visiting: Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Market, Trupeng Monastery, Ganden Monastery
The 7-Day package is the "Golden Route" of Tibet tours. Besides taste the majesty, charm and diversity in Lhasa, you can also enjoy the most of the real highlights of Tibet travel: the unique overland landscapes, the snow-capped mountains, pure plateau holy lakes, and chance of travel deeply into Tibet.

Pilgrimage to Tibet Lhasadetails...

Eastern Tibet Tour with Lhasa & Tsedang   Eastern Tibet Tour with Lhasa & Tsedang
Duration: 6 days Available: daily
Visiting: Lhasa, Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Market, Trupeng Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery, Tsedang, Yumbulakang and Trundruk monastery, Samye Monastery
Lhasa, Tibet's capital is a mystical and mysterious city steeped in Tibetan and Buddhist Culture. Shannan (Tsedang), in the middle reaches of YurlongTsangpo River and south to Mountain Nyancheng Tanghla is the cradle place of Tibet civilization. The 6 days Eastern Tibet tour will lead you to explore the primitive civilization of Tibet...

Tibet Tourdetails...

Horse Race Festival Tour in Nakchu,Tibet   Horse Race Festival Tour in Nakchu,Tibet
Duration: 6 days Available: Aug. 07, 2012
Visiting: Chengdu,Tibet, Nakchu
Horse Race Festival is one of the important festival in Tibet. In this 6 day tour you will see the unique horse race in Tibetan style and the shows of horse riding skill. You will be taken into the special festival atmosphere and get unforgettable experience....

Horse Race Festival Tour in Nakchu Tibetdetails...

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