Tibet- the roof top of the world is situated at the highest elevation in Earth. Beautiful panoramic mountains, dwelling of the gods, source of life, center of the universe; words are simply not enough to describe Tibet. Heavily influenced by its unique version of Tibetan Buddhism, this nation has places of great spiritual and cultural interest. Tibet the three syllable word sparks in our mind the image of Dalai Lama, an exiled spiritual leader, who traversed the hills and mountains of sun baked land to India to escape the onslaught of the Chinese government. Tibetan plateau's historical monuments and monasteries faced major devastation during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. However, resilient Tibetans have preserved their identity given the circumstances. The beautiful landscape of Tibet, dotted with the best views of the Himalayas and the serene spirituality of diverse Tibetan Buddhism and way of life makes this trip an intriguing affair. So pack your bags, wear your travelling boots and get on the adventure to the rooftop of the world.
Day 1: Arrival at Gonggar Airport - drive to Lhasa (3660 m/ 12007 ft.)
Your most awaited journey to travel to the spiritual land of Tibet begins as you arrive at Lhasa Gonggar Airport. It is one of the world’s highest elevation airports. Our representative will be waiting for your arrival.
After custom clearance and baggage claim you will traverse to Lhasa- the administrative capital of Tibet which is located at the distance of 93 km (57.7 mile) from the airport. Due to high altitude of Tibetan Plateau, thin air will take you some time to get accustomed; it may cause nausea to some. It is advisable to remain active in order to acclimatize. After you check in to the hotel you can go for a stroll to a nearby monastery or visit the marketplace. You will be staying overnight at Lhasa.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Lhasa
After a scrumptious breakfast get ready to consume the culture and heritage of Tibet. Today will be an informative and awesome day as you visit the major landmarks of Lhasa.
Sera Monastery- located 6 km (3.7 mile) from Potala Palace is the second largest monastery in Tibet. It is famous for monk’s debate at the debating courtyard. Founded in 1419 by Sakya Yeshe a disciple of Tsongkhapa, Buddhism is still being taught at its colleges. Although it is still functioning number of disciples has dropped drastically. You can visit the colleges, debating courtyards and the residence of monks. You can hear the debates as you marvel the intricate art work of this monastery.
Norbulingka- literally meaning Jewel Park is the biggest garden in Tibet which houses summer palaces of Dalai Lama’s. It is from here the present Dalai Lama escaped to exile disguised as a soldier. Palace of the eighth Dalai Lama’s hall is opened for the visitors. It has beautiful Thankas and artistically painted wood.
Jokhang Temple- another famous attraction of Lhasa is the Jokhang temple which was ordered to be constructed by the King Songtsen Gampo. The magnificent temple complex with gilded roof top has a beautiful courtyard. It is said that King Songtsen Gampo’s wives Bhrikuti of Nepal and Wencheng of China brought statues from their respective countries which were kept in the temple. It has the iconic statues of two deers holding the dharma wheel. The Temple is located in the Barkhor Square.
Barkhor Street- located in the old section of Lhasa surrounding Jokhang temple. You can enjoy the beautiful market area with vendors selling trinkets, Thankas and souvenirs of Tibet. In the hustling market you can also enjoy the exotic Tibetan food. Since this market is located in the old part of Lhasa you can also walk down the old streets to observe historical buildings that have survived the onslaught of Cultural Revolution and modernization.
After a long day of sightseeing in the city you will retire for the day at your hotel.