Tibet Overland Tour
11 days | Departs Kathmandu/BeijingTibet Autonomous Region has long been known as the "Roof of the world" and is no idle statement. The land veiled in secrecy, closed to the outside world for centuries. 'The Roof of the World" is now open to you. The valley bottom ...read more
Tibet Autonomous Region has long been known as the "Roof of the world" and is no idle statement. The land veiled in secrecy, closed to the outside world for centuries. 'The Roof of the World" is now open to you. The valley bottom of Tibet are higher than the highest mountains elsewhere. Its now-covered plateau are the highest in the world. Apart from Everest, which Tibetans see form the other side, many a mountain ranges are over 15000 ft. We are introduced with chanting monks' stopped in prayer, the nomadic herds men of the Tibetan plateau single and wade through prostrating citizens as they circumambulate monasteries on their bellies w6ileprayer flags fan the burning incense as the smoke rise towards the heaven, to God who govern by a faith compassionate to all living thing.
Lhasa, the heart and soul of Tibet and an object of devout pilgrimage, is still a city of wonders. "Lhasa" in Tibetan means "the land of gods" and is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region is located between 29o 36'N and 19o 06' E at the north bank of Kyichu river, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, at an altitude of 3650 meters above he sea level. Lhasa has history of more than 1300 years and it's been the center of politics, economy, culture and religion in Tibet since ancient times. Places of interest include the Potala, the 13 storey vast white and ochre fortress of theDalai Lama, dominates the Lhasa skyline. Once the seat of Tibetan government and the location of the tombs of previous Dalai Lamas, the Potala serves as a symbolic focus for Tibetan aspirations. The Drepung monastery (8 kilometers (5 miles) west of Lhasa under Mt. Gambo Utse)is the largest and richest monastery in Tibet.and the Sera monastery are the most famous. The summer palace of the Dalai Lama, Norbulingka; and the Jokhang Temple, the holiest shrine of Tibet are the major attractions in Lhasa. The circular Barkhor Street with innumerable shops and wayside peddlers intermingle with the devotees. The Ganden Monastery and the Yangpachen are the two most famous place in the surrounding of Lhasa which are a must see for tourists.
Potala Palace: Built in the 17th century, the Potala Palace, a pearl on the plateau is one of the architectural wonders of the world. The word "Potala" comes from Sanskrit. In the 7th century, after the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo's marriage with Princess Wencheng of the Tang Court, the Palace was built for meditation. In the mid-17th century, it was re-built by the 5th Dalai Lama to its present size, and ever since it became the Winter Palace of the Dalai Lamas. The construction took fifty years from its beginning to completion.Potala Palace is located on top of a red hill in Lhasa's city centre. It stands at the site of older structures, dating back another thousand years. In the center is the older, red palace, surrounded by the large white palace. With over 1000 rooms, the one storeyed palace covers an area of 10,000 square meters. It witnessed the life of the Dalai Lamas and the important politicaland religious activities in the past centuries. There are grand palaces within palaces. The Palace stands up so high that it resembles a magnificent castle in the heaven. It makes itself a good example of the ancient Tibetan culture and architecture. There also stored the world treasure-the goldhand-written Buddhist scriptures, valuable gifts from the Chinese emperors and a lot of priceless antiques.You will be amazed bythe colorful sculptures and paintings. The Potala Palace deserves the title of art gallery and museum. It is a symbol of the wisdom and power of the Tibetan people. It is a majestic architectural work and the cream Tibetan culture and complex of Tibetan and Han culture. The view from the roof over Lhasa, the valley and to the mountains is just spectacular.
Gyantse (13,050 ft.) is a small agricultural town famous for its wool carpets and the Palkhor Choide Chorten. It is small as cities go (population perhaps 10,000) and largely Tibetan in character - for a change. The town is situated about two small hills which lie east and west, and is united by a saddle; the western hill is further connected with a chain of mountains to the north. On the eastern hill, which is about 600 feet above the surrounding plain, is a large fort, which towers above the village offers a fine view over the valley and on the western hill is a Gomba inhabited by five hundred Dabas. In this Gomba there is a chorten, called Pangon Chorten, which is considered by the Tibetans a most holy place and is notable for its superb Kumbum (10,000 images) stupa. Besides the fort and temple, there are about one thousand dwelling houses on three sides of the double hill.
Before 1959, traders coming from Kalimpong and Gangtok (India) used to enter Tibet through Yadong and then to Gyantse, enroute to Lhasa.
Shigatse, also known as Xigatse, which means "fertile land", is the second largest city in Tibet. It is the seat of Panchen Lama who is regarded as the reincarnation of the Buddha of Endless Enlightenment. This city stands between the confluence of the Yarlong Tsangpo and Nyangchu River, used to be the capital of Tsang and now is the capital of Shigatse prefecture.
Shigatse (12,600 ft.) is most famous for its Tashilhunpo Monastery - the seat of the Panchen Lama. Places of interest within this monastery include the relics sakyamuni, the hall of maitreya and mind-boggling collection of thankas, etc within the Tashilhunpo Monastery. There is also bustling "free" market at the foot of the ruins of the xigaze fortress and one can buy local handicrafts embedded with coral and torquoise, chinese porcelain and yak butter etc. The highlight of Shigatse is surprisingly high snow capped peaks. Most of the highest peaks in Tibet, including Mt. Everest, lie around Shigatse. The other wonderful monastery near Shigatse is the Sakya Monastery and Shalu Monastery.
LHATSE (13,100 ft.)
It is situated at the cross roads from where the road turns westwards towards Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar lake
XEGAR (13,800 ft.) .Is a new Chinese commune built at the ruins of Xegar Dzong , and is 7 kms from the main road . With a population of 3000 , its importance lies in the fact that it is the center of this large and remote country .and also a base from where expeditions to Mt. Everest and other peaks are launched.
NYALAM ( 12200 FT)Known as `Kuti' to Nepalese traders, it used to be an important trade post tucked into a fertile valley. Now a days, barrack style Chinese communes surround the typical old flat roofed mud-brick houses. Although vegetation is sparse, one can see an abundance of alpine fauna on the hillside during the summer months.
ZHANG MU (7000 FT) This small town has become a major trading post between Tibet and Nepal. The subtropical climate endows the small town with warm, humid weather and beautiful scenery throughout the year.
The town is built along a winding road that is lined with private homes, shops, restaurants and government buildings. The booming border trade attracts merchants from inland China, Tibet and Nepal. Nepalese merchants export rice, flour, pepper, vegetables and perfumes while Chinese merchants sell wool, tea, salt and Tibetan medicine. There are also restaurants run by the Nepalese serving traditional dishes, instant noodles and beer produced in Nepal. A free trade market formed spontaneously near the Friendship Bridge about 8 years ago, still developing today.According to an agreement between the Chinese and Nepalese governments, people living within 30 kilometres (18 miles) of the border may cross the border freely. Every day, hundreds of Chinese and Nepalese merchants conduct business under this agreement. Local Sherpa lease their houses to the merchants thus sharing in the profit of the border trade.
Zhangmu is going to undergo major construction to meet the demands of the booming tourism and border trade. Zhangmu Hotel, the town's only hotel, will be rebuilt and expanded. Within the next 5 years the local government plans to build a 2,220-metre (7,280 feet) roadway to improve traffic flow.
KODARI ( 6500 FT) It is a boarder town with Nepal 8 km from Zhang Mu and 114 km from Kathmandu,Nepal.
Short ItineraryDay 01: Kathmandu ( It must be Thursday or Sun or Tue / arrival before 11 Am or one day earlier)
Day 02: Full day tour of Kathmandu Valley. (B)
Day 03: KATHMANDU – KODARI – ZANG BU 123 km (B)
Day 04: ZANG MU-NYALAM – XEGAR 206 km(B)
Day 05: XEGAR – SHIGATSE 150 km(B)
Day 06: SHIGATSE – GYANTSE 90 km(B)
Day 07: GYANTSE – LHASA 261 km(B)
Day 08: Explore Lhasa (B)
Day 09: Explore Lhasa (B)
Day 10: FLIGHT LHASA – KATHMANDU(B)
Day 11: Kathmandu-Home (B)
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