Tibet is a landlocked region to the north of the Himalayas, bordered by India on its southern side, Nepal on its western side, Bhutan on the eastern side, and by mainland China on its northern edges. Being a land built in the Himalayas, Tibet is the highest place on earth. This guarantees you a kind of raw beauty that you will find nowhere else and a captivating charm that you just can’t forget. Once you have been to Tibet, you will have an experience that is sure to leave a deep impression on you. With breathtaking sites and ancient history, here are 10 places in Tibet that you just can’t miss!
Himalayan Trekkers is an experienced travel agency that has spread happiness by making our tourist’s dream come true. So, find out more about Tibet’s jewels.
01- Potala Palace
Potala Palace is an impressive structure that you just cannot go without seeing when you are in Tibet. It houses some of the finest works of art collected from over centuries and also happens to be a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. There so many treasures hidden within the confines of this impressive palace that it can also be called the palace of art!
The structure was initially constructed in 637 A.D. as the royal palace for then king Songtsan Gampo. The Fifth Dalai Lama, Lozang Gyatso, rebuilt the Potala Palace in 1645 to serve as the residence for Dalai Lama. The future Dalai Lamas have resided in this palace then onwards. Being the Dalai Lama’s residence this also happens to be the center of all theocratic discourses from Tibet.
Potala Palace is very easy to spot because of its immense structure. As you are traveling northwest of the city of Lhasa, you will find the great palace built on the side of the MarpoRi, also known as the Red Mountain.
02- Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple is one of the most important structures for Buddhists and attracts tourists and devotees alike from all over the world. It too was built in the 7th century, like the Potala Palace, by King Songtsan Gampo. The temple was built by the king for his wives- Princess Bhrikuti from Nepal and Princess Wenchemg from the Tang Dynasty. This introduced a complex form of architecture for this temple which imbibed characteristics from the Chinese Tang Dynasty, Nepal, and styles from the Indian vihara design. The two princesses each brought a statue of Shakyamuni from their homelands and this temple was the seat of residence for these idols. Presently, the statue brought by Princess Bhrikuti is housed in the Ramoche Temple while the other statue resides in this temple.
With an interesting history and an impressive style if structure, Jokhang Temple surely calls out to you and has to be on your list of places to visit in Tibet. The temple is the most sacred place for Tibetan Buddhists adds a mystical attraction to this temple. It is located in Barkhor Square in Lhasa!
03- Namtso Lake
Namtso Lake is located in the Tibet Autonomous Regions and happens to be the second-largest saltwater lake in China! It is so huge that it spread over Damxung County and Baingo County! The name Namtso is a Tibetan word that implies a “heavenly lake”, and this place indeed has that heavenly feel. At 4,718 meters from the sea level, this lake has a charismatic appeal and appears to be floating in the skies.
Under the exceptional beauty of this place, this site also holds a religious appeal to Buddhists and is considered to be a holy place by them. In fact, the religious attraction to this place is so intense that Buddhists make a pilgrimage to the holy lake every Year of Seep in the Tibetan Calendar.
The lake is surrounded by four temples. It also lies at the backdrop of the gigantic snow-capped peaks if the Himalayas loftily looking down upon white clouds floating past them.
04- Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Yumtso or the Yamdrok Lake is a geographical marvel- it is a barrier lake or a lake firmed because the flow of a river was blocked by glacial mud rock millions of years ago. The word Yamdrok means “jade”, which indicated the coral color of the lake. Yamdrok Lake has located about 70 km from the city of Lhasa in Nagarze County.
The serenity and calm of the place are what make this place so much attractive. The lake also covers a tremendous surface area of 638 km2 and is larger by about 70 times from the West Lake situated in Hangzhou. The southwest coast of the Lake has the Samding Monastery, the only monastery that is headed by a female tulku! You will find the ideal scenery at this place with green pastures, lofty mountains, clear lakes, an impressive monastery, and all kinds of wild plants and animals.
05- Yarlung Tsangpo
The Yarlung Tsangpo is a canyon that stretches from the Daduka village in Mainling County in the north at an elevation of 2880 meters to the Pasighat village (115 meters) in Medog County in the south. Stretching over 505 km, this is the largest canyon in the world and one of the most breathtaking sites in Tibet. The canyon is deepest at a depth of 6009 meters and has an average depth of 2,268 meters.
All the vapours collected from the Indian Ocean are collected at the Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon which makes it a very moist place. The high moisture ensures roaring wildlife complemented by lush green vegetation in this place. The remarkable depth and outstanding views are sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Whether you are looking for a peaceful place to gaze through or you are a photographer looking for the best places to capture moments, the Yarlung Tsangpo will never fail you.
06- Everest Base Camp
Mt. Everest is the highest point on earth and calls out to adventurers and travellers alike. This natural wonder has a captivating charm and many wish to climb it. However, harsh conditions and huge expenses make it quite difficult for one to travel to the top of the peak.
Mt. Everest has a base camp on both the Nepal side and the Tibetan side of its boundaries. You can easily go to the Tibetan base of Mt. Everest when you are travelling through Tibet. Make sure that you spend the night at this place, as this is the time when you get to witness all the wonders of the highest place on earth.
Whilst you are spending the night at the base, if you are lucky enough to have a clear sky, you can find the sky filled with all kinds of stars, some of which you have never seen before because of all the pollution. On a clear night, the night sky is closer by 5 km that it is usually. The sunrise from this place is also exceptional and a memory that you will not forget easily.
07- Mt. Kailash
Stories of Mt. Kailash, the mountain that cannot be climbed, spread far and wide. This is thought to be the abode of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god, and holds a place of special significance upon many South-East Asian religious followers. Be it Hindus or Buddhists and even Jains and Bons, Mt. Kailash attracts devotees from all kinds of places throughout the year. Going on a “parikrama” (circuit) around the Mt. Kailash is deemed to be very holy for all such religious believers. If not for the religious attachment, you can simply visit the place for the raw beauty of the place.
This mountain is covered in snow throughout the year and attracts pilgrims from India, Nepal, Bhutan, and all over Tibet. The lofty structure gives you amazing sites to behold and you have to visit this place only for its grandness if not for anything else.
Norbulingka is a Tibetan word that means “jeweled park” and just has to be on your list of places to visit in Tibet. The immense structure was built in 1755 as the summer abode for the Dalai Lamas. Every summer, the Dalai Lama would travel to Norbulingka from Potala Palace to spend his time there.
Norbulingka is not very far away from Potala Palace. It is located towards the west of Lhasa city and southwest of the Potala Palace. It is easily accessible and a marvelous sight to behold. There are 374 rooms in this gigantic structure and it is spread over 36 hectares of land. There is a park built within the complex filled with exotic flora and fauna that demands your attention.
The Shoton Festival is celebrated here in Norbulingka and during this time of the year, entry to the complex is free. Many Tibetan cultural programs are held in this place during this time and the Tibetan drama performances are worth your time.
09- Tashilhunpo Monastery
The gigantic size of the Tashilhunpo Monastery complex is what makes it so impressive and a site that you just cannot miss when you are travelling through Tibet. It is a Gelugpa Monastery and there are only 4 existing in Tibet, the other three being Drepung Monastery, sera Monastery, and Gandan Monastery. All of these sites are worth your time, but Tashilhunpo is the largest among all of them and all other monasteries in Tibet.
It was built in the 15th century by GendunDrup and a major expansion project was undertaken by the 4th Panchen Lama. The monastery is situated to the west of Shigatse City on the slopes of the Nyima Mountain. The monastery complex covers an area of 1502,000 square meters and can house up to 2000 Buddhist monks to chant their sutras at any given time. The Maitreya Temple on Tashilhunpo Monastery has the highest statue of Maitreya Buddha at 26.2 meters high.
10- Lulang Forest
Lulang Forest is also known as the Swiss Alps of China because of its impressive beauty. It is a forest situated in a plateau and has all the features of such forests. It is gigantic and covered in lush green vegetation comprising high bushes, dragon spruce, and pine trees. There are villages scattered within the forest and thus farmlands also exist within it. Green meadows at a backdrop of a dense forest and the raw beauty of the Himalayas makes it such an attractive place to go to.
Reaching the Lulang Forest is very easy as the National Road 318 [asses through the forest. It is about 88 km away from Bayi town in Nyingchi Prefecture and very easy to reach. The term Lulang is a Tibetan word meaning “dragon king valley”!
There are so many more breathtaking places in Tibet that you can travel to. So many monasteries such as the Samye Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Sakya Monastery along with lakes such as the holy Mansarovar Lake, Basum Lake, and so on are all places worth your visit when you are travelling through Tibet. It is a wondrous land filled with untouched beauties and you will have the most delightful experience as a traveller because of all the amazing things that Tibet has to offer!
Want to know more about the best Tibet deals? Then Himalayan Trekkers are right here to guide you on the right path. So, we welcome you to explore with us in the safest manner.