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Nicknamed the “roof of the world” for its towering peaks. Tibet is a spiritual hub for Buddhists, other than the monasteries this city also showcases beautiful valleys and scenic views. It’s a complete delight to visit Tibet. Below listed are some of the most beautiful places on the earth.
Lhasa- Lhasa translates to the ‘Place of the god’s’. It justifies its name with its religious culture and the absorbing beauty of this city. The Potala Palace is a landmark in Tibet, this dzong fortress is divided into two parts namely the red and white palace. This palace has been recognized as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It used to be the winter palace of the Dalai lamas till 1959 after that it was turned into a museum. The beautiful murals present inside portray the entire history of Tibet. Many amazing wooden and stone structures can be found inside this structure. Jhokang temple is the holiest destination of all Tibetan pilgrimage, this is also a world heritage site as an extension of the Potala Palace. This temple was built This is a four storied temple built with the Han style of architecture. The main attraction here is the life size statue of 12-year old Sakyamuni Buddha. Also, present here inside is an atmospheric labrinth of chapels dedicated to various Buddhas. Markets present on Barkhor street, tourism handicraft market, and Tsingsaikang market are good places to purchase Tibetan handicrafts and to observe the Tibetan culture.
Note: Tibet’s only airport is available in Lhasa
Gyantse- Gyantse is notable for its restored Gyantse fort, and its magnificent tiered Kumbun of the Palcho Monastery, the largest chorten in Tibet. The Kumbum was commissioned by a Gyantse prince in 1427 and was an important center of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. This religious structure contains 77 chapels in its six floors, and is illustrated with over 10,000 murals, many showing a strong Nepali influence, which have survived almost entirely intact. They are the last of its kind to be found in Tibet. Many of the restored clay statues are of less artistry than the destroyed originals - but they are still spectacular. Precious objects were destroyed or sent out of Tibet during the cultural revolution. The chorten was spared, the main building of the Pelkor Chode or Palcho Monastery and the Kumbum have been largely restored but the fort is still largely in ruins. There is an Anti-British Imperialism Museum present here which gives the Tibetian version of the 1904 British invasion. The sculpture that forms the centerpiece of the museum are two "Tibetan" warriors, but they were based on photos taken by Lt. G. J. Davys in Chumbi Valley of non-Tibetans doing fake battles, and the armor were worn backwards.
Distance from Lhasa- 261 kilometer
Shigaste- Shigatse is present along the Sino-Nepal Friendship Highway. Crossing over the summit of Kamba La (4794 m), one can experience the tranquil turquoise waters of Lake Yamdrok; one of the four holy lakes in Tibet; everyone from Dalai Lama to the locals make pilgrimages here. Present far in the distance is the towering massif Mt. Nojin Kangsang (7191 m), and the staggering Karo-la Glacier (5045 m). Tashi Lhumpo Monastery is the seat of Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader in Tibet. Full name of this monastery translates to “all fortune and happiness gathered here”, one feels alleviated when in the halls of this monastery. Placed inside the monastery is a very giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha, 26.2 meters (86 feet) in height. The stories between different Dalai and Panchen Lama are recited by the locals present here. Present on the outskirts of this monastery is an open market brimming with Tibetan handicrafts and jewelry.
Distance from Lhasa- 271 kilometers
Distance from Gyantse- 94 kilometers
Namtso Lake- Namtso Lake is known as the Sky Lake among locals. That is because Namtso Lake is world’s highest saline lake with an altitude of 4718 meters. The deep blue water in the lake makes it look like a part of the sky, and the perennial snow-capped Nyenqing Tangula Mountains with a peak over 7000 meters towering above the lake to the south, besides you could also see vast Namtso grassland with nomadic families and yaks dotted on. Despite of the 6-hour distance from Lhasa and the light dizziness one gets from travelling on mountain roads, thousands of tourists visit this picturesque lake. There are 5 islands on this lake which are used by pilgrims as spiritual retreats. Pilgrims walk to the islands when the lake is frozen and spend their summers on that island. The sunset and the sunrise over the lake is a sight to behold, but it depends on the weather condition.
Distance from Lhasa- 122 kilometers
Distance from Gyantse- 219 kilometers
Sera Monastery- Located 2.01 kilometers away from Lhasa, this monastery was name Sera which translates to flower because of the blooming roses on the hill behind during its construction. It is one of the three famous monasteries in Tibet along with the Drepung monastery and the Ganden monastery. Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scented cloth and murals depicting historically significant events can be found in the halls of this monastery. More than 3000 monks still reside in the chambers of this monastery, it is responsible for 19 hermitages including 4 nunneries. The great assembly hall also known as the Coquen hall is the main attraction of this monastery. This four-story structure hosts various rituals and right. On entering the hall one can see large applique Thangas that are suspended from the ceiling on the side walls. This hall also contains private apartments for the Dalai Lama. Sera college present here is the biggest college in Tibet, present here is the statue of Hayagriva, sculpted in glided copper. This statue is considered as the protective deity of the monastery.
Distance from Lhasa- 2 kilometers
Distance from Gyantse- 264 kilometers
Entrance fee- 50 CNY
Opening hours- 9:00 – 16:00