Information about Tibet



Tibet, beautiful land and rich, fascinated mankind, is located at Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, southwest frontier China. Upon the world’s roof-top there lies a wide stretched land (Shangrila a some people call it) filled with fascinating and mystifying works of nature and human that has captured the imagination of many great people ever since the world came to know her existence. Although the land beyond mighty Himalayas on the highest plateau of the world was forbidden for several centuries to the outside world, great many authentic travelers, scholars and missionaries had attempted to reach this tantalizing land amidst perils and long endeavoring journey. It used to be Mysterious, legendary and unknown Room of the World, hidden and almost unreachable behind the highest mountains in the world can be easily reached today from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal to Lhasa either by road or air as well as fro several cities from China.

Geographically Tibet is divided into three major region, the Central or Southern Tibet, Eastern and Western. Central/South Tibet is the most civilized and well developed where capital of Tibet is also located called Lhasa where resident of spiritual leader is located. Central Tibet is also hub of cultural and main business center and cities such as Shigatse (second biggest city in Tibet), Gyantse, Tsedand and most popular tourist destination Everest Base Camp are located. Eastern Tibet is forested, occupying one-fourth land of Tibet and places  such as Kham and Amdo are the main attraction. Western Tibet is more remote and barren however some of the most sacred sites are located including g ancient civilization of Kingdom of Guge.

Total Area of the Tibet Autonomous Region is is 1,200,000 square km. The region is administratively divided into one municipality and six prefectures. The municipality is Lhasa and Shigatse, Nagri, Lhaoka, Chamdo, Nakchu and Nyingtri (Kongpo) are prefectures. The People’s Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region exercises the highest administrative authority in Tibet.

People & Religion

The majority of Tibet’s populations of 1,890,000 are Tibetans. It is thinly populated that it averages out 1.6 8 persons per square km. Approx. 90% of the people are based on farming and husbandry and 10% live in towns doing business such as handicrafts and working in factory or government officials.


The oldest religion is Bon, after that Buddhism has been spread. Bon is the ancient religion in Tibet. Songtsen Gampo is the first to bring Buddhism to the Tibetan people. He is the one who invited outstanding Buddhist teachers such as Shantarakshita and Padmasambha even though both lived in the 8th century from outside. He is also said to have built many Buddhist temples including Jokhang in Lhasa and Changzhug in Nedong. He is considered to be the first of the three Dharma Kings (chosgyal) – Songtsen Gamp, Trisong Detsen and Ralpacan – who established Buddhist in Tibet.

Political Situation

Authority in Tibet is highly sensitive in terms of political issues. Hence request tourists to refrain from any such activities. Tourists are strictly prohibited to take any politically motivate articles, documents and do not pass through any restricted zone during trip. Since authority can impose stiff fines or penalties better we suggest consulting with guide to avoid any problem. Clients will be given proper briefing of the same either in Kathmandu or in Lhasa.

Entering Tibet

By Air

Major Chinese cities such as Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai and Kathmandu are directly connected with Tibet by air.

Air China and Sichuan Air operate direct flight between Kathmandu and Lhasa. Kathmandu is the best Gateway city (1) via overland and (2) via flight which allows you proper acclimatization and enjoys view of Mount Everest and other peaks.

By Land

Kathmandu (Nepal), and many Chinese cities.

By Train

Tibet is directly connected by train with major cities such as Xining, Xian, Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing, Guan jaw, Golmu etc.

Custom and Immigration Formalities

There is no prohibition on still and video cameras, tape recorder or radios as long as they are for personal use or if commercial use should be registered with a custom official. Printed matters, considered unsuitably by the Chinese government are prohibited. Customs regulations forbid the export of art object created prior to 1959 or souvenirs in the amounts deemed to be excessive. Any document or object related to Tibetan freedom is strictly prohibited and if found in possession of such object, authority can deport the guest immediately and tour company could be penalized.

Permit & Visa

All tourists visiting Tibet require valid Chinese visa & a special Alien Travel Permit which they can obtain only by recognized travel agencies. Those who arrive in Kathmandu with a Chinese visa issued by Chinese consulates outside of Kathmandu will be of no use. Hence clients entering Tibet via Nepal should not obtain any Chinese visa. There is no minimum group size requirement for traveling to Tibet. As long as one is traveling in an organized tour visa will be issued for even individuals.

Tibet visa regulation often change and hence given information may not be true at the time when you travel. Diplomatic passport holders must get clearance from Beijing for travel into Tibet which often takes long time. It is advisable to travel on non-diplomatic passports, if you have one.

We need copy of passport at least 25 days in advance to process Tibet permit in Lhasa without which Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu will not issue visa. Once clients arrive into Kathmandu we will collect passport and take to Chinese Embassy for visa.

Climate and best time to visit Tibet

The climate in Tibet is not as harsh as many people imagine it to be. The best time of the year to be in Tibet is from April to the beginning of November after which temperatures start to plummet. However April, May, June, July, August and September are the best months. The central Tibet including Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Tsedang normally have mild weather from April to November. July and August can be rainy. October and November often bring some dazzling clear weather and daytime temperature can be quite comfortable at lower altitude. The coldest months are from December to February. It is not impossible to visit Tibet in winter as lower altitude such as Lhasa, Shigatse and Tsedang see very little snow.

More specific information of different areas;

Lhasa: The border of Nepal/China; the Friendship highway is basically in good conditions year round. But from December to February, the thawed road could make some trouble, try to avoid August-landslide could happen in the rainy season.

Mt. Everest Area: Early May and early October are the best time to visit. Due to the clear weather, you have great chance to see Everest true face. From December to February, it is too cold to go there but magnetism of the Mt. Everest always attracts people anytime of the year.

Northern:  With the average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers very limited time for tourist. Summer is the prime time to the plain in the northern Tibet.

Temperature and Rainfall in Lhasa


Months                       Celcius                                    Rain Fall         

                                    Max     Min                              Inch

January                        06        -10                               Nil

February                      08        -08                               Nil

March                         12        -03                               Nil

April                            15        00                               0.4

May                             18        05                               1.4

June                             23        09                               2.8

July                              22        09                               6.7

August                         22        08                               4.7

September                  21        07                               4.7

October                       17        02                               0.4

November                   12        -04                               Nil

December                   08        -10                               Nil


Clothing and Equipment Checking

The weather is cold, harsh and dry. You will need enough warm clothes, tennis shoes, suntan, cream, sunglasses, hats, scarves, lip guards etc. Warm clothes are the required to avoid frosty cold weather during the month of October to March. Whereas April-September can allow you to wear light clothes to shun the scorching heat. However a jacket and sweater are always advised as the weather may unexpectedly change at any time.  Other recommended items are as listed below.

Clothing and Equipment Checklists

  • Down jacket or warm fleece top
  • Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
  • Cotton shirts (short and long sleeved)
  • Warm and cotton trousers
  • Sun Polarized sunglasses
  • Beanie or warm woolen hat and gloves
  • Scarf (to keep out dust as well as cold)
  • Sandals (flip-flops)
  • Towel
  • Sleeping bag (for camping/trekking)
  • Rain jacket
  • Strong sun cream and lip protector
  • Moisturizer
  • Water bottle
  • Camera (and plenty of film and spare batteries)
  • A domestic first aid kit
  • Water purification tablets
  • Toilet and issue paper
  • Flashlight
  • Sleeping bag
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Dust masks, utility knife, sun hat sun glasses, suntan lotion and limited number of clothes

Altitude Sickness

Travelers in Tibet are reported to exhibit mild symptoms of altitude sickness. Hence some precaution and remedies should be taken. Complaints of headache, fever, loss of appetite, stomach disorder etc. can come up before acclimatization. Travelers with heart, lungs and blood diseases should consult with their doctors before they sign up for a trip. Consumption of enough liquid food (not liquor) and enough rest is recommend ed if you notice the symptoms of sickness. As Lhasa lies at over 12000 feet or 3600 m you are likely to experience some of the minor symptoms and discomfort of altitude (headache, mild nausea, loss of appetite) until your body adjusts to the elevation. This can take from a few hours to couple of days, depending on the individual. Do not exert yourself and drink plenty of non-alcoholic liquids (4/5 liters per day). Do not forget the common effects of altitude such as;


  • You may feel breathlessness or exertion; some headache is treatable by aspirin.
  • May be some difficulty sleeping and a little loss of appetite.
  • You might also wake up suddenly at night trying to catch your breath. Do not panic. Your metabolism as simply slowed down
  • You may also experience an exaggerated thumping headache, which will not go away, breathless even at rest, extreme nausea.
  • The lack of oxygen in the system will fist effect either the brain (HACE – height Altitude Cerebral Edema) causing loss of physical and mental co-ordination OR the lungs (HAPE-Height Altitude Pulmonary Edema), coughing up persistent sputum or both.
  • Do not drink any alcohol on the outward trek. It seriously impairs the ability to acclimatize, and confuses the symptoms of AMS.

The following medication has been found to be helpful:

Diamoz the common name for Acetazolamide originally developed as a diuretic, but pragmatically found to aid acclimatization available in Kathmandu pharmacies. Some people feel it is ‘cheating’, but as trekking at altitude is not a competition and you are here to enjoy it to altitude, not just mask the symptoms. It will make you pee more as intended, and possibly give you a tingly feeling in your fingers, but is undetstood to have no more serious side effects. Taking it is entirely down to personal choice, but if you do decide to use it as a preventative we have found that a half a 250 mg tablet words just as well as a whole one and minimizes the side effects, each orning and eveing, from the night before the trek through to the start of the descent from the highest point.

We provide reserve oygen cylinder in our private tours. However, we suggest refraining from using artificial Oxygen which does not help only temporary unless there is urgent.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Wear proper dress code during visit holy area, remove your hat, do not interrupt prayer.
  • Do not point with your finger to any holy object, No antique are allowed to take from Tibet.
  • Do not take photograph without asking, do not talk about any sensitive issues.
  • Important Tibetan words are Tashi Delek which means “ greetings”. Thucheche means “thanking you”. Use always both hand whenever you give or take.
  • Do not touch, walk over or sit on any religious texts, sacred objects or prayer flags.
  • Tibetan people do not eat horse, dog, or donkey, as well as fish (in some areas). While in Tibet, you should follow local dietary restrictions.
  • It is not polite to clap your palms and spit behind the Tibetan people.
  • Tibetan people stretch out their tongue to say hello to you. Also it is a courtesy to put their hands palm in front of breast.
  • Do not smoke in monasteries. Also it is not permitted to touch or photograph Buddha statues and religious articles.
  • In addition, when walking around the monastery, you should always walk in a clockwise direction (with the exception of Bon temples)
  • When walking around dagobas, monasteries or Manu piles, please go around them in a clockwise direction (with the exception of Bon sites), without crossing them.
  • Eagles are sacred birds in the eyes of the Tibetan people. Do not disturb them, drive them away or injure them.
  • You should also not disturb sheep or cows decorated with red, green or yellow cloth.
  • It is advisable to offer Khada (silk scarf to anyone you meet for the first time).
  • It is advisable to offer Prayer flag or Lungta sacred script (string of prayer flag) in high passes, temple for good fortune or long life,
  • Please always keep your original visa & passport with you for any random security check.


Tibetan guides have limited English and you may not expect a fluent explanation about culture and religion or any other academic tops. He will serve more as a Geographical guide and will be responsible for dealing with bureaucracies on the way. Tourism is still consider new to Tibet compare to many Asian countries, so guides in Tibet do not get enough exposure though they will try to do best to their capacity. Your frequent questioning will encourage him/her to explain more in details.

Restaurant and Cusines

Foods in Tibet differ in pastoral areas and agricultural areas. The staple food includes roasted highland barley flour, wheat flour, meat, or red food, and milk or white food. The principle in summer is the white food, white food, while that in winter is the red food. Local flavors in the pastoral areas are mutton sausage, and dried beef. The flavor of the Tibetan food is fresh, light and tener. Salt, onion, and garclic are the main ingredients. There are many restaurant in Lhasa, Shigatse, and Tsedang. All restaurants of various classes are decorated and furnished in the traditional Tibetan style. Dinners can enjoy delicious Tibetan dishes while admiring paintings and murals symbolizing happiness and good luck in the restaurants. High on the menu are such flavors as sausages, barley wine, butter, oil tea, beef and mutton eaten with the hands, yak tongue, steamed buns, zanba made from highland barley, pastries, sweet tea, dried beef, and xiapuqing or minced mutton and beef.

Distances and Driving Hours


S. No.   From                            To                                Approx. KM     Driving hours

                                                                                    (One way)

1.         Gongkar Airport          Lhasa                           65                    1

2.         Gongkar Airport          Tsedang                       65                    1

3.         Lhasa                           Gyantse                       265                  4

4.         Lhasa                           Shigatse via Gyantse   360                  5

5.         Lhasa                           Shigatse via Northern 280                  4


6.         Lhasa                           Tsedang                       190                  3

7.         Lhasa                           Ganden                          60                  1.5

8.         Tsedang                       Ganden                          65                  1.5

9.         Lhasa                           Namtso Lake               230                  5

10.       Lhasa                           Rongbuk                      650                  11

11.       Lhasa                           Shegar (New Tingri)    655                  11

12.       Lhasa                           Nyalam                        925                  14

12.       Lhasa                           Zhangmu                     955                  15

13.       Lhasa                           Sakya Monastery        565                  9

14.       Lhasa                           Kailash                         1395                23                   

15.       Lhsasa                         Yamdrok Lake             105                  2

16.       Lhasa                           Tsurpu                         70                    1

17.       Lhasa                           Nakchu                        480                  9

18        Lhasa                           Rating                          175                  3

19.       Lhasa                           Nyidri                          900                  15

20.       Lhasa                           Shishapangma B.C.     790                  14

21.       Lhasa                           Cho Oyu B.C.               680                  12

22.       Tsedang                       Samye Monastery       40                    1

23.       Tsedang                       Gyantse                       160                  3

24.       Tsedang                       Shigatse                       250                  4

25.       Gyantse                       Shigatse                       90                    1

26.       Gyantse                       Lhasa                           240                  4

27.       Gyantse                       Shegar                         390                  6

28.       Gyantse                       Old Tringri                   330                  5

29.       Gyantse                       Zhangmu                     590                  7

30.       Shigatse                       Shegar                         300                  5

31.       Shigatse                       Sakya                           210                  4

32.       Shigatse                       Old Tingri                    360                  6

33.       Shigatse                       Lhatse                          150                  3

34.       Shigatse                       Zhangmu                     600                  8

35.       Shegar                         Old Tingri                    60                    1

36.       Shegar                         Rongbuk                      85                    1.5

37.       Rongbuk                      EBC                              7                      1 / 2

38.       Shegar                         Lhatse                          150                  2.5

39.       Shegar                         Sakya Monastsery       210                  3.5

40.       Sakya                           Ronguk                        295                  5

41.       Old Tingri                    Lhatse                          210                  3.5

42.       Old Tingri                    Rongbuk                      85                    1.5

43.       Old Tingri                    Nyalam                        210                  3.5

44.       Old Tingri                    Zhangmu                     240                  4

45.       Old Tingri                    Cho Oyu                      60                    1

46.       Lhatse                          Sakya                           60                    1

47.       Nyalam                        Zhangmu                     30                    1 / 2

48.       Zhangmu                     Rongbuk                      325                  5

49.       SAGA                           Lhatse                          300                  5

50.       SAGA                           Nyalam                        720                  9

51.       SAGA                           Shigatse                       450                  8

52.       SAGA                           Lake Manasarover      560                  7

53.       SAGA                           Tradun                         170                  3

54.       SAGA                           Baryang                       250                  4

55.       Lake Masarover          Baryang                       270                  4

56        Lake Manasarover      Darchen                      30                    1 / 2

57        Darchen                      Tarpoche                     20                    1 / 2

58.       Mt. Kailash                  KORA                           52                    All walk           

57        Tarpoche                     Dirapuk                       13 km              6-7 hrs walk

58        Dirapuk-Dolma Pass    Zutulpuk                      22 km              10 hrs Walk

59        Zutulpuk Trek end       (close to Darchen)      12 km              4-5 hrs walk

60.       Close to Darchen        Lake Manasarover      30                    1 / 2

61.       Marasarover               KORA                           70                    2

62.       Dongpa (Tradun)         Baryang                       150                  2.5


Places to Visit

Potala Palace: The architectural wonder in Lhasa cardinal landmark can be seen from all directions for miles around. King Songtsen Gampo was the first Tibetan ruler to establish a palace on this outcrop the Red Hill, which dominates the city of Lhasa. This palace was called Kukhar Potrang was burned down by the invading Chinese during the reign of his successor Mangsong Mangtsen the construction of the present palace was begun in 1645 during the reign of the great fifth Dalai Lama and completed in 1694. The building named after Mount Potala in South India, one of the holy mountains of the Hindu god Shiva. Buddhists, however dedicated this same mountain  to Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion and gave the name “Potala” to the pure and land where Avalokitesvara resides. Since both Sangtsen Gampo and Dalai Lama are considered the incarnations of Avalokitesvara, Potala was the obvious choice for their dwelling. It consists of White and Red palaces with more than 1000 rooms.

Sera Monastery: 5 km north of Lhasa. Like Drepung and Ganden is another great Gelukpa monastery and center for learning and monastic training. It was built below a small hermitage where Tsong Khapa spent several years in retreat and meditating, by his leading discipline Jamchen Choje Shakya Yeshe of Tsel Gungtang in 1419. Sera is divided into two main colleges (drastang), Sera Me and Sera Je. Earlier the Emperor Yung-lo Ming of China had invited Tsong Khapa, unable to go Shakya Yeshe instead. The Emperor showing his appreciation of Shakya Yeshe’s teaching bestowed the title Jamchen choje Shakye Yeshe in 1434 (Great Gentle Dharma Lord), name by which he is known today.

Drepung Monastery: 8 km west of Lhasa. One of the three great Gelukpa Monasteries near Lhasa, the other two being Sera and Ganden. Until the occupation it served like its two sister monasteries as center for learning and monastic training to which monks from all over Tibet would come to spend as long as 15 years methodically studying and debating the meaning of the Buddhist scriptures. For centuries it existed as a small monastic township housing thousands of fully ordained monks and other functionaries. It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje Tashi Pelden, a disciple of Tsong Khapa.

Norbulinka Palace: called the “Jewel Park”, is a large open area about four kilometers to the west of Lhasa, and referred to as the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Its official name now is the People’s Park. Kelsang Gyatso, the Seventh Dalai Lama, was the first Dalai Lama to make sure of this rural park.  He came here not only to rest but to bathe in a curative spring to treat his legs. Since the time of the Eight Dalai Lama, the park has been used as a summer palace, retreat and recreation area for the successive Dalai Lamas. Most of the main buildings were constructed during this century by the Thirteen and the Fourteenth Dalai Lamas. Construction begun under the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatseo in 1775. It is the first building one encounters in the eastern section of the Norbulinka is the Kelsang Palace-name after the Seventh Dalai Lama Kelsang Gyatso.

Jokhang Temple: It is one of the holiest temples in Tibet and is the main enter of pilgrimage. Unlike the lofty Potala, the Jokhang has intimate, human proportions, bustling with worshippers and redolent with mystery. Formerly Called the Trulnang Temple or temple of “magical appearance”  - erected  by King Songtsen Gamp, 7th century – to house statue of Akshobhaya Buddha – In Tibetan Jowo Miko Dorje – given to him by his Nepalese wife Princes Bhrikuti. Later the statue of Jowo Shakyamuni given to him by his Chinese wife Princes Wen Cheng, was moved there from Ramohe Temple that is present name became Jokhang, the “Shrine of the Jowo”. Its innermost shrine contains the oldest, most precious object in Tibet - the original gold stature of Sakyamuni.

Barkhor Market: Barkhor referes to Lhasa’s pilgrimage circuit, a quadrangle of streets that surrounds the Jokhang and some of the old buildings adjoining it. It is an area unrivalled in Tibet for its fascinating combination of deep religiosity and push-and-shove market economics. Barkhor is both the spiritual heart of the holy city and the main commercial district for Tibetans.

Tsurpu Monastery: was founded in 1189 by the first Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa who was born in the eastern province of Kham. He went to central Tibet to study at the age of thirty became the disciple of Gampo. He returned to Kham and founded Karmapa in Densa, the monastery from which the Karma Kagyu derived its name. Only toward the end of his life did he return to central Tibet to found Tsurpu. Dusum Khyenpa returned in 1204 as Karma Pakshi, the second Karmapa nine years after his death. He was invited by Kublai Khan in 1256, finding that Sakya Lama Pakpa had already established himself as the Kublai Khan’s teacher, he chose to leave. On his way he received another invitation from Mongke Khan the head of the Mongol Empire, who became his disciple and gave him the the title Pakshi meaning master or achrya in Mongolian. After Monke Khan’s death, he was banished from Tibet by Kublai Khan, who supported Pakpa. After eight years of teaching he returned to Tsurpu and spent the rest of his life renovating and enlarging the monastery.

Ganden Monastery:  located 40 km east of Lhasa. The fifteenth – century monastery erected on top Mount Drokri after a prayer festival by Tsong Khapa and the main center of the Gelukpa order. Ganden in Tibetan means “Tushita”, the Pure Land where the future Buddha Maitreya resides. Within a year seventy buildings had been completed but it was not until 1417 that the main hall of the monastery was consecrated. Tsong Khapa died at Ganden two years later in 1419. Shortly before his death passed the mantle of succession to Gyelstab Je, one of his tow main disiples.

Reting Monastery: It is 150 km north of Lhasa. Instead of turning left to Talung after the Chak-la pass continue on the same road for another 20 km, passing the Tashi Gomang Stupa on your left, to the small town of Pongdo Chu (or Pongdo Dzong), where the road rejoins the Kyichu Rive.r Reting is 24 km from the Pongdo on the north bank of the Rongchu valley. Reting was the first Kadampa monastery to be founded. Drom Tonpa Atisha’s heck disciple began building it when he settled here in 1057, three years after his teacher’s death. He had brought with him some of his teachers relics and remained until his own death in 1064, both teaching and meditating.

Namtso Lake: On the 49 km, descent from Lhachen La Pass, there are spectacular views of the tidal Namtso Lake, which is 70 km long and 30 km wide is the second largest salt water lake in the Tibetan Plateau after Kokonor. The average altitude is 4,718 m, and the landscape is dominated by the snow peak of Nyencheb Tanglha to the southwest.

Tashi Dor: A cave hermitage near the bird sanctuary, marked by two lofty sheer rock towers. The overall distance from Damzhung to Tashi Dor is 74 km. The hermitage caves have a particular association between Padmasambhava and his consort Yeshe Tsogel. It was frequented by great many lamas of the past, including the Thrid Karmapa Rangjung Dorje. Nowadays, there are occupied by occasional hermits of the Nyingma and Kagyu schools. A newly constructed cave temple is maintained by three nuns and two monks. The temple follows the Nyingma tradition, holding Konchok Chidu ceremonies on the 10th day of the lunar month, and Dudjom Troma ceremonies on the 25th.

Ramoche Monastery:  is situated in the northwest of Lhasa, covering a total area of 4000 square meters. This temple is one of the key cultural relic protection sites of the Tibet Autonomous Region as well as a hot attraction in Lhasa. The original building complex has a strong Tang architecture influence, for it was first built by Han Chinese architects in the middle of the 7th century 9urng the Tang Dynasty). Han Princess Wencheng took charge of this project and ordered the temple be erected facing east to show her homesickness.

Tandruk Temple: is situated in the middle of village of the same name 5 km south of Tsethang up the Yarlung Valley. It is one of the first Buddhist temples built in Tibet. As with the Jokhang and Ramoche temples, its founding is attributed to King Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century. He is said to have erected it to house a spontaneously formed image of Tara, and also served as a winter palace for the King. It was repaired and enlarged by the King Trisong Detsen, further expanded in the fourteenth and seventh centuries.

Tanboche Monastery: 17 km down the Chonggye valley  from Tsethang, you will notice to your left a aquare temple building at the base of the hillside in the village. This is Tangboche, means “great plain”. This lower area in the Chonggye Valley derives its name from the time when the vast forest on the hillside burned down and showered the valley below with ash and charcoal, causing people to call it solnak Tangboche, the great palin of coals. 

Chonggye: The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings: at the end of Chonggye Valley, 13 km from Tangboche or 30 km director from Tsethang, are the tumuli erected as tombs for the kings of the Tibetan Empire during the seventh and either centuries. Chonggye was the site chosen by the early Tibetan Kings as their burial ground. The large eroded tumuli that mark the tombs are found on the valley. The biggest and most easily recognizable tomb – the small temple on top-belongs to Songtsen Gamp. It is probable that his two queens were also buried within here.

Rewo Dechen Monastery:  Just before arriving the tombs of the ancient kings in Chonggye, you pass through the valley of the same name, above which are the clearly visible ruins of the Chingwa Taktse Castle, aseries of ramparts climbing the ridge of the hill. A castle was originally built here by King Shatri, the tenth ruler in the Yarlung line, and as the principal residence of the Yarlung Kings until the time of Songtsen Gampo. Beneath the ramparts are the remains of the once magnificent Riwa Dechen Monastery. The mighty crumbling walls of the main assembly hall are all that still stand of the original monastery, whose seventy buildings once covered the upper part of the hillside. The main assembly hall was founded by the fifteenth century lama Lowo Pelzang according to the design of Garton Choje a disciple of Khedrup je. At the time of the fifth Dalai Lama it was associated with Drepung.

Densatil Monastery: about 25 km east of Tsethang at the village of rong, the Tsangpo, narrows and the road veers south away from the turbulent course of the river. A ferry will take you from Rong to Sangri on the northern bank. The ruins of the once magnificent Kagyu monastery of Densatil, situated in a valley high above the Tsangpo, lie 7 km to the west of Sangri. Densatil was founded in 1158 by dorje Gyelpo (1110-1170), a monk from eastern Tibet, who was a leading disciple of Gampo.

The Olk Valley: This valley is the traditional route from Lhasa to Lhamo’l Lhatso, which was followed by the Dalai Lamas and their regents. Remints of the stone – paved pathway can still be seen as you ascend the higher reaches of the Gyelong pass. Several kilometers east of Sangri, before meeting the Olk river, you come acoross the ruins of the Sangri Karmar.

Pelkor Chode: Work on the monastery by Rabten Kunzang in 1418 under spiritual guidance of Tsongkhapa’s disciple Khedrup Je, and was completed seven years later in 1425. Remarkably preserved, many statues and paintings inside date back to the time of its founding. Although the shrines are predominantly Shakya, it was traditionally unaffiliated and used as common assembly place. Today it is looked after by the Gelukpas.

Kumbum: Rabtn Kunzang in July 1427 embarked on his most ambitious project – the construction of the Kumbum (or Tashi Gomang Choten), which was probably completed in 1439, the glided copper roofing and the final consercation ceremonies, however not completed until 1474. The ter Kumbum means having 100,000 images and refers to a particular style of stupa construction in which chapels are housed in ascending symmetrical stories.

Tashilhunpo Monastery: Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the six big monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) and also called Heap of Glory, located on the western edge of modern Shigatse, was founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, who was subsequently recognized as the Dalai Lama. Covering area of 300,000 square meters, the main structures are of Maitreya Chapel, the Palace of Panchem Lama and the Kelsang Temple. It is the seat of Panchem Lama and now approximately 800 monks live here.

Shalu (Zhalu) Monastery: located approx. 19 km before Shigatse and 5 km south from the main road, distinctly seen green tiled roof from the turn off. Founded in eleventh century by Chetsun Sherab Jungne, who had promised to build a temple at the [lace where an arrow fired by his teacher Loton Dorje would land. The architecture of the monastery is combination of both Chinese and Tibetan style with archways, carved pillars, tiled roofs that differentiate with other monasteries.  The monastery is a “must” for visitors to Tibet. Sakya meaning “Grey soil” in Tibetan soil surrounded is grey; walls are painted in red, white and grey strips, which represent Manjushri, Avalokiteshavara and Vajrapani respectively. It is reputed as “Secon dDunhaung”, is the first Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism created by its initiator Khon Konchong Gyalpo in 1073 from which Sakyapa rose and once ruled Tibet, occupied 14,700 squre km. The monastery has 900 years of history and the Sakya Sect ruled Tibet for more than 70 years. So the monastesry has a colossal collection of highly valuable art pieces, including abundance handwriting sutra that is said that copied by all the Tibetan calligraphists organized by Basiba.

Kailash and Manasarover: in the far western Himalayas lies moonscape of wide, stone sprinkled valleys and boulder-strewn mountains. Out of the midst of this windswept plateau raises a geometrical vision of pure white-snow the mystical Kailash known as the “Previous Snow Jewel”. The snow covered holy peak shines brightly as the holiest pace of pilgrimage in the entire Indian subcontinent. For endless centuries Kailash has called pilgrims and mystic who endured great hardships to reach the holy mountain’s remote location and worship on its gem-like slopes. Even today it is not a simple thing to visit Kailash although we try to make the journey comfortable like pilgrim, to endure the rigors of the road. Each of Kailash’s four sheer walls lie-gen like along the four cardinal points of the compass and that’s not all/known as the “Navel of the world”. Kailash is located at the key point to the drainage system of Tibetan Plateau. Many holy rivers flows from the Kailash feeding into the Ganges.

Terdrom Nunnery: in 772 King Trisong Detsen offered his wife two years, Yeshe Tsogyel, to the Indian Tantric guru Padsambhava. This caused such an uproar among the King’s Bon ministers that the couple were forced to flee the royal court. They took refugee Terdrom, where they lived along practicing tantric yoga in a cave, subsquently called the Tsogyel Sangpuk (Tsogyel’s Secret Cave). After Padsambhava departed yeshe Tsogyel returned to Terdrom with another consort from Nepal. The side valley that leads to Terdrom is 2 km west of Drigung Til. A half hour drive of 8 km leads you to a point where the small river divides into two and you see profusion of small houses and prayer flags where most of the 115 nuns currently settled live here. The nunnery clearly stands out from the other smaller dwellings. The altar of the simple, earth – floor chapel displayes the eight manifestations of Padmasambhava and the peafeful and wrathful aspects of Abchi Drolma.

Tashigang Monastery: Approx. 4 km past the Buddha on the Cliffside is a turning on the left, marked with a sign in Tibetan and English, to the newly restored Tashigang Monastery. It is white stupa can be seen from the main road amid the village houses. Founded in the thirteenth century by the Sakya hierarch Pakpa, the small monastery of Tashigang was the first overnight stopover for te Dalai Lamas when traveling southward from Lhasa.

Drolma Lhakhang: 6 km past Buddha on the Cliffside, Drolma Lhakhang is clearly visible on the right hand side of the road. Atisha is the honorific Sanskrit name given to Dipamkara Shri Jnana, the Indian Buddhist master from Bengal who was instrumental in the so-called dissemination of Buddhism in Tibet. Atisha or Jowoje (Precious Lord) as he is called by Tibetans, was born to a noble family in Bengal in 982. He renounced his home and wealth at an early age and dedicated himself to the setensicew study of Buddhism. He arrive in Tibet in 1042, aged sixty on the repeated invitations of King Lha Lama Yeshe O. Hos Composed short text – The Lamp of the path to Enlightenment became the basic writing of the Kadampa school.

Samye Monastery: First Buddhist Monastery to be built in Tibet, probably founded during the 770s under the patronage if King Trisong Deltsen with the working being directed by Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita, the two Indian masters the King had invited to Tibet to help consolidate the Buddhist faith. The monastery was designed on the plan of the Odantapuri temple in present day Bihar Biharand mirrored the basic structure of the universe as described in Buddhist cosmology. The central temple represents Mt. Sumeru, the mythical mountain at the centre of the cosmos. Around it are four temples called “ling” which represent the four continents (ling) situated in the vast ocean to the north, south, east and west of Sumeru.

Yumbulagang Monastery: a further 6 km up the Yarlung Valley a small road winds up to the left and takes you to what is regarded as the site of the oldest building in Tibet. Yumbulagang is believed by Tibetans to have originally built by the first king of the Yarlung Dynasty Nyatri Tsenpo. This tall, dignified building rises erect on the spur of the hill, commanding view of the entire valley, Scholars believe that this building that stood on this site until the mid-sixties probably dated back to the seventh or eighth century may have been built by either Songtsen Gampo or Trisong Tetsen. Tibetan murals suggested that it found its final form during the time of the Fifth Dalai Lama.