Tibet culture tour are time wrapped transforming perception of diversity whilst exploring the glory of adventure and discovery. The cultural contrast of Tibet is not condensed in Lhasa alone, with an area of 474,300 sq miles and suppressed population of just over 3.145 million, it is easily understood, its cultural gems are far flung over various counties. This is an 8 days tour that runs across several of its golden heritage revealing hidden path of culture in Tibet.
Day 01: Arrival and transfer to Hotel. Rest and get over jet-lag. Overnight Hotel (Several flight lands at Kathmandu airport at odd hours but we request you to book your flight that land between morning and noon. Further, try to obtain Nepal visa from the nearest diplomatic mission prior to heading for Kathmandu. It is certain to save you some agony. Else, might take three to four hours to get clearance from arrival lounge. However, the case of waiting for luggage is still a big time consumer.
Day 02: After breakfast, we begin with one kilometer casual walk observing the internal street and grocery market of main city and reach the World Heritage site – Kathmandu Durbar Square. (Much of the sites in the area is under renovation, was hugely damaged by the Earthquake of 25th April 2015). But there’s enough to occupy interest and to visit the only official Living Goddess in the world and her Palace.
Later, drive to Shyambhunath perched on a Hill top overlooking the valley (another Heritage site but the rage of quake didn’t spare the monument, worth a visit anyways). Back to your Hotel and free for Lunch and some rest
Afternoon 14:30 Hrs: Visit Patan Durbar Square (partially damages). Normally take about two hours to finish tour of interesting sites. Return to Hotel. In the evening, introduction to folk tune and cultural rhythm and dine Nepalese delicacies. Overnight Hotel
Day 03: Morning, visit Bauddha Nath (heritage site partially damaged and under repair) and the Town is also known as little Tibet. An hour here suffices and we reach Guhyeshwari Temple built in the 17th century. We take a short hike through the revered forest to Pashupati Nath Temple (Heritage site and intact) the most important place of Hinduism in Nepal. Return to Hotel, Lunch and rest.
Afternoon 15:00 Hrs: Drive to one of most visited vantage point of the valley – Nagarkot. Check into your hotel, explore and enjoy magnificent view of Himalayas and Sunset. Moreover it help to maintain some degree of acclimatization required for Lhasa. Overnight Hotel
Day 04: Get the glimpse of glittering Himalayas over sunrise (need to wake up early). Take a short rest, breakfast and at a convenient time hike to Changu Narayan (Heritage site but damaged badly). This is a 4th century pagoda style temple and has several masterpieces of 5th and 12th century Nepalese art. Later drive to Bhaktapur Durbar square (most damaged with the impact of earthquake), take time for lunch in one of many fine eateries and most of the afternoon is spent exploring the city. Return to Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel
Day 05: Fly to Lhasa and transfer to hotel, Full rest for acclimatization
Day 06 & 07: Two full days sightseeing in Lhasa
Barkhor Bazaar: Barkhor is the heartland for vendors and the street is paved by hand-polished stone boards resembling the authenticity of Lhasa. In the street you can experience the mysterious “one-step-one-bow” way to religion while circumambulating the market circle. Varied shops stand on its both sides and thousands of floating stands are on every corner. Overall, Barkhor Bazzar is a place full of religious atmosphere and a distinct market of exotic articles.
Potala Palace: Constructed on the side of Marpo Ri or the red mountain in the center of capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region, Potala Palace in Lhasa, remained the residence of Dalai Lamas until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the Tibetan rebellion of 1959. It is now a museum and World Heritage Site but is not unlike a fortress in appearance.
Sear Monastery: one of the “great three” Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, located 1.25 miles north of Lhasa and about 5 kilometres north of the Jokhang. The other two are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery: Drepung Monastery: located at the foot of Mount Gephel, is one of the “great three” Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet. Ganden Monastery is in Dagzê County, in Lhasa.
Jokhang Temple: also called the Qoikang Monastery, Jokang, Jokhang Temple, Jokhang Monastery or Zuglagkang, is located on Barkhor Square in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. For the Tibetans it is the most sacred and important temple in Lhasa.
Day 08: Scenic drive to Xigatse through the northern route. The is the second largest city 300 Km away from Lhasa often know as the fertile land situated around 3500 m elevation offers views of Mt. Everest
Day 09 : Morning visit:
Tashilhunpo monastery: built by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447. Among the six hugest monasteries in Tibet this monastery stands on massive area of 300,000 Sq. m and known as the Seat of Panchen Lama considered the second most important religious leader after Dalai Lama in Tibet.
Drive to drive to Gyantse: the third largest city in Tibet notable for its restored Gyantse Dzong or fort, and its magnificent tiered Kumbum literally 100,000 images of the Palcho Monastery, the largest chörten in Tibet.
Kumbum Stupa: referred the landmark of Gyantse. It is a three-dimensional mandala meant to portray the Buddhist cosmos. The Kumbum, like other mandalas, which are portrayed by a circle within a square, enables the devotee to take part in the Buddhist perception of the universe and can depict one’s potential as they move through it. Many of the statues were damaged during the Cultural Revolution but have since been replaced with clay images, though they lack the artistic merit of the originals. The 14th century murals showing Newari (traditionally Nepalese) and Chinese influences, survived much better.
Phalkor Monastery: also reffered as Palkhor Dechen meaning auspicious chakra monastery was founded jointly by Kedup Je of the Gelugpa Sect and Rabten Kunsang of the Sakyapa Sect in 1418. It inheritances special influence over Tibet’s Buddhism owing to its unification of three different sects, the Gelugpa, the Sakyapa and Bhuton Sects, in a single monastery. The famous Kumbum pagoda, built in collaboration with Newari artists from Nepal & Tibetan artists, also stands in the same courtyard with nine storey, 108 doors and 77 chapels containing clay sculptures and various murals. The pagoda is said to have 100,000 images, either sculptured or painted, this is the reason for its name “100,000 Image Pagoda”.
Day 10: Full day drive to Tsedang: Zêtang also Zedang or Tsethang is the fourth largest city in Tibet and is located in the Yarlung Valley, 183 km southeast of Lhasa in Nedong County of Lhoka Prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region of China
Day 11: Sightseeing tour:
Yubulakang: is an ancient structure in the Yarlung Valley in the vicinity of Tsetang, Nêdong County, the seat of Lhoka Prefecture, in the southern Tibet. According to legend, it was the first building in Tibet and the palace of the first Tibetan king, Nyatri Tsenpo. Yumbulakang stands on a hill on the eastern bank of the Yarlung River southeast of Nêdong County about 192 kilometres from Lhasa. A thousand years later, during the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama 1617-82, the palace was turned into a monastery for the Gelug School. Traditionally, it is said that the first cultivated field in Tibet, called Zortang, is located to the northwest, below Yumbulakang. Even today, farmers sprinkle soil from Zortang on their own fields to ensure a good harvest.
Samye Gompa: the first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet. It was probably first constructed between 775-9 under the patronage of King Trisong Detsen of Tibet who sought to revitalize Buddhism, which had declined since its introduction by King Songtsän Gampo in the 7th century. Samye Monastery is laid out on the shape of a giant mandala, with the main temple representing the legendary Mount Meru in the centre. Other buildings stand at the corners and cardinal points of the main temple, representing continents and other features of tantric Buddhist cosmology.
The main temple is full of Tibetan religious art in mural and statue forms, as well as some important relics. Many Tibetan Buddhists come on pilgrimage to Samye, some taking weeks to make the journey.
Day 12: Fly back to Kathmandu and transfer to Hotel. Day free to explore and collect souvenirs.
Day 13: At a convenient time transfer to international airport to connect outbound flight. Bon Voyage or continue with extended program.
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Winter may not be a great season to Travel to Tibet, but it is still the best time to enjoy culture and experience adventure holiday more freely.