Destinations in Tibet
(7,000ft.) better known by its Tibetan name, Khasa, is a small
settlement clinging to a hillside 10 km inland from the Friendship
Bridge across the Bhotekoshi river. After the closure of the
China/India boarder from Gangtok, Zhangmu has become the major
trading post between Tibet and Nepal. The climate is quite different
from the hinterland. The hills around Zbangmu are heavily wooden wit
h innumerable waterfalls in the summer and frozen 'icicles' during
the winter. It has a bank, a post office, a government store, and is
presently undergoing a construction to meet the demands of trade and
Nyalamu(12,200 ft.), Known as 'Kurti' to Nepalese traders, used to be an
important trade post tuncked into a fertile valley. Nowadays,
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.
Gutsuo(14,200 ft.) is a
military base camp situated at the start of the plateau, after
passing through the Thongla pass (16,400 ft.) from where a most panoramic views of Mt. Everest and its neighbouring
peaks can be seen from the road at Gutsuo. Accommodation here would
be in tented camps or at the barracks itself.
(13,800 ft.) is a
new Chinese commune built at the foot of the ruins of Xegar Dzone,
and is 7 km from the main road. With a population of 3,000, its
importance lies in the fact that it is the centre of this large and
remote country and also a base from where expeditions to Mt. Everest
and other peaks are launched.
(13,100 ft.) is situated at the cross roads from where the road turns westwards
towards Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. During the short summer
season, the whole valley is covered with green barley fields and
bright-yellow mustard meadows, and is a welcome change after the
barren lands of the Tibetan pleateau. There is also a small, hot
spring located a few kilometers away.
most famous for its Tashihunpo Monastery. The seat of the Panchen
Lama, who is regarded as the reincarnation of the Buddha of Endless
Enlightenment. Items of interest inside this monastery built in 1447
by the first Dalai Lama are: the relics of Sakyamuni, the Hall of
Maitreya, and a mind-boggling collection of Thankas, frescoes and
statues. There is a 'free Market at the foot of the ruins of the
Xigatse Fortress where one can buy local handicrafts, embedded with
coral and turquoise, Tibetan daggers, Chinese porcelain and yak
Gyantse (13,050 ft.) is a
small agricultural town famous for its wool carpets and the Phalkor
Choide Chorten. Amongst the Lamasery and the fort, this unique
structure built in 1414 consist of five storeys representing the
five steps to enlightenment Towards Buddhahood. There are 108 halls
inside, each with frescoes and Buddha Shrines, the frescoes showing
strong Indian influence. Before 1959 traders coming from Kalimpong
and Gangtok (India) used to enter Tibet through Yanddong and then to
Gyantse, enrouted to Lhasa.
(14,300 ft.) is a
settlement by the shores of Yamdrok Lake.
This freshwater lake, unlike other Tibetan lake, is sweet and
non-saline, extending for 624 sq. Km., in the shape of the two
pincers of a large scorpion. During summer, it is turquoise green in
colour, but durng winter, it has thick crust of ice.
It is abundant in fish and migratory birds can be seen in its
vicinity. At a mountain pass at of 16,000 ft. enroute Nagarje
one can see, even in summer, the holy pin-pointed glacier.
(11,850 ft.) was,
and still is, the religious, cultural and economic centre of Tibet.
Places of interest include the Potala, and 13 storey, 1000 room
palace of the Dalai Lama; the monasteries of Drepung and Sera, the
summer palace of the Dalai Lama, Norbulinka; and the Jokhang, the
holiest shrine of Tibet. The circular Barkhor Street with
innumerables shops and wayside peddlers intermingle with the
devotees walking clockwise around the Jokhang enfusing the magic
that is Tibet.
Monastery: Sera means
Hail stone in Tibetan. Set on the foot of the Wudu hill to the north
of Lhasa city, Sera comprises of a great sutra chanting hall, a
college and 32 sections.
temple built in 647 A.D. is the spiritual centre of Tibet and the
hotiest destination for Tibetan Buddhist pilgrams. It houses the
sitting status of Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old.
oldest street of ancient Lhasa city, circling the Jokhang Temple.
Palace located on
the Red Hill, was built in 640 A.D. during the reign of Songtsen
Gampo. The original Potala palace was destroyed in the 9th century
but was rebuilt in the 17 the century, during the reign of the 5th
situated to the west of Lhasa city and founded in 1417 by the one of
the disciples of Tsong Khampa. It was the largest and richest of the
three major yellow sect monasteries in Lhasa.