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TIBET (Lhasa)

Tibet Tour
Tibet from time immemorial has been a land of mystery. Closed to outsiders for centuries, this land remained relatively unknown until it was opened to tourists in the early 1980's. In recent times Tibet has become increasingly popular with tourists from the west. Although much has been destroyed since the invasion, there is a lot to see in Tibet. Buddhism was highly developed probably because of its isolation over the centuries. Tibetan Buddhism is highly regarded in the west and has devotees even in Hollywood.

Tibet occupies a huge land mass though it is under populated. Much of it consists of the Tibetan plateau. It is known as the roof of the world. The terrain ranges from 1,700m gorges to the Himalayan peaks reaching over 8000m in height. The north face of Mt. Everest lies in Tibet from where the early expeditions to Everest were launched.

Places to visit
Lhasa, the capital of Tibet has a history going back 1,300 years and its jewel in the crown is the Potala Palace which has 1000 rooms and was the seat of the Dalai Lamas who ruled over the Tibetan people. This superb structure was built in 1645 and supposedly contains 10,000 shrines and 200,000 religious icons. The other places of interest are the Jhokhang Monastery and the Barkhor market. The Jhokhang is said to be the holiest Buddhist shrine in all of Tibet. It is a work of art with its vast mural paintings, the golden roof and many fine art works.

Beyond Lhasa
The former summer retreat of the Dalai Lama is the Norbulingka and consists of three palaces. 10km away from Lhasa lies the Drepung Monastery which was built in 1416 and is the largest in Tibet. Another famous monastery lies 5 km north of Lhasa and is known as the Sera Monastery. This too is an important center for Buddhist learning.

272 km away from Lhasa lies Shigatse at 3,900m in the west. Many tourists visit this second largest city of Tibet. This is an area full of enchanting scenery with farmers working the fields and sheep and yaks grazing on the long stretches of grassland. See the 26 meter- high statue of the future Buddha, Maitreya. You will also find many images of the historical Buddha as well asf embalmed bodies of high lamas. Travel along the ancient trade route between India and Tibet; visit Gyantse , which is 260 km. southwest of Lhasa. Visit here the old Kumbum stupa, which has 77 rooms and houses an incredible 100,000 images of the Buddha. On the way you will go over three mountain passes the Simila (4,380m), Karola (5,045m) and the Ghampala pass (4,794m). 195 km away from Lhasa is the old town of Tsetang, which is said to be the cradle of the Tibetan civilization. The Valley of the Kings, Yumbu Legang Palace and the Tandruk Monastery are the other places of interest.
One of the greatest attractions however is the revered pilgrimage site of Mt. Kailash in western Tibet. Nearby is the other important site of lake Manasarovar. These two holy sites are considered extremely sacred by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and by followers of the Bon faith.

Getting there:
Tibet can be easily reached by air from Kathmandu or by four-wheel drive along the long road to Lhasa.

When to visit
The time to visit Tiber is from March to October. As you will be traveling at high altitudes, down jackets are recommended to ward off the extreme cold.

The incredible beauty of the seemingly endless chain of mountains leaves one in awe of creation. This is one flight you cannot afford to miss.

The cost and tour details are available on your request.
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