TIBET TRAVEL GUIDE
LAHSA TRAVEL GUIDE
Lhasa, a holy city located at the roof of the world, is known as ” the city of “sunshine” and the “place of God”. Honored with a long history of over 1300 years, Lhasa is very much rich in unique cultural and spiritual resources, specially its Buddhism culture. As well as today, numerous cultural relics and historic sites covered with thick and deep religious color remain in Lhasa. The attractions of Lhasa do not only lie in its cultural and historic sites, but also in its breathtaking natural scenery and so on….
Lhasa is Located at an altitude of 3650 meters and at the bottom of a small basin surrounded by mountains and rivers, Lhasa has a mild climate, without extremely cold winter and severely hot summer. Therefore, throughout the year for Lhasa are quite suitable for traveling . Visitors can travel to Lhasa by both train and air.
The Potala Palace was originally built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo after he moved from the capital from Yarlong to Lhasa . It is built on the Red hill that is believed to be the abode of Avalokitashivara. But it was only in the 17th centurey that Fifth great Dalai Lama established a new government and constructed the Potala Palace to present form. It is divided into red and white sections. The white area around entrance on the east side was used for administrative affairs. The red palace on the west side was used mainly for religious purposes and consists of chapels, meditation rooms, and audience halls ,offices and living quarters of the Dalai Lama and tutors.
The Jokhang Temple is located in the center of Lhasa city and is considered the most sacred Buddhist temple in Tibet .It was originally built for the statue of the Budhha called Jowo that was brought to Tibet by Brikuti Deve ,the Nepalese wife of King Songtsen Gampo as her dowry. In the meantime Princess Wencheng also brought another statue of Buddha from Tang emperor and for that Ramoche Temple was built. According to an geomancy calculation made by Princess Wencheng ,the land of Tibet is a female demon lying on her back and the location of the Jokhang is where her heart lies.
Before ,there was a lake here called Wotang in that place and the King had it filled-in with earth and then built the Jokhang itself. The two statues were put in the wrong intentionally after King passed away. so, today the statue that we can see is the one brought by princess wencheng ,the Chinese wife of King .Beside the main chapel, there are also many other chapels for the statues of different Buddha ,Bodhisattvas and Buddhist saint
Barkhor Street is the oldest street in Lhasa and runs through the center of the old city, having been preserved to keep its century-old traditions. It’s a must-see for visitors wanting to learn about Tibetan culture, economy, religion, and art.
In the 7th century the king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo (617-650 AD), built Jokhang Temple to house the statue of Sakyamuni, making the temple a sacred place for all Tibetan Buddhists. Tibetans walk clockwise around the Jokhang Temple to pay their respects to Sakyamuni, establishing Barkhor Street as Tibet’s “Sacred Way”. Each day hundreds of Buddhist pilgrims flow in from every corner of Tibet and across China to make the trek through Barkhor Street. Some merely walk, but you will be shocked to see others crawling in full-body length to worship Sakyamuni. Barkhor will allow you to experience firsthand the religious fervor of Tibet.
Ramo Che Temple is situated in the northwest of Lhasa, covering a total area of 4000 square meters (one acre). This temple is one of the key cultural relic protection sites of the Tibet Autonomous Region as well as a hot Tourists attraction in Lhasa.
The original building complex has a strong Tang architecture influence, for it was first built by Han Chinese architects in the middle of the 7th century (during the Tang Dynasty). Han Princess Wencheng took charge of this project and ordered the temple be erected facing east to show her home sickness. The main relic inside of this Temple is the Jowo, which was brought to Tibet by Brekuti Deve, the Nepalese wife of King Songtsen Gampo.
The Norbu Lingka or Jewel Park is the summer palace for success Dalai Lama. In the 18th century the 7th Dalai Lama Kelsang Gyaltso took treatment bath in a spring here and soon a palace was built for him, which is called the Kelsang podrang. There is also a smaller palace called Uyap podrang and this was used by the Dalai Lama when they watch Tibetan opera dance during the Shouten or Yoghurt Festival and other events. The second major palace is called Chensel Podrang which was built during the 13th Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyaltso’s time.
The Takten Mingyure Podrang is the newest palace, built in the early 1950s for the 14th Dalai Lama. Inside there is an impressive well painting that shows a complete history of Tibet starting from human creation, the first kings, and the main events and figures in Tibetan history.
Located in the southeast corner of Norbu Lingka, Lhasa city, Tibet Museum covers an area of 23,508 square meters (5.8 acres) including the exhibition area of 10,451 square meters (2.6 acres). It is equipped with modern facilities to ensure quality service for visitors and safety and efficient administration of the museum itself. Here exhibits are introduced in Japanese, English, Tibetan, and Chinese, in order to accommodate visitors from all over the world.
Drepung monastery is the biggest Gelupa learning center and it is located on the slope of Gepel Otse mountain just to the west of Lhasa city. It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje Tashi Pelden who was one of the main disciples of master Tsongkapa.
There are four main colleges which are Deyang, Gomang, Loseling, and Nakpa or Tantric college. Within each college there are many dormitories, and Monks from all over Tibet came here to study Buddhist philosophy and there used to be around ten thousand monks at the height of its importance. Its functioned as a central Buddhist university ,from where many masters and experts graduated and returned to their homeland to teach in their own local monastery.
The second Dalai Lama moved from Tashilungpo monastery in Shigatse to here and his fifth incarnation became the ruler of Tibet and he moved from here to Potala Palace.
Sera monastery is the second biggest Gelupa learning center, which was founded in 1419 by Sham Chen Chogyal Shaje Yeshi at the base of the hill just north of Lhasa.
Originally Tsongka pa stayed in the retreat in a hermitage above Sera called Sera Choding and he gave instructions to his student to built Sera monastery. There are three colleges, which are Je college, Mey college and Nakpa college.
Traditionally the number of monks in Sera is supposed to be 5,500. But at that times, there are used to be 10,000 monks coming from every corner of Tibet. In terms of study or learning, it is similar to Drepung and Gaden. They all study the same Buddhist subjects in a systematic way.
Sera monastery also has debate on specific points of Buddhist philosophy or logic. This is an important learning method in many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, and the courtyard at Sera is open for tourists to view the lessons.
Ganden Monastery was built in 1409 by Master Tsongkapa on a hill top about 35K east of Lhasa. It is the first and the mother monastery of the Gelupa School of Tibetan Buddhism . Tsongka pa was born in the Tsonka area of Amdo ,the north east part of Tibet. He came to central Tibet to study Buddha Dharma from different masters of the Nyimapa,Sakya pa, Kagyu pa and other schools at that time. After many years of study and practice, Tsongkapa became a famous master and established a new school of Buddhism, which named the Gelupa.
In 1409 Tsongkapa organized the first great prayer festival in Lhasa and at that time many of his students and patrons requested him to build Gaden monastery with their support. So the construction began in the same year and since then it became a great learning center. There are two main colleges which are shatse and chantse, and within them there are many dormitories. In terms of relics there is the funeral stupa of Tsongka pa, his teeth and the famous Gaden Throne.
For those with an interest in Tibetan Buddhism, The Drak Yerpa Cave or Hermitage is one of the holiest cave retreats in Tibet and its located at the northeast of Lhasa with distance of about 18km.
Among the many ascetics, who have sojourned here are Guru Ring Poche and Jowo Je Phelden Atisha, the Bengali Buddhist who spent 12 years proselytizing in Tibet. King Songtsen Gampo also meditated in a cave, after his Tibetan wife established the first of Yerpa’s chapels
The peaceful site offers lovely views and is a great day trip from Lhasa.
Tsurpu monastery was founded by the first Karmapa Dusum Kyenpa in 1189 when he 80 years old. He was one of the students of Gampopa, the main disciple of Milarepa. Tsurpu monastery is located about 80kms in the north-west of Lhasa and is the mother monastery of Karma Kargyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Originally the 41st king of Tibet Tri Relpachen used to stay here in the ninth century and there is a historic stone pillar which marks the place. Starting from time of DuSum Kyenpa, this monastery was expanded gradually and it became an important learning and meditation center. There is a main assembly hall and many other chapels with statues of different Buddha,Bodhisattvas and Dharma protectors. You can also see various of religious relics of successive Karmapas and it is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Central Tibet today.
Drigung Monastery is located in the Medrolgongar county and the distance from Lhasa is about 140kms. It was founded by Kyoppa Jigten Gompo in 1179. He was one of the maindiscipline of Paktru Dorje Gyalpo, a disciple of Dakpo Lhaje who in turn is the heart son of the Yogi Milarepa. Even before this, in the eight century, master Padmasambhava came here and blessed the location.
It is said that when the founder came here, a mysterious Dri or female Yak shouted and walked in a clockwise turn; which he took as a good sign. He then decided to build his monastery here and gave the name Drigung. Gradually this became an important learning and meditation center of Drigung Kargyu, a sub-school of the Kargyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. It gained a reputation for serious study and practice, attracting many followers from different Tibetan areas including the later founder of the Gelukpa school, master Tsongkapa
But this monastery is different from large Geluk pa monasteriesaround Lhasa because most of monks live in semi-independent lodgings scattered across the hillside instead of in regulatedcolleges
Close to the monastery, there is famous sky-burial site or durtro, which was blessed by the founder and many Tibetans hope that their body can be brought here. This is because masters and monks conduct Powa, or the transference of consciousness, for the deed. This ritual involves ejecting the wandering Mind of deed beings into the western Pure land of Buddha Amitabha through the power of Tantric practice.
Tedrom Nunnery is located just over 5kms north-west of Drigung monastery. It has a power hot-spring surrounded by majestic rocky mountains considered to conceal great treasures. In the eight century, the master Padmasambhava and his spiritual consort Yeshe Tsogyal stayed here in retreat practice. It is said that before their visit, this place was occupied by a group of Naga –demons who were harming the lives of beings around it and so Padmasambhava subdued them all and turned it into a place of bliss and power. Since then, the water of the hot spring, the plants as well as the soils of this holy place is believed to have strong curative power.
In the course of time many men and women came here to meditate and countless numbers of patients come to use the natural spring and received blessings in order to cure their aliments. Gradually different masters built a temple and lodging for nuns as well as a hot spring. The nunnery is associated with Drigung monastery, but remains largely independent and informal in it’s organization.
Reting Monastery is a historically important Buddhist monastery in Lhünzhub County in the Lhasa Prefecture of central Tibet. It is also commonly spelled “Radreng.” Reting Monastery was founded by Atisha’s chief disciple Dromtönpa in 1056 in the Reting Tsampo Valley north of Lhasa as the seat of the Kadampa lineage. He brought some of Atisha’s relics with him. It was the first major monastery of the Sarma revival.
Namtso means “Sky Lake” and is located in the wide grassland a few hours drive to north of Lhasa. It is the largest freshwater lake in Tibet Autonomous Region and lies more than 4,000 meters above sea level. To the sorth of lake is the massive snow mountain, Nyenchen Thanglha, the sacred abode of an important protector god by the same name. The lake is considered to the residence of his partner, the goddess Dorje Kondrakma! Both of them oppointed as Dharma protectors by Guru Ringpoche, the mater Padmasambhava. There are many caves and small monasteries on the peninsula called Tashido in which many masters and Yogis practice meditation. Pilgrims will gather for pilgrimage around the entire lake; which takes more than two weeks.
SHIGATSE TRAVEL GUIDE
Mount Everest, or Mount Qomolangma, meaning “Goddess” in Tibetan is the highest mountain on earth with an altitude of 8, 848.13 meters. Mt. Qomolangma known to the western world as Mt. Everest stands at the south of Tingri county in southernTibet, at the border of the central Himalayas between China and Nepal, capped with accumulated eternal snow. Its snow peak sends out silver radiance year after year. Its waist is hidden in the clouds. The optimum weather to visit Mt. Everest is from April to June, a golden period for mountaineers. Each year, a great number of brave robust mountaineers come from all over the world to visit and climb Mt. Everest, hope to fulfill a life-long dream by climbing onto and looking over from the world’s highest peak
Rongbuk Monastery, located in Droma Mountain top of Rongbuk ditch east and west side, on the south of Mount Everest, Basong township Tingri county Shigatse area in Tibet, is 90 km from county resident, elevation 5154 meters, which is the world’s highest temple, so it has the excellent and wonderful scenery.Rongbuk Monastery belongs to Tibet Nyingma temple, is a mixed temple of monks and nuns with rich local characteristics. Rongbuk Monastery was built in 1899, built by Mongolian Lamaism lama Ngawang Tenzin Robu, located at the northern foot of Mt. Everest Rongbuk glacier terminal, elevation 5154 meters, about 20?km from Mt. Everest summit. Monastery divided into old and new two sites, the old temple is located in the 3 km south of the new temple, near Mount Everest, and there still exist practice hole that padmasambhava master cultivated himself according to religious doctrine, as well as with the lotus green footprints of stone and stone tower, etc
Founded by the First Dalai Lama in 1447, Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the six big Geluk monasteries in Tibet. After the second Dalai Lama moved to Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, then it became the main Monastery of successive Penchen Lama or the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second ranking person in the Gelukpa Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy, after the Dalai Lama. The monastery houses the tombs of Panchen Lamas and a 22.4-meter statue of Maitreya Buddha. Tashilhunpo remains popular among the Tibetans, as they carry on coming here on pilgrimage.
Different from other scenic spots celebrating Tibetan Buddhism, Gyantse Dzong (Dzong Fortress) is famous for a patriotic story. In 1904, British troops invaded Gyangtse but encountered fierce opposition from the strong and brave Gyangtse people. They defended their city from a fortress on Zongshan Hill, using primitive guns and cannons, swords, and even bows and arrows to fight against their invaders. The famous cliff where this fight took place is located in the center of Gyangtse. It is 125-meter high and has an altitude of 4,020 meters. On the site there are the former residence of one of the commanders and some vestiges of the emplacement.
Located 100 km east of Shigatse, Palkhor Monastery was founded in 1418 by Rabten Kunsang who was the head of Gyantse Zong, the historic region. It enjoys a high status in Tibet Buddhism history because it houses three sects: Sakyapa, Kadampa and Gelugpa together. and here is a unique Stupa which named Kumbum stupa, it has four doors on each side and many chapels on each floor. There supposed to be 100,000 images of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. “Ku” means Holy image and “bum” means 100,000 so it is called the Gyantse Kubum.
Sakya Monastery is located in the Sakya county of Shigatse prefecture and is one of the impressive structures in Tibet. it is the mother monastery of Sakya pa school of Tibetan Buddhism. It was Originally founded by Khun Konchog Gyalpo in 1073. The earth in this area is grey color, so the monastery is called “Grey earth Monastery”. Later, in 1262,Drogong Chogyal pakpa built southern part of the monastery. The massive central hall is called Lhakang Chenmo or Great chapel. Inside it, there are many status and other relics, but among them the most important relics are the Buddha statue in the center and the couch shell which is believed to have been used by the Buddha himself.
Shalu Monastery was founded by Sherap Jungne in the 11th century, but it was expanded in the 14th century by the famous Tibetan Buddhist scholar Butan Rinchen Drupa. He is considered as one of the three outstanding philosophers of Tibet along with Sakya Pandita and Master Tsongkapa. At his time, the oral teaching of the Buddha was already set as series of 108 volumes called the “Kangyur”, but the various commentaries were not put in a systematic collection. So Buton collected them into a complete canon of 227 volumes, now Known as the “Tengyur”.
It is reported that, in the whole of Tibet road from the latest is Karuola glacier, only 300 meters from the road. Karuola glacier is located in Langkazi county and Jiangzi county at the junction, 71 kilometers from the Jiangzi county. It is the main peak, sang Jin Gang mountain Lhagoi Gang, in the north of Himalaya Range. The legend of Tibetan Buddhism is the four mountain west Yamakami Noriyoshiko sangbu living place. Is gold in the hills around the tower stands more than 6000 more than 10 meters above the mountain, is one of the four major snow capped mountains in Tibet. But Jin Gang sang the majestic mountains, towering rock. The top of the towering cone shaped like beak, the slope of gully between snow developed strips glacier, near the glacier about 116 multiple, glacier area of 118.82 square kilometers. Karuola glacier is one of the largest glacier area, an area of 9.4 square kilometers
LHOKA TRAVEL GUIDE
Samye monastery was built in the 8th century as the first monastery of Tibet. King Trisong Detsen tried to build it with the advice of the famous Indian abbot Shandarashita. But many demons caused obstacles to prevent its construction. During the day time people worked hard to build and at the night the demons destroyed it. So the abbot advised the King to invite a famous tantric master called Guru Ring poche or Padmasambhava. This master subdued all the demons on his way to Tibet and then at Samye so they could build the monastery without any obstacles. The Indian Abbot, the Tantric master and the Tibetan King were the three founders of this monastery and since then they are highly respected. The shape of Samye monastery is same as the structure of the universe in Buddhist cosmology and the central building has three floors. The 3rd floor is build in Indian style to show that India is the origin of the Buddhist teachings. The second floor has a Chinese style to represent the special relation with the Chinese empire. and The first floor is built in Tibetan design to show that the Tibetans are faithful to Buddhism.
Yumbu La Kang was built in the second century BC for the first King of Tibet, ”Nyatri Tsenpo”. It is located on the southern side of Tsedang, the prefecture seat of Lhoka. Originally only the central building was built as a palace, but the chapels we can see now were constructed Later and the golden roof was made during the time of fifth great Dalai Lama. It was the main palace for the first King until the 32nd King of Tibet.
Tradruk Temple is located on the way from Tsedang to Yumbulakang and is one of the first Buddhist temples in Tibet. It was built in the 7th century by King Songtsen gampo around same time as Ramoche Temple and Jokhang in Lhasa. Tradruk means “Hawk and dragon”. According to a legend ,there was a Naga-dragon with five heads. As the demonic Naga was harming the lake and the life of people around here, King Song Tsen gampo manifested himself into a hawk and subdued it . Later the temple was built as one of the twelve temples built on the important points of the body of a she- demon who embodies the land of Tibet.
The Samye Chimpu is located 15kms from the east of Samye monastery. The beautiful scenery of this area is mentioned in the “Padmakathang Scripture” The life story of Padmasambhava . As follows: The native place of Chimpu is like a full bloom lotus. The outer aspect of Chimpu manifests as a lotus in full bloom. The inner aspect is like the three doors of liberation of Dorje Palmo. The secret aspect represents the secret lotus (bhka) of Dorje Palmo. The summit of the mountain is a precious banner, located at the navel of the rocky mountain is the famous cave Tramar Kiutsang inside which self-arising Mandela appears on the rock. More than 300 Yogis are practicing tetras in the mountain.
The holy hermitage Yemalong is located 25kms northern side of Samye monastery. To pray for the longevity of King Tresong Detsen ,the tantric adept Padmasambhava opened the Mandela of Amitayu, filled the jewel adorned long life vase with precious nectar. After having practiced for one month, Amitayu appeared on the long life vase like a rainbow. This mountain is blessed with the spontaneous appearance of auspicious and holy manifestations. This is indeed marvelous.
Holy Mount Hipori is located at the southern side of Samye monastery. Its shape is like a conch shell colored snow lion jumping into the sky. It is also like the elephant king Salarapten lying on the ground. Mt Hipori is one of the four famous mountains in Tibet. The frond of mountain is bears eight auspicious marks. It is the place of Changchuk Chenmo (The great Bodhi, The Sakyamuni Buddha stone status) where was blessed by Buddhas of three times and It is now themain Statue of Samye monastery.
Mindroling Monastery is one of the six major monasteries of theNyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded by Rigzin Terdak Lingpa in 1676. Mindrolling in Tibetan means “Place of Perfect Emancipation”. It is located in Zhanang County Shannan Prefecture Tibet Autonomous Region China, approximately 43 kilometers east of the Lhasa airport, on the south side of the Yarlong Tsangpo river.
Along with the Mingdrolling monastery, Droje Drak monastery is one of the two most important Nyimapa monasteries in U Tsang Area With a remote and romantic location, It is less accessible than Mingdroling Gompa and consequently gets few Western Vistors. Droje drak was forcibly relocated to its present site in 1632 by the kings in Tsang. A line of hereditary lamas known as the Rigzin leads the monastery.The title is named after the first Rigzin Godemmachen, through to be a reincarnation of Guru Ringpoche. The fourthRigzin, Pema Triley as responsible for expanding the monastery in the early 17th century, through his efforts were for naught as the Dzungar Mongols sacked the place in 1717; Pema Triley did not survive the onslaught. The 10th Rigzin Lama currently resides in Lhasa Tibet.
Yamdrok Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet Autonomous Region . It is over 72 km (45 miles) long. The lake is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains and is fed by numerous small streams. The lake does have an outlet stream at its far western end. Around 90km to the west of the lake lies the Tibetan town of Gyantse and Lhasa is a hundred kms to the northwest. According to local mythology, Yamdrok Lake is the transformation of a goddess.
Lhamo Lhatso means “auspicious heavenly mother lake” or “numinous mother lake” in Tibetan and another name for it is Qukulgyal Monastery Lake. Standing on the mountain top as high as 5,100 meters and looking down, the holy lake is surrounded by mountains. And it takes a head bones skeleton shape like a mirror at the foot of the mountains and the scenery is elegant. Lake Lhamo lhatso is a high mountain freshwater lake with an area of about 1 square kilometers. The lake surface keeps on freezing up about 7 months. When in summer, after it is thawing, the lake sometimes is as still and clear as a mirror; sometimes red clouds are gathering in the sky and there are waves without wind. Strange sounds are heard now and then and various fantastic scenes are appearing. Though the lake is not large, it stands in a special position in reincarnation system of Tibetan Buddhism and it is revered by Buddhists. Every year those who are looking for the successors of Dalai Lama and Panchen Lamas after they pass away must go there, because their reincarnation could be found after seen in the lake. Every April to June of Tibetan calendar, numerous Buddhist devotees make a pilgrimage here and observe the wonderful sights. It is said different people see the same sight may get different views. It is also said that people can see their future life from the reflections of the lake. The 4th year of ZhengDe, Ming Dynasty (1509AD), Qukulgyal Monastery was built nearby by Gedun Gyaltso, the Second Dalai Lama, which added more views to the unique views of the plateau.
TIBET NAGRI TRAVEL GUIDE
Mount Kailash is called Gang Rin poche in Tibetan language meaning “precious jewel of snow”. The name originates from the year-round snow on its peak and its historical religious connections. Mt. Kailash is the highest peak in the massive Gangdise Mountain Range with an altitude over 6,600m (21,654 ft). The peak is very pointed and looks like a pyramid piercing the sky. Seen from the south the vertical ice trough and horizontal rock formation combine as the Buddhist symbol Swastika ‘ …e ‘, which represents the eternal power of Buddha. More often that not, clouds will gather above the peak, so clear days are thought to be a blessing because local residents can get an unimpeded view. Every year, thousands make a pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash, following a tradition going back thousands of years. Pilgrims of several religions believe that circumambulating Mt. Kailash on foot is a holy ritual that will bring good fortune. The path around Mt. Kailash is 52 km long. Some pilgrims believe that the entire walk around Mt. Kailash should be made in a single day. This is not easy. A person in good shape walking fast would take perhaps 15 hours to complete the 52 km trek. Some of the devout do accomplish this feat, little daunted by the uneven terrain, altitude sickness and harsh conditions faced in the process.
Lake Manasarovar or Mapam Yumtso is a fresh-water lake inNgari Prefecture, 2,000 km from Lhasa. It lies at 4,556 m above mean sea level, making it the highest fresh-water lake in the world. Like Mount Kailash, Lake Manasasarovar is a place of pilgrimage, attracting religious people from Tibet, India, Nepal, and the other neighboring countries. According to Hindu religion, the lake was first created in the mind of the Lord Brahma. Hence, in Sanskrit it is called “Manassarovara”, which is a combination of the words manas (mind) and sarovara (lake). The lake, in Hindu religious belief, is also supposed to be the summer abode of swans. Considered as sacred birds, the swans represent wisdom and beauty.
The Ruins of Guge Kingdom is located Zhada County, Ngari Prefecture today. Guge is said to be the highest ancient kingdom located on the ridge of Tibet. More than 1,000 years ago, a powerful kingdom with a splendid civilization was born in Ngari Tibet. It is the highest ancient kingdom located on the ridge of Tibet. Now the ruins cover an area of 200,000 square meters. The buildings follow the hill to the top in a rigid layout and an imposing manner. The 11 stores castle is more than 300 meter high including houses, caves, pagodas, blockhouses, defense works and tunnels. There are a total number of 1,416 surviving pieces of architecture, including 879 caves, 445 houses, 60 blockhouses, 28 pagodas, and four tunnels, which lead in all directions inside the architectural group of the Ruins of Guge Kingdom. At the outer ring there are walls made of loess, which are decorated with many figures of Buddha, scriptures and incantations in Tibetan, and Sanskrit engraved on large cobbles. The houses within the ruins have wooden structures and level roofs.
Lake Rakshastal or La Nga Tso is lying close to the west of Lake Manasarovar and Mt. Kailash. Its salty water, a stark contrast to the fresh water of Lake Manasarovar, produces no waterweeds or fish. Named “lake of the demon”, it is considered to be the residence of Ravana, the ten-headed demon king of Ceylon in Hindu myth. However, despite its notoriety, Lake Rakshastal bears no less beauty than other lakes in Tibet.
Tholing Monastery is famous through Ngari, founded by Yeshi-O, an outstanding King of Guge Kingdom at the beginning of 10th century. Although it faded after the collapse of the Guge Kingdom, Tholing Monastery still maintains an important place inTibet after 900 years in consideration of its significance in the second transmission of Buddhism into Tibet.
15km southeast from Burang county, Korqak Monastery is located on the Southern foot of Mt. Himalayas, the border area with Nepal. The mild climate and beautiful scenery make the path here a popular and traditional one to enter Tibet from Nepal. Korqak Monastery is small and has been neglected for years, but it is charming still. Inside the monastery there is the Statue of Manjusri for which the well-known senior monk Rinqen Sambu stayed in the monastery.
On the bank of the Sutlej, only a few hour’s drive to northwest of Dharchen, the hotsprings at Tirthapuri is the place where pilgrims traditionally bathe after completing their circuit of Mount Kailash. The one hour-Kora route around the site is interesting though most people can safely give this place a miss if time is tight. Thirteen Tirthapuri Koras are considered to bring equal merit as one Kailash Kora.
Starting from the hot springs Kora trail climbs to a cremation point, An oval of rocks covered in old clothes and rags. From this point, an alternative longer kora climbs to the way top of the ridge, rejoining the trail near the long mani wall (a wall made of mani stones).The regular kora trail continues past a hole where pilgrims dig ‘sour” earth for medicinal purposes. Further along, there’s a “sweet” earth hole. The trail reaches a miniature version of Mt Kailash’s Drolma-la, marked with mani stones and a large collection of Yak horns and skulls.
GONGPO TRAVEL GUIDE
The Draksum-tso is one of Tibet’s most famous scenic spots. It lies in the Gongbogyamda County, at about 90 km away from the county seat Gorlingka and 120 km away from Bayi Town. In 1997, the World Tourism Organization listed the lake into its international tourist spots. In 2001, the State Tourism Administration granted 5 4A title, Draksum-tso was the only tourism region. In 2002, it became a State Forest Park.
Eastern Tibet is blessed with many beautiful lakes but this is arguably the best of the lot. Draksum-tso Lake, and particularly its monastery island, Tsodzong Monastery, is a photographer’s dream. Apart from the sheer beauty of the lake and its surrounding 6000m peaks, the site has strong connections to Gesar of Ling, the semi-mythical ruler of eastern Tibet, and Guru Rinpoche, the Indian sage, both of whom are said to have resided at Draksum-tso Lake.
About 30km south of Bayi is the attractive Lamaling Monastery, which was the seat of the exiled Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-87), the former head of the Nyingmaba order. It is now looked after by his son-in-law Chuni Rinpoche and is home to around 40 monks and 30 nuns. The octagonal main Zangtok Pelri temple was wonderfully restored in the early 90s and rises through for storey’s, bringing to mind the Samye Monastery. The building is draped in long stands of cannonball-sized wooden prayer beads. The grassy courtyard in front is home to a few doleful mountain goats brought here from Tsodzong Monastery at Draksumtso. Take your shoes off before entering the temple. The ground floor has a statue of Guru Rinpoche, with two stone footprints of the guru on the alter and puppet-like images of the protector Tseumar to the left. A passageway behind the alter leads up to a mezzanine level with four protector chapels in each corner. The chapel above this houses statues of Chenresig(Avalokiteshvara), flanked by Jampelyang(Manjushri) and Chana Dorje(Vajrapani), known collectively as the Rigsum Gonpo. The top-floor chapel contains a statue of Opagme. The other main building, to the right, is the assembly hall, where religious services are held on the 10th, 15th and 25th days of each lunar month. The hall is dominated by a huge statue of Sakyamuni and more images of Dudjom Rinpoche wearing his characteristic sunglasses. Pilgrims circumambulate both this building and the main temple
Rawu Lake is the largest lake in eastern Tibet with an area of 22 square kilometers. It is located between Baxoi County in Chamdo Prefecture and Pome County in Nyingchi Prefecture. At an elevation of 3,807 meters, the lake is 26 kilometers long. You will be shocked by the first glimpse of bluish water of the lake. In clear weather, the surface of the lake becomes a mirror of surrounding snow-capped mountains. You can get a visual feast of Rawu Lake just through the window.
The biggest advantage of Rawu is that it is next to the National Road 318. It is very convenient for travelers to get and becomes a must-see attraction during your Tibet tour.
About 1km before the turning for Lamaling Temple you pass the small but ancient Gelugpa monastery of Buchu Monastery. The original dares from the 7th century, when it was built at the command of King Songtsen Gampo as one of the demoness-subduing temples; it pins the demoness’ right elbow. Buchu Monastery is recognizable by its striking golden roof.
The Tsomo Jiri lake is also called “ice lake”, is an ancient glacial lake. Located in the Linzhi area, 24 kilometers northwest of the town of Bayi Bayi Town, is a recent ancient moraine lake, Lake in the primitive forest of fir and bamboo are intact, Manshan azalea, especially charming autumn scenery. Beautiful scenery along the way, beautiful scenery, is an ideal place for leisure, vacation, sightseeing
Lulang Forest Bayi Town is located in the Linzhi area about 80km east of Sichuan Tibet highway, the elevation of 3700m, which is a typical plateau mountain meadow panhandle, Linhai by bushes and dense spruce, on both sides of Castle Peak in the pine trees, in the middle is Linhai glauca, uniform meadow, meandering streams in the in addition to a large number of birds in this habitat. From mid April to early June, tens of thousands of kinds of flowers bloom, mountain mist together scattered, snow capped mountains, Linhai garden, outlined a quiet and beautiful mountains.
The MiDui glacier is located in Bomi County yuputownship, 103 kilometers from the county, 8 kilometers away from the 318 National Road, the nearest village from here only 2 kilometers, is the most important marine glaciers in Tibet, China is the lowest elevation of the glacier. The glacier peak elevation of 6800 meters, is only 4600 meters above sea level, the perennial snow light shine, charming scenery. Frozen glacier jade, beautiful scenery, shapes, intoxicating beauty. The lower end of the glacier is coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, snow persists throughout the year, lush evergreen forest, touguo silver Palmer, a green skirt. Due to the warmer temperatures on the ice surface, ice worms, ice fleas and other microbes are living all year round.