Tibet : Overview
The Tibet Autonomous Region is located on the Tibetan Plateau, the highest region on earth. In northern Tibet elevations reach an average of over 4,572 meters (15,000 ft). Mount Everest is located on Tibet's border with Nepal. Tibet is the southwest frontier of China, the larger southern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is directly south of Xinjiang and Qinghai, west of Sichuan, northwest of Yunnan in China; and borders Burma, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and the disputed area of Jammu and Kashmir on the south and west.
Tibet, set on the lofty Tibetan plateau, is an autonomous region of China nicknamed the “Roof of the World” for its towering peaks. ? it is regarded as the third pole, as its remoteness and harsh climate rival the Arctic and Antarctic.
It supports a wide variety of herbs, flowers, and rare animals in a wide variety of climate zones ranging from high-altitude polar to tropical, desert to wet. The natural scenery varies with altitude and (in the summer) can provide "four seasons' beauty on one mountain in one day;. The landscape can be divided into four areas: the Himalayas, Southern Tibet Valley, North Tibet Plateau, and East Tibet Canyons.
The Himalayan Mountains are in the south of Tibet, an east–west mountain range with an average altitude of about 6,000 meters (20,000 feet). Mt. Everest is located in Tingri County, Shigatse Prefecture, on the border of Nepal. At 8,844 meters (29,017 feet) it has the highest point on the earth's surface. The Himalayas are covered by ice and snow all year round above 5,700 meters (19,000 feet)
Tourism attraction of Tibet
1. The Potala Palace
Palace Potala Palace, regarded as landmark and the symbol of Tibet, is a great giant palace consisting of many houses, towers, chapels, etc. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Potala Palace is the highest place in the world. Because of its spectacular architecture style, it is honored as one of the most beautiful architectural building in the world and also a world heritage site.
Tashilhunpo Monastery is located in Shigatse around 250 km away from the capital of Tibet Lhasa. Situated on the foot of Drolmari, the structure is one of the six huge monasteries of Gelugpa in Tibet which was built by 1st Dalai Lama in the year 1447. It stands on a whooping area of around 300,000 sq. m and is also known as a seat of the Panchen Lama who is considered to be the second most important religious leader of Tibet.
The Tashilhunpo Monastery was founded by Gedun Drub who was later named as the first Dalai Lama. He was also the nephew and follower of the legendary Buddhist Philospher Je Tsongkhapa. The massive scale renovation of the monastery was started by the fourth Panchen Lama and was carried on by successive Lamas. In the year 1791, the monastery was attacked and looted by a Nepalese Gurkha warrior who was later ousted by the Chinese who were expanding there power over entire Tibet. When the monastery was at its most active, there were more than 4000 monks and 4 tantric colleges with their own abbot. In 1960, the Chinese attacked the monastery in the absence of the Pachen Lama and gained control over it, though not much destruction was done inside the monastery. In 1972, by the order of the 14th Dalai Lama, the Tashilhunpo Monastery was re-established in Karnataka, the southern state of India. From early1980's, entry to the general public has been allowed, although one cannot visit all the parts of the monastery, but still Tashilhunpo Monastery has become an important tourist destination in Tibet.
3. Jokhang Temple
jokhang Temple (or Jokhang Monastery) is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan pilgrims. It is is listed in the World Cultural Heritages Situated at the heart of the old town of Lhasa and surrounded by Barkhor Street, this 4 storied building, built in the 7th century by Songtsan Gambo, with roofs covered with gilded bronze tiles, demonstrates a combination of the architectural style of Han, Tibetan, India and Nepal, as well as a Mandala world outlook of Buddhism. It was originally called the 'Tsuklakang' (Tsulag Khang) - 'House of Religious Science' or 'House of Wisdom' during the Bon period of Tibet, which is referred to geomancy, astrology, and divination of Bon. Today it is more commonly known as the Jokhang, which means the 'House of the Buddha
4. Yamdrok Lake — Sacred Lake
Yamdrok Lake (Yamdrok Yumtso) is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. Located in Nagarzê County, Shannan Prefecture, Yamdrok Lake is about 70 kilometers from Lhasa. Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is one of three holy lakes of Tibet and the other two are Namtso Lake and Lake Manasorovar. Yamdrok Yumtso is the largest inland lake in south Tibet.
Yamdrok Lake is surrounded by snowy mountains such as Noijinkangsang , which rises 7206 meters above sea level at the west of the lake and is one of four holy mountains of Tibet. The magnificent Karula Glacier, a hanging glacier can be viewed at close range. Yamdrok also has the famous Samding Monastery to the south of the lake, the sole Tibetan monastery headed by a female re-incarnation. In addition, at the western end of the lake, the Yamdrok Power Station has been put into use, being the largest in Tibet.
The unique natural scenery of Yamdrok Lake, combining lakes, islands, pasture, wild animals and plants, the monastery, snowy mountains, and blue sky, is incredibly attractive.
5. Namtso Lake
Namtso is considered as one of the most beautiful places in, Lake Namtso is the second largest salt water lake in China. Namtso means ‘Heaven Lake’ in Tibetan. Namtso is at an altitude of about 4,718 meters (15,479 feet) — truly a lake in the sky.Namtso is regarded as a holy lake by Tibetan Buddhists. During the Year of the Sheep in the Tibetan calendar believers make a pilgrimage to Lake Namtso.
There are four temples around the lake. Quiet and large Lake Namtso, next to the blue sky, with white cloud surrounding the giant snow mountains, will purge your soul whether you are a Buddhist believer or not.
Norbulingka is located in the west of Lhasa, a short distance to the southwest of the Potala Palace. Norbulingka means ‘Jeweled Park’ in Tibetan. norbulingka Palace, on the west edge of Lhasa city is the biggest manmade garden in Tibet Autonomous Region. Nearby Potala Palace, Norbulingka, in Tibetan, refers to “Park of Treasure” and used to be the summer palace of Dalai Lamas to deal with the government issues and hold religious activities. As one part of the historic Ensemble of the Patala Palace, it was added to World Heritage Sites in 2001. Built from 1755 and under the reconstructions of different Dalai Lamas, Norbulingka expands its scale into over 360,000 square meters and more than 374 rooms, including Dalai Lamas' palaces for 7th to 14th. Dotted with various kinds of precious flowers and plants, it is the genuine “Plateau Oxygen Bar”. With peaceful atmosphere and tranquility, you will easily get yourself relaxed when walking inside this pure land.
7. Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon
The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world and regarded as the most beautiful canyon in China.
Stretching 505 km (314 miles), the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon starts from Daduka Village, Mainling County at an altitude of 2,880 meters (9,450 feet) in the north to Pasighat Village, Mêdog County at an altitude of 115 meters (377 feet) in the south.
Its average depth is 2,268 meters (7,440 feet) and the deepest point is 6,009 meters (19,714 feet).
The Tsangpo Canyon is the biggest channel for aqueous vapor from the Indian Ocean to access the Tibet Plateau. Therefore the Tsangpo Canyon is very moist, with dense forests and various wildlife..Combining high mountains, turning canyons, and great waterfalls, it is no doubt that the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon is an amazing natural phenomenon, and a great treasure for mankind.
8. Yangbajing Hot Springs
Yangbajing (also spelled Yangbajain) is a town in Damxung County, about 90 kilometers northwest of Lhasa. Yangbajain is a town 87 kilometers northwest of Lhasa City. It is a lush green valley surrounded by the Nomads with yaks and sheep along the hillside. The town is famous for its Yangbajain Hot Springs which are geothermic and have been developed and used to produce half the electricity for Lhasa and areas nearby. The field of Yangbajing Hot Springs field has an elevation of about 4500 meters which makes it the highest altitude of its kind in China. The water temperature is about 30 to 84 degrees centigrade. The Yangbajing Geothermol Power Station is located on the edge of the Yangbajing Hot Springs field. As the first geothermal power station it has an area of about 30 square kilometers. Yangbajing is also still a large pasture of green grass. Today, indoor and outdoor swimming pools have been built for visitors to enjoy a swim. Sometimes while bathing in the warm pool people can experience snowfall. The natural warm water of Yangbajing Hot Springs is also good for the health. The abundance of geothermic heat in Yangbajing Hot Springs gives people a lot to explore.
9. Barkhor Street — A Saint Road
Located in the old town of Lhasa City, Barkhor Street is a famous circumambulation and commercial center, and mostly retains the traditional features of the ancient city and its living mode.
It was the designated circumambulation around the Jokhang Temple, but now it is extended to include large pieces of the old quarter around the Jokhang Temple. There is a huge censer in the center of the street diffusing burning incense day and night.
There are more than 120 handicraft shops and 200 stalls on the street with 8,000 kinds of goods, including religious articles such as copper Buddhas, prayer wheels, scriptures, and prayer beads, and Tibetan handicrafts such as Tibetan wool, snuff bottles, and Tibetan knives. Goods from India, Nepal, Burma, and Kashmir are also sold.
10. Samye monastery
Samye Monastery was the first monastery built in Tibet, and the place where Tibetan Buddhism was established. Inside the monastery there are numerous frescos, sculptures, and prayer wheels.The monastery is set in a valley surrounded by barren mountains and sand dunes. The scenery around is austerely striking. It is located in Shannan Prefecture, 1.5 hours' drive from Tsetang. The monastery can be easily combined with Yongbulagang Palace as part of a day in Tsetang.
11. Mount kailash
Mount kailash is also known as Kailas mountain , It is situated in the peak of Kailas range which are the part of Transhimalaya in tibet . Kailash is a one of the sacred mountain which means ‘ Treasure or saint of snow mountain ‘ in Tibetan . Every year thousand persons of different faiths visit this mountain , walking around the mountain is a popular ceremony . it is considered that one circle around the mountain can amend for all the sins and completing ten circles around the mountain will prevent you hell and one hundred circles makes a person like Buddha .
12. Drepung Monastery ,Lhasa
Derpung was once Tibet’s largest monastery , about 8 Km to the west of central Lhasa , with the population of around 10,000 monks.There are many colleges for the study of Buddhist philosophy and interesting sight to see the important Gelupla monasteries . The ganden palace also located in the complex of Drepung , is the dalai Lamas used to live before the potala palace was built . The unique architecture , wonderful scenes enhance its beauty and attracts many tourists to visit this place .