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Tourist Place in Tibet

LHASA

Lhasa means the Holy Land or the Buddha Land. It has always remained the center of Tibet's politics, economy and culture. The city has also been appointed as one of the 24 historical and cultural cities of China. The places of interest here are Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace, Jokhang, Sera, Drepung Monasteries, Barkhor Street.

Potala Palace: Served as the residence of the Dalai Lamas. Potala Palace is composed of 2 parts, the Red Palace as the centre and the White Palace as two wings. The palace is 117metres high and 13 storied with almost 1000 rooms. Many parts of the palace are now turned into a museum.

Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Street: This Jokhang which is 1300 years old commemorates the marriage of Tang princess Wencheng to King Songtsen Gampo. It is highly revered by Tibetan Buddhist as it is believed to be the first Buddhist temple in Tibet. Around the Jokhang there are a number of small streets and squares that together form the Barkhor. The Barkhor has become a place where Tibetan people come together and it is a symbolic place of peaceful demonstration. At the Barkhor marketplace you can buy almost everything that a Tibetan, a Chinese or a tourist would ever need or want.

Sera Monastery: It is one of the three most distinguished monasteries in Lhasa (other two being Drepung and Gaden) founded by Jamchen Choje, a disciple of Tsongkapa. It is famous for its tantric teachings. Sera means "hailstone" in Tibetan. Located at the foot of the Wudu Hill to the north of Lhasa City, it has a great sutra chanting hall, a college and 32 sections. The monastery is erected grandly at a mountain slope with a colourful architecture.

Drepung Monastery: Drepung the largest Monastery in Tibet was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje, a disciple of Tsongkapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect. The monastery, occupying an area of 250,000 square meters with a fixed number of 7,700 monks. The monastery keeps plentiful historical relics, Buddhist scriptures, arts and crafts.

Rongbuk Monastery: It is a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Nyingma sect claimed to be the highest monastery in the world at an altitude of 4980metres above sea level. It was built in 1890s by a local lama. It lies near the base of the north side of Mt. Everest at the end of Dzakar Chu Valley.

Mt Kailash & Mansarovar Lake: Located in the Ngari Region of Tibet, Mt. Kailash (6714 metres), the abode of Lord Shiva and Lake Mansarovar (4588metres) one of the highest fresh water lakes in the world are famous as Sacred Mountain and Holy Lake respectively. Both have often been chosen as a sacrificial centre for Hindu, Buddhist, and Bonist pilgrims. Their spiritual aura and paradisiacal scenery also entice ordinary visitors.

Namtso Lake: At the height of 4720m and covering an area of 1920 sq km, this blue and crystal clear water lake is the largest saltwater lake in Tibet and highest salt water lake in the world.It is located on the north Tibetan grassland around 200km from Lhasa.

SHIGATSE

Shigatse the second biggest town of Tibet is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama. In the past it was the most important political and cultural centre of Tsang. Nowadays, thesebuildings, the former symbols of power, have been converted into tourist highlights of the city. In addition to the cultural relics, Shigatse occupies a charming high-plateau land with attractive natural beauty.

Norbulingka Palace: Meaning the Jewel Park is situated in the western suburb of Lhasa city. It contains the summer palaces of the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas and is characterised by its spacious walled garden, main throne hall and the Dalai Lama’s private apartment. Norbulingka reflects both the ethnical, religious features of the Tibetan people and embodies the architecture style of inland China. It is of great cultural value and was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2001 as an extension of Potala Palace.

GYANTSE (JIANGZI)

A small agricultural town located in the Nyang-chu valley on the friendship highway,which connects Nepal to Lhasa.this valley is famous for its wool carpets and the Phalkor monastery, Gyantse Dzong and Kumbum Chorten.

Gyantse Dzong: The dzong is an old military fort that was originally built in the 14th century. The top of the dzong is a 20 minute hike from the gate. The top offers great views of the city and the plains surrounding Gyantse.

Palcho / Pelkor Chode Monastery: Founded in 1418 by the second Prince of Gyantse, Rabten Kunsang, a devotee of Kedrub Je, Tsongakhapa’s disciple. It is an important centre of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery has the characteristics of Han, Tibetan and Nepali architecture. It enjoys a high status in Tibet Buddhism history.

Kumbum Stupa: Between the monastery and the fort, this unique structure built in 1414 consists of five stories representing the five steps to enlightenment, topped by thirteen rings which symbolize the stages of advancement towards Buddha hood. There are 108 halls inside, each with frescoes and Buddha Shrines, the frescoes showing a strong Indian influence.