Whether you are considering a short visit to Tibet or stopping by as part of an extended trip, the Holy Lhasa Journey is perfect for you. As the commercial and spiritual center for Tibetans, the quintessential Tibetan city of Lhasa offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to experience Tibet.
Traveling to Lhasa
The Holy Lhasa tour begins in iconic Lhasa city, located in the center of the Tibetan Plateau in a valley of the Kyichu River, a tributary of the Yarlang Zangbo (Brahmaputra). Lhasa is the center of Tibetan commercial and spiritual life, luring merchants and pilgrims from all over Asia to participate in trade or religious festivals.
The most important cultural sites in Lhasa are the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, the Barkhor market, and the monasteries of Sera and Drepung. The13-story Potala Palace is located in the center of the city on Red Hill, 300 meters above the Lhasa Valley. It was built by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century, and is named for Mt. Potalaka, the heavenly home of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. It served as the traditional home of the Dalai Lama and the seat of Tibetan government.
- Day 1: Lhasa
- A short flight to Tibet gives you a panorama of the snowy Himalayan ranges. If coming by train, the days of ride over the high plateau crossing the mighty Thangu La ranges gets you to Lhasa with beautiful sceneries along the route. Upon your arrival at the Gonggar airport or Lhasa Train Station, you will be greeted by our Tibetan guide and driver. You will be dropped off at your hotel in Lhasa city, where you will be resting for the rest of the day to acclimatize to the high altitude.
- Day 2: Jokhang & Sera Monastery
- Jokhang Temple is located in the center of the Old Lhasa city. It is one of the most sacred temples of Tibet and is always bustling with local pilgrims from all over Tibet. After that you have time to walk around the Bakhor street, which has been a thriving trade market since the end of the 17th century and also a circumambulation route for the pilgrims. The day will end with a visit to the Sera Monastery, which houses several hundred monks. Built in the fifteenth century, the monastery is famous for its philosophical court yard debates among the monks on the Buddhist doctrine.
- Day 3: Potala Palace & Drepung Monastery
- The Potala Palace is the cardinal landmark of Tibet. It is a masterpiece of Tibetan architecture and considered a world heritage. The palace was first built in the 7th century by Tibet's 33rd king Songtsen Gampo. Rebuilt in the 17th century by the 5th Dalai Lama, it has been home to the successive Dalai Lamas since then. In the afternoon, we will visit the Drepung monastery, which was once the world's largest monastery housing more than 10,000 monks. Visitors will enjoy walking through the twists and turns of the narrow lanes lined with small apartment houses of the monks.
- Day 4: Drakyerpa Hermitage
- For those with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism, the Drakyerpa hermitage located about 16 kilometers (10 miles) northeast of Lhasa, is one of the holiest cave retreats in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Among the many ascetics who have sojourned here are Guru Rinpoche and Atisha, the Indian Buddhist master, who spent 12 years proselytising in Tibet. Drayerpa is a peaceful place offering lovely views and is a great day trip from Lhasa.
- Day 5: Lhasa Depature
- Your guide will drop you off at Gonggar airport or at Lhasa train station.
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