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Ten Most Amazing Places to Visit in Tibet

November 27, 2013 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Situated on the “Roof of the World”, Tibet is one of the most remarkable destinations in Asia, offering magnificent monasteries, beautiful landscapes and unique culture. Most travelers do not have enough time to visit all the famous attractions in Tibet, but the following ten best ones should not be missed.

1. Everest Base Camp

Tibet is worldwide known mainly because of Mt. Everest (8,844.43 meters above sea level, the highest in the world). The mountain is also known as Qomolangma, meaning “Goddess” in Tibetan. A trip to Everest Base Camp offers the best view of this grand mountain. The best time to visit the base camp is April and May, during which the weather is the most favorable. It is exciting to see the white snow-capped mountain framed by the pure blue sky and colorful prayer flags.

2. Potala PalacegI_60627_potala-palace

Considered as a model of Tibetan architecture, the Potala Palace was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 641 A.D., King Songtsan Gambo had this palace built for Princess Wencheng from Tang Dynasty. Since the seventeenth century, the palace became the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. It is composed of various chambers for worshipping Buddha and housing eight stupas for several Dalai Lamas. It also houses a large number of sculptures, murals, Buddhist scriptures and other valuable cultural relics.

3. Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple was included on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list as part of Potala Palace in 2000. This temple is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Tibetans. Every day, hundreds of pilgrims circumambulate the temple before making their way into the main hall, which houses the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni.

4. Lake Namtso

Namtso, meaning “Heavenly Lake” in Tibetan, is regarded as one of the five most beautiful lakes in China. Located at the foot of the snow-peaked Nyenchen Tanglha, the peaceful Namtso reflects the mountain on a clear day, and its emerald-green water glitters in the sunlight. Its solemn purity is the symbol of the Tibetan Plateau.

5. Drepung Monastery

Occupying an area of 1,850 square meters, Drepung Monastery is the largest in Tibet. Drepung literally means “Rice Heap” in Tibetan, symbolizing “prosperity”. It housed over 10,000 monks at its most prosperous period. It was built on Mountain Gambo Utse, five kilometers from the western suburb of Lhasa. Standing on a hillside, the whole monastery does look like a huge pile of rice.

6. Tashilhunpo Monastery

Tashilunpo, the seat of Panchen Lama, was founded by the First Dalai Lama in 1447. It houses the tombs of Panchen Lamas and a 22.4-meter statue of Maitreya Buddha. Tourists can see its golden roofs and white walls from the entrance. The monastery also boasts a large number of characteristic murals.

7. Samye Monastery

Founded in the 8th century, Samye Monastery was the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. Situated in a peaceful valley, its outer walls connect to a village and barley fields. The monastery is famous for its fascinating mandala design, with structures representing continents, oceans, the sun and the moon. Its central temple symbolizes the legendary Mt. Meru, the center of the universe. A trek from Ganden to Samye is popular among pilgrims and travelers.

8. Mount Kailash

Mt. Kailash (aka Kang Rinpoche) is located in the northernmost region of the Himalayas. It is the most sacred mountain for followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Bonism. Pilgrims have to take a long, difficult journey to worship this mysterious mountain, but they will be cleansed of all sins and reach spiritual freedom after completing a trek around Mt. Kailash.

9. Lake Manasarovar

Lake Manasarovar at the southern foot of Mount Kailash is another famous scared site in western Tibet. It is an important pilgrimage destination for people from India, Nepal, Tibet and other neighboring countries. The legend goes that one will have all his sins removed if he bathes in the lake and drinks its water. The lake is 120 square miles in total area. Its color changes from a crystal clear blue near the shores to a deep emerald green in the center.

10. Ruins of Guge Kingdom

Located in western Tibet, Guge Kingdom was founded in the tenth century. During its 700-year history, the kingdom played an important part in the economic and cultural development of Tibet. Explorers have found fortresses, secret paths, pagodas and granaries. Most of the roofs have collapsed, leaving only the walls, on which a large number of inscriptions, statues and murals are still well kept.

Information is provided by Tibet Travel ORG, the top online Tibet tour operator. Read more at its official website http://www.tibettravel.org.

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