Tibet Tour – Fly in / Fly out
05 nights/ 06 days
Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet, is a city of wonders. The visits to Potala Palace, Norbulingka, and Sera monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Market would be an awesome experience. Potala Palace has been the focus of the travelers for centuries. It is the cardinal landmark and a structure of massive proportion. Norbulingka is the summer palace of His Holiness Dalai Lama. Drepung Monastery is one of the world’s largest and most intact monasteries. Jokhang temple is the spiritual heart of Tibet and Barkhor Market is the place to get the necessary stuffs for the locals as well as the souvenirs for the tourists. A visit to Samye Monastery, Traddruk Monastery and Yambulakang in Tsedang, will leave you with memories of Tibet that will linger long after the journey is over. Samye Monastery is designed to represent the Buddhist universe. Yumbulakang is the first building in Tibet.
|Arrive in Lhasa & drive to Tsedang
|Tsedang – Lhasa
This morning, following breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the airport in Kathmand/ mainland china for your flight to Lhasa, Tibet. In Lhasa you will be met upon your arrival at the Gongar airport to be transferred to your hotel in the city (a drive of about an hour.). The rest of the day is free to relax and begin to acclimatize to the high altitude and rarified air of Lhasa (11,450 ft above sea level). Overnight at Hotel in Lhasa
Today’s sightseeing in Lhasa will take you to two of the most famous and revered landmarks within the city; the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple. The Potala Palace has been the focus of the travelers for centuries. It is the cardinal landmark and symbol for all of Tibet and a structure of massive proportion. This 17th century architectural gem was built in the colossal monastic style of Central Tibet by Gyelwa Ngapa the fifth Dalai Lama, and stands 300m above the valley atop the hill called Marpo Ri. There are more than a thousand rooms in the Potala, which has served the Tibetan community as both a sacred and administrative center. It served many succeeding Dalai Lamas throughout history, and as one of Tibet’s most impressive and enduring monuments, was actually protected by the Chinese Army of Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.
As a result many of its chapels and treasures have remained intact, virtually unchanged since the 17th century. After a morning spent exploring the Potala, in the afternoon you visit the famous Jokhang
Temple, located in the area known as the Barkhor. The oldest and most revered religious structure in Tibet, it dates back to 639 to 647, with the construction begun by king Songsten Gampo to house the Buddha image Akshobhya brought to Tibet by his Nepalese wife. But now, the main statue in this temple is of the Sakyamuni, which was a gift from his Chinese wife Won Cheng in 641 A.D, with the statue of Akshobhya being moved to Romoche.
Pilgrims from all over Tibet come to worship at the Jokhang 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 circuit around the temple. Overnight at Hotel in Lhasa.
Today you continue your explorations of Lhasa with a return to the Barkhor, this time with a chance to explore the bustling 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 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 push and shove, market economics. This is both the spiritual heart of the holy city and the main commercial districts being the center of Tibetan capital's trade for centuries. Walking through the market area itself is a fascinating glimpse into the commercial life of the Tibetans, where one can see the full array of produce available, including of course, massive blocks of yak butter.
In the afternoon you head to the Sera Monastery, just 3 miles north of the city, with the monastery in a pretty setting built on the ridge that forms the Northern wall of the Kyi Chu Valley.
Founded in 1419 by Sakya Yeshe, a disciple of Tsongkhapa and belonging to the Gelugpa sect, the Sera Monastery is one of the three great monasteries of Tibet (the other two being Drepung & Ganden). In its heyday, Sera hosted a huge monastic population of more than 6,000 monks and five colleges. The colleges in Sera specialized in Sera Me (the fundamental precepts of Buddhism), Sera Je (the instruction of itinerant monks) and Sera Ngapa (instruction of Tantric studies). During the Cultural Revolution in 1959, the Sera monastery suffered severe damage, with its colleges destroyed and hundreds of monks killed. After the Dalai Lama took asylum in India, many of the monks of the Sera Monastery who survived the attack moved to Mysore, India where they established a parallel Sera Monastery with Sera Me and Sera Je colleges and a Great Assembly Hall on similar lines to the original monastery.
The Sera Monastery in Tibet and its counterpart in Mysore, India are the best locations to witness the “Monk Debates” on the teachings of Buddha and the philosophy of Buddhism. Sera Monastery developed over the centuries as a renowned place of scholarly learning, training hundreds of scholars, many of whom have attained fame in the Buddhist nations. Overnight at Hotel in Lhasa.
Fly Or By Train
Today you depart Lhasa for a drive that will take you to the city of Shigatse (165 miles to the west of Lhasa) by way of Gyantse. In the town of Gyantse you will be able to visit the famous Khumbum stupa and Palkhor monastery. The Kumbum Stupa is one of the most revered stupas in Tibet, and an unusual architectural masterpiece. It was built in 1440 and is in the shape of a 108-sided mandala. The word ‘Kumbum’ means 10,000 images, and the stupa rises over four symmetrical floors and is surmounted by a gold dome that itself rises like a crown over four sets of eyes that gaze serenely out in the cardinal directions of the compass.
Near Gyantse, and about 60 miles before Shigatse, is the Palkhor Monastery, designed with a typical Tibetan Buddhist monastical architecture that combines stupa and temple, with temples in the stupa, and stupas in the temple. The stupas and temples exist harmoniously and bring out the best in each other. Its architecture fully represents a typical style of monasteries from the thirteenth to 15th centuries. The Palkhor also features its "Bodhi stupa", or "Kumbum" in Tibetan. Deemed as the symbol of the monastery, the spectacular "stupa" consists of hundreds of chapels in layers, housing about a hundred thousand images of various icons. These icons include Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Vajras, Dharma Kings, Arhats, Disciples, all revered images of different orders in Tibetan Buddhist history.
In total there are about 3,000 statues, forming the basis for the nickname of the "Myriad Buddhas Stupa". Late in the afternoon you will reach the city of Shigatse where you will spend the night. Overnight at the Hotel .
This morning you have the opportunity to visit the famous Tashilumpo monastery. This monastery is the seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking tulku lineage in the Gelugpa tibetan Buddhist hierarchy, after the Dalai Lama. Located on a hill in the center of the city, the name of the monastery means "all fortune and happiness gathered here" or "heap of glory". Yet here the ugly head of Chinese politics entered the picture after the 10th Panchen Lama died in 1989. The Chinese authorities then chose the new Panchen Lama, among some children selected according to Tibetan traditions, while the candidate that had been chosen by the Dalai Lama, living in exile in India, was arrested and is now in jail in Beijing with his family, making him the youngest political prisoner of the world. The Tashilumpo monastery remains popular among the Tibetans, as they carry on coming here on pilgrimages. The Monastery stands 3,800 meters above sea level and within it there are many different halls, temples, gallery, courtyard, and chapels that can be visited. It also houses the tombs of the Panchen Lamas, beautiful chortens decorated with gold and precious stones, as well as a Maitreya Bouddha statue 26 meters high. One distinct feature of the monastery is the Maitreya Temple. It’s located on the western part of the monastery’s highest building. The Ninth Panchen Lama ordered its construction in to accommodate the 86 foot statue of the Maitreya Buddha that contains 614 lbs of gold, 330,000 lbs of copper. In the afternoon you depart from Shigatse for the drive back to Lhasa, crossing the 16,500 ft Karola Pass and the 15,800 ft Kambala Pass, and then driving past the brilliant turquoise blue Yamdrok Lake. You then descend into the Lhasa Valley where the road crosses the Tibetan lifeline Brahmaputra River, before reaching the capital of Lhasa. Overnight at Hotel in Lhasa.
Above Cost is includes:
· Arrival and departure by our representative.
· 02 nights’ accommodation in Hotel on twin/ double sharing on the bed and breakfast basis as per the above mentioned hotels.
· 03 nights’ accommodation in Lhasa on twin/ double sharing on the bed and breakfast basis as per the above mentioned hotels.
· All entrance and monument fee as indicated in the program.
· All the sightseeing tour in Tibet will be provided as per the program with local English speaking Tibetan guide.
· All transfer by private vehicle
· Tibet travel permit.
Cost does not include:
· International airfares and taxes [Quoted separately, subject to change if revised]
· Chinese visa. [Quoted separately]
· Meals which are not mention in itinerary.
· Refreshment, bottled drinks.
· Gratuities, Tipping to Guide and drivers.
· Insurance and rescue in any form.
· Cost arising out of flight cancellation / road blockades/landslides/riots and event beyond our control
· Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost.
· Photography charges in the monastery and monuments.