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Welcome To Tibet


"Tibet offers fabulous monasteries, breathtaking high-altitude walks, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains and one of the most likeable cultures you will ever meet."

 

Aptly titled as "the roof of the world", Tibet, the highest region on earth beckons you to explore the majestic mountain peaks, amazing canyons, and fascinating high altitude lakes, vast expanses of arid plains and traditionally and religiously steeped people of Tibet. The average elevation of Tibet is 4,900m. Located to the western part of proper China, Tibet is home to the indigenous Tibetan and to some of the ethnic groups like Monpas and Lhobas. One of the key highlights of the Tibet tour is the alluring culture, tradition and religion of that the Tibetan people have been able to guard with such care and devotion down the ages.

A Higher Plain

For many visitors, the highlights of Tibet will be of a spiritual nature: magnificent monasteries, prayer halls of chanting monks, and remote cliffside meditation retreats. Tibet’s pilgrims – from local grandmothers murmuring mantras in temples heavy with the aromas of juniper incense and yak butter to hard-core professionals walking or prostrating themselves around Mt Kailash – are an essential part of this experience. Tibetans have a level of devotion and faith that seems to belong to an earlier, almost medieval age. It is fascinating, inspiring and endlessly photogenic.

The Roof of the World

Tibet's other big draw is the elemental beauty of the highest plateau on earth. Geography here is on a humbling scale and every view is illuminated with spectacular mountain light. Your trip will take you past glittering turquoise lakes, across huge plains dotted with yaks and nomads’ tents, and over high passes draped with colourful prayer flags. Hike past the ruins of remote hermitages, stare open-mouthed at the north face of Everest or make an epic overland trip along some of the world’s wildest roads. The scope for adventure is limited only by your ability to get permits.

Politics & Permits

There’s no getting away from politics here. Whether you see Tibet as an oppressed, occupied nation or an underdeveloped province of China, the normal rules of Chinese travel simply don’t apply. Restrictions require foreign travellers to pre-arrange a tour with a guide and transportation for their time in Tibet, making independent travel impossible. On the plus side, new airports, boutique hotels and paved roads offer a level of comfort unheard of just a few years ago, so if the rigours of Tibetan travel have deterred you in the past, now might be the time to reconsider.

The Tibetan People

Whatever your interests, your lasting memories of Tibet are likely to be of the bottle of Lhasa Beer you shared in a teahouse, the yak-butter tea offered by a monk in a remote monastery or the picnic enjoyed with a herding family on the shores of a remote lake. Always ready with a disarming smile, and with great tolerance and openness of heart despite decades of political turmoil and hardship, the people truly make travelling in Tibet a profound joy. Make sure you budget time away from your pre-planned tour itinerary to take advantage of these chance encounters.

 

We offer many kinds of tour packages to Tibet. Since tourism in Tibet began relatively late the facilities provided to visitors are limited and basic. However, we put our utmost efforts to make your tour as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

History

Tibetan history can be traced thousands of years back. However, the written history only dates back to the 7th century when Songtsan Gampo, the 33rd Tibetan king, sent his minister Sambhota to India to study Sanskrit who on his return invented the present Tibetan script based on Sanskrit. Tibet's history can be diveded into four period:

1. The Tsanpo's Period
This period starts from Nyatri Tsanpo, the first of the Tsanpos, in 127 B.C(historians differ in view of the date, but this date is taken from the White Annales, a reliabl book on Tibetan history) and ends in 842 A.D. at the death of Lang Dharma, the last of the Tsanpos, who was assassinated by a buddhist monk owing to Lang Dharma's ruthless persecution of Buddhism. During this period some 42 Tsanpos had ruled over Tibet among which Songtsan Gampo's rule was considered as the zenith. Songtsan Gamoi was an outstandingruler, he unified Tibet, changed his capital to Lhasa, sent Sambhota to India to study Sanskrit and promulaged a script for the Tibetan on the latter's arrival to tbiet, married Princess Wencheng of the tang Court and Pricess Bhrikuti Debi of Nepal, built the Potala and the temple and the temple of Jokhang.

2. The period of Decentrailzation
This period began in 842 A.D. the year of Lang Dharma's assassination, and ended in about 1260 A.D, when Pagpa, the Abbot of Sakya monastery, became a vassal of Kublai Khan, the first Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty. During this period a little is known in history except that Tibet vecame decentralized into a number of petty principalities.

3. The period of Sakya, Pagdu, and Karmapa's Rule
This period began with Sakya's rule over Tibet, followed first by Pagdu's rule in Lhaoka and then by Karmara's rule in the Tsang region(Shigatse). The sakya period was the time whten tbiet officially became an inseparable part of China. This period lasted from 1260 A.D to 1642 A.D during which political powers centered in the three regions of Sakya, Pagdu, and tsang successively ruled over Tibet.

4. The period of the gandan Podrang's Administration
This period is the period in which the Dalai Lama ruled Tibet. It started in 1642 A.D. when the 5th Dalai Lama overtook the ruling power from the Tsang ruler. It basically ended in 1951 when tibet was liberated and came to a complete end in 1959 when rebellion led by the Dalai Lama was pacified and the People's Government of the Tibet, Autonomous Region was set up.

Economy

 

The Tibetan economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Due to limited arable land, the primary occupation of the Tibetan Plateau is raising livestock, such as sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks, dzo, and horses.

The dogs of Tibet are twice the size of those seen in India, with large heads and hairy bodies. They are powerful animals, and are said to be able to kill a tiger. During the day they are kept chained up, and are let loose at night to guard their masters' house.[71]

The main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, and assorted fruits and vegetables. Tibet is ranked the lowest among China’s 31 provinces[72] on the Human Development Index according to UN Development Programme data.[73] In recent years, due to increased interest in Tibetan Buddhism, tourism has become an increasingly important sector, and is actively promoted by the authorities.[74] Tourism brings in the most income from the sale of handicrafts. These include Tibetan hats, jewelry (silver and gold), wooden items, clothing, quilts, fabrics, Tibetan rugs and carpets. The Central People's Government exempts Tibet from all taxation and provides 90% of Tibet's government expenditures.[75][76][77][78] However most of this investment goes to pay migrant workers who do not settle in Tibet and send much of their income home to other provinces.[79]

40% of the rural cash income in the Tibet Autonomous Region is derived from the harvesting of the fungus Cordyceps sinensis; contributing at least 1.8 billion yuan, (225 million USD) to the region’s GDP. [80]

Political Condition

The central region of Tibet is an autonomous region within China, the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Tibet Autonomous Region is a province-level entity of the People's Republic of China. It is governed by a People's Government, led by a Chairman. In practice, however, the Chairman is subordinate to the branch secretary of the Communist Party of China. As a matter of convention, the Chairman has almost always been an ethnic Tibetan, while the party secretary has always been ethnically non-Tibetan.[70]

Geographical Condition

Geographically, Tibet can be divided into three majoy parts, the east, north and south. The eastern part is forest region, occupying approximately one-fourth of the land. Virgin forests run The entire breadth and length of this part of Tibet. The northern part is open grassland, where nomads and yak and sheep dwell here. This part occupies approximately half of Tibet. The southern and central part is agricultural region, occupying about one-fourth of Tibet's land area. with all major Tibetan cities and towns such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse ad Tsetang located in this area, it is considered the cultural center of tibet. The total area of the Tibet Autonomous Region is 1,200,000 square kilometers and its population is 1,890,000. The region is administratively divided into one municipality and six prefectures. The municipality is Lhasa, while the six prefectures are Shigatse, Ngari, Lhaoka, Chamdo, Nakchu and Nyingtri(kongpo). The People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region exercises the hightest adminis-trative authority in Tibet.

Culture

Religion is extremely important to the Tibetans and has a strong influence over all aspects of their lives. Bön is the indigenous religion of Tibet, but has been almost eclipsed by Tibetan Buddhism, a distinctive form of Mahayana and Vajrayana, which was introduced into Tibet from the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition of northern India.[90] Tibetan Buddhism is practiced not only in Tibet but also in Mongolia, parts of northern India, the Buryat Republic, the Tuva Republic, and in the Republic of Kalmykia and some other parts of China. During China's Cultural Revolution, nearly all Tibet's monasteries were ransacked and destroyed by the Red Guards.[91][92][93] A few monasteries have begun to rebuild since the 1980s (with limited support from the Chinese government) and greater religious freedom has been granted – although it is still limited. Monks returned to monasteries across Tibet and monastic education resumed even though the number of monks imposed is strictly limited.[91][94][95] Before the 1950s, between 10 and 20% of males in Tibet were monks.[96]

Architecture

Tibetan architecture contains Chinese and Indian influences, and reflects a deeply Buddhist approach. The Buddhist wheel, along with two dragons, can be seen on nearly every Gompa in Tibet. The design of the Tibetan Chörtens can vary, from roundish walls in Kham to squarish, four-sided walls in Ladakh.

Activities in Tibet


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Trekking In Tibet

Trekking in Tibet is a great privelege offering you the best nature and culture can provide.

Geography, Weather and People The Tibetan plateau is one of the severe areas of the world when it comes to geography and weather. The average altitude is over 3,962 metres and covered with mountain ranges with most mountains easily over 5,000 metres. During winter there are deadly snow and ice storms, with temperatures rarely rising above freezing point. The summers are not much better. Intense sunshine and afternoon thunderstorms combine with melting snow to make most rivers flood. Also, during the summer huge areas of the country's permafrost melt, making for deadly areas of quick sand up to 10 metres deep. All of these factors added together make for stunning beauty, blue skies and clear lakes, which is what makes Tibet and Tibetans so unique in the world. The plateau is littered with countless crystal clear fresh water and salt water lakes, on whose shores yaks graze on rough grass and nomads cook dinner outside their black felt tent homes with a small solar panel on the roof. Springing from the plateau ...
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Tours In Tibet

Tibet is rich in natural beauty and even more in cultural uniqueness.

Tibet has some of the world's tallest mountains, with several of them making the top ten list. Mount Everest, located on the border with Nepal, is, at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), the highest mountain on earth. Several major rivers have their source in the Tibetan Plateau (mostly in present-day Qinghai Province). These include the Yangtze, Yellow River, Indus River, Mekong, Ganges, Salween and the Yarlung Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra River).[66] The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River, is among the deepest and longest canyons in the world. Tibet has been called the "Water Tower" of Asia, and China is investing heavily in water projects in Tibet.[67][68] The Indus and Brahmaputra rivers originate from a lake (Tib: Tso Mapham) in Western Tibet, near Mount Kailash. The mountain is a holy pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Tibetans. The Hindus consider the mountain to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The Tibetan name for Mt. Kailash is Khang Rinpoche. Tibet has numerous high-altitude lakes ...

Interesting places to visit in Tibet


Potala Palace

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

Located on the hill top, it was built in 640 A.D. during the region of Songtsan Gampo. The palace is a centre of spiritual Pilgrimage and Tibetan architecture. The fifth Dalai Lama, Gyelwa Ngapa began the construction of the present Potala palace in 1645 and was completed in 1648. This 13 stories palace with thousand rooms rising over 117 meters served as the headquaters of the former church state of Tibet and was home to successive Dalai Lamas who used it as their winter palace . The palace contains invaluable murals , stupas , carvings , sculptures , culture relics , thanks , scrolled texts and ancient chinaware.

Drepung Monastery

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

Situated to the west of Lhasa city , it was founded in 1416 by one of the disciples of Tsong Khapa . It was the richest  of the three major Yellow Sect monaateries that covers an area of 250,000 sq meters in Lhasa.

Sera Monastery

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

Sera Monastery is 1 of 3 famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery. It is located 3 km of Lahasa, this monastery belongs to Gelugpa sect and was founded  in 1419 A.D. by jamchen Choeje , a disciple of Tsong Kapa. Sera was a monastic university which was smaller than Drepung but similar in its layout of buildings. There are four main temples with numerous chapels dedicated to Tsong Khapa , Sakyamuni , Dharmapala , Amitabha , Yamadhaka and other deities. one of the temples constructed with 108 pillars has an imposing statue of Maitreya Buddha.

Norbulingka

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

It is a large complex  of small palaces and chapels served as the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas, built at various periods from 1750 . It lies about 4 km west of the Potala palace. The colorful garden is a favorite picnic spot and during the Shoton Festival Tibetan dances and Opera are performed here.

Jokhang Temple

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

It is the spiritual, religious and geographical center of Lhasa. Situated in the heart  of old Lhasa , the original jokhang  was built by the emperor Songten Gampo  in the 7th century . Jokhang has many  chapels which hold the statues of jowo shakyamuni , Amithabha Buddha , Maitreya Buddha , Avalokiteswara , Padmashambhawa and Tsongkapa . Visit Barkhor Lhasa inner pilgrim circuit  shaped roughly like an octagon which round the jokhang lined with markets , shops , stalls .

Barkhor Street

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

Barkhor Street, located in the Lhasa downtown is the popular circumambulation for pilgrims and commercial center. The market  of Barkhor  circles  the Jorkhang Temple . This market is the heart of Old Lhasa  - a fascinating venue of people and activities with narrow  streets , white washed stone homes and windows framed in black and brightly painted  wood work . Bustling flee market is the palace to buy souvenirs , Tibetan handicrafts and antiques .

Ganden Monastery

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

Ganden Monastery is located 47 km east of Lhasa on Wangbur mountain at an altitude of 3,800 m , this monastery belongs to Gelugpa's sect . It was the site where Tsong khapa first meditated in order to choose a palace for the main monastery . NOw it is one of the great Gelukpa University manasteries in Tibet . 

Tsedang

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

It is Situated 170 km southeast  of Lhasa in the Yarlung  valley , along the bank of the Tsangpo River , it was the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Tsedang is the capital town of shannan area as well as a major tourist destination in Tibet with mild climate and rich natural resources .

Gyantse

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

It is a small agricultural town situated at an altitude  of 3950 m and 254 km southwest of Lhasa is famous for its wool carpets ant the palkhor choide chorten. it is the third largest town in Tibet .

Namtso Lake

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

Lake Namtso is located  about 260 km from Lhasa city. With over  30 km from north to south and over  70 km from east to west , Lake Namtso covers a total area of more than 1,900 square km. The lake is the second largest salt lake in china and the world's highest-altitude salt lake.

xigatse

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

It is know for its Tashilhunpo monastery - the seat of the Panchen Lama , who is regarded  as the reincarnation of the Buddha of endless enlightenment. This monastery was built in 1447 by the first Dalai Lama and this palace is also popular for a bustling 'free' market at the foot of the ruins of the Xigatse  fortress where one can buy local handicrafts embedded with coral and turquoise  , Tibetan daggers , Chinese porcelain and yak Butter.

Zhangmu

(Outside Kathmandu Valley)

Better known by a Tibetan name , Khasa , It is a small settlement  clinging to a Tibetan 10 km inland from the friendship bridge across the Bhote koshi river . It is a major trading route between Tibet and Nepal . The hills around Zhangmu are heavily wooden with innumerable waterfalls in tne summer and frozen 'icicles' during the winter .