Lhasa offers fabulous monastery sights, breathtaking high altitude treks, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains. The Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas since the 7th century, is a true symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. Jokhang Temple is the most sacred and exceptionally active Buddhist temple of Tibet. Norbulingkha, the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas, is filled with splendid murals painted by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama's painter. The traditional lifestyle and appearance of Lhasa's old city district is well preserved in Barkhor Street. The Sera Monastery got its name from the sera flowers or wild roses on the hill. Ganden Monastery is renowned as one of the biggest and most important Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet. Pha Bhong Kha monastery is little visited but is one of the most ancient Buddhist sites in the Lhasa region.
|DAY 01||Fly to Lhasa (11,830 FT/3607M)||Hotel|
|DAY 02||Visit Drepung Monastery||Hotel|
|DAY 03||Visit Potala Palace||Hotel|
|DAY 04||Excursion to Ganden Monastery||Hotel|
|DAY 05||Excursion to Pha Bhong Kha||Hotel|
Fly to Gonggar Airport in Tibet. You will be met by our representative at the airport and will be transferred to Lhasa City. It is approximately 2 hours drive from the airport. Lhasa, the forbidden Kingdom on the roof of the World has captured man's imagination for centuries. It is truly a city of wonders. Overnight in hotel.
Drepung Monastery: Drepung Monastery is about 8 km to the west of central Lhasa. It is one of the largest monasteries in the world and was built in 1416 by Jamyang Choje, a pupil of Tshong Khapa, the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. It also served as the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the Potala Palace was constructed.
Norbulingkha: Norbulingkha is the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas. The 8th Dalai Lama designated it as a summer retreat but the majority of the buildings were not erected until the reigns of 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas. Every year as the chill air warmed, the Dalai Lama would leave Potala in a grand procession for six months residence in the Norbulingkha. It is worth a visit and the park is a great place to be at festival times and public holidays. During the seventh lunar month of every year, the Norbulingkha is crowded with picnickers for the Shotun festival.
Jokhang Temple: The oldest and the most revered religious structure in Tibet, it dates back to 639 AD to 647 AD. The construction was initiated by king Songtsen Gampo to house an image of Buddha Akshobhya brought to Tibet by his Nepalese wife. But now, the main statue in this temple is of the Buddha Sakyamuni, which was a gift from his Chinese wife Won Cheng in 641 AD. The statue of Buddha Akshobhya was moved to Romoche. Pilgrims from all over Tibet come to worship here and prostrate themselves in full length in front of the main doors of the temple. It is truly a moving and unrivalled experience to witness such a sight and more so to actually join them in their pilgrimage around the temple.
Barkhor Market: The word Barkhor refers to the middle of the three concentric holy circuits around the Jokhang. The Barkhor Circuit runs through the heart of the old city where life has changed little down through the centuries and it gives you a curious sensation of having slipped through time into a medieval carnival. It is an area unrivalled in Tibet for its fascinating combination of deep religiosity and “pushes – and – shoves” market economics. This is both the spiritual heart of the holy city and the main commercial districts being the center of the Tibetan capital's trade for centuries.
Potala Palace: Potala Palace has been the focus of travelers for centuries. It is the cardinal landmark and a structure of massive proportion standing 300 m above the valley atop the hill called Marpo Ri. This symbol of Tibet is an architectural gem built in the 17th century in the colossal monastic style of Central Tibet by Gyelwa Ngapa the fifth Dalai Lama. This thousand-roomed Potala Palace was built to serve as a sacred and administrative center for many succeeding Dalai Lamas. It is one of Tibet’s most impressive and enduring monuments and even the Chinese Army of Red Guards protected it during the Cultural Revolution. As a result many of its chapels and treasures are intact, virtually unchanged since the 17th century.
Sera Monastery: 5 km North of Lhasa, it’s setting is one of the prettiest in Lhasa, hugging the ridge that forms the Northern wall of the Kyi Chu Valley. Founded in 1419 by Sakya Yeshe, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, belonging to the Gelugpa sect and is one of the three great monasteries of Tibet, the other two being Drepung & Ganden. In its heyday, Sera hosted a huge monastic population and five colleges. Like Drepung, the colleges in Sera specialized in: Sera Me in fundamental precepts of Buddhism, Sera Je in instruction of itinerant monks and Sera Ngagpa in Tantric studies.
After years of wandering, Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa order decided to build his own monastery at Mount Droki. Ganden Monastery soon gained renown as one of the biggest and most important Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet. With the onset of the Cultural Revolution, it was bombed and shelled but has now been reconstructed. It is 40 km northeast of Lhasa and is worth a visit, giving you an experience unrivalled by other Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa.
Pha Bong Kha is about 15 minutes drive away from Lhasa and offers wonderful views of the Lhasa City. Emperor Songsten Gampo meditated in a cave here for three years and later Padmasambhava, Atisha and Je Tsongkhapa did as well. The monastery is built on top of a rock that houses the cave. Left of Pha Bong Kha is a sky burial site that people from Lhasa use. Pha Bong Kha is no doubt one of the power places of Lhasa. A nice day hike takes us up the mountain and to Chub Sang Nunnery, Chuling Monastery, Tag Tsang Sen Bu cave, Sera Utse Monastery, Kaa Tsang Shar-nub monastery and Phur Chue monastery. Total hiking time is about 5-6 hours.
Transfer to the airport to board onward flight.
The above cost includes:
• Meet at the airport by our representative and transferred to the hotel as booked.
• 05 night’s accommodation Lhasa Hotel in a twin sharing room on bed and breakfast plan.
• Sightseeing tour and all surface transfers in Tibet will be provided as per the itinerary with local English speaking Tibetan guide by private vehicle
• International/domestic arrival / departure transfers.
• Tibet Travel Permit.
• All surface transfers as per the itinerary by private vehicle.
• All entrance and monuments fees as indicated in the program.
The above cost that DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• Chinese Visa Fee.
• International & domestic airfare.
• Airfare for the sector Lhasa In & Out.
• Lunches & Dinners in Lhasa.
• Refreshments, bottled drinks.
• Tipping to guides and drivers.
• Insurance and rescue of any form.
• Cost arising out of flight cancellation/road blockades/landslides/riots and events beyond our control.
• Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost.
• Photography charges in the monasteries and monuments.
• Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.