Home > Blog > Articles > Best Places to See in Tibet

Best Places to See in Tibet

Liked this post? Share it with others.

Tibet is a land filled with natural beauty, remote Buddhist monasteries and a hospitable culture. It truly is a unique travel experience that you will not find anywhere else on the planet. Read this post for some of the best places to visit in Tibet.

Potala Place

potala palace
Source: https://windhorsetour.com/

This unique castle has the privilege of being the oldest surviving royal residence in the world. Nestled at an altitude of 3,750 metres and rising 100 metres above the city of Lhasa, Potala Palace has been an icon of Tibet since its construction. Potala Palace’s history can be traced back to about 1,300 years ago and it has been through several large reconstructions ever since. It was originally built in the 7th century when the Tubo Kingdom ruled Tibet to house the King Srongtsen Gampo and his two wives – Princess Wencheng of Tang Empire and Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal. After the fall of Tubo Kingdom, Potala Palace was almost ruined by constant wars. Then in the 17th century, it came the most important reconstruction in Potala’s history. His Holiness – the Fifth Dalai Lama decided to rebuild Potala Palace. He received helpful hands from Qing Empire. The constructions took many years. At last, the Fifth Dalai Lama moved the government from Drepung Monastery to Potala, which made Potala the political and Buddhism center of Tibet. Since the Fifth Dalai Lama, several small reconstructions had been conducted by the later Dalai Lamas. The main body of Potala Palace has remained as the same as the past.

Exhibiting the history and heritage of Tibet, this must see place has been a symbol of Tibet’s individuality. Potala Palace is actually broken up into two palaces. The White Palace is where the Dalai Lama took residence and also where the government once operated. The Red Palace is where you’ll find the stupas where former Dalai Lamas are buried. The main buildings of Potala Palace are situated on the Red Hill by the side of Lhasa River. It is not only a splendid palace, but also a treasure house where you can see precious arts and learn Tibetan culture and history.

Jokhang Temple

 Jokhang Temple
Source: https://windhorsetour.com/

Situated in the heart of old Lhasa city, Jokhang Temple is regarded as the spiritual center of Tibet. Along with the Potala Palace, it is a sight not to be missed for those who travel in Tibet, and one of the best places to learn about the unique Gelugpa Branch of Tibetan Buddhism. Believed to be built around 647 AD, it is one of the most sacred sites in the country. The legends say that the site for the temple was picked by the wife of famous King Songtsen Gampo. It is also said that the queen saw the site and the lake which resembled “a friend’s heart” and she wanted the temple to be built here. The lake is said to spread positive energy, fighting all the evils around the region.

Line up with devout Tibetan pilgrims to worship the life-size statue of 12-year-old Sakyamuni Buddha, closely explore the exquisitely-made Buddhist murals, and walk through the dimly-lit religious chambers while listening to intriguing historic stories related to Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng. Get ready to delve into the essence of Tibetan Buddhism and culture. Of course, don’t forget to climb to the gold-gilded rooftop of Jokhang Temple. The reward would be the panoramic view of lively Barkhor Bazaar and the enchanting vista of Potala Palace.

Nam Tso

nam tso
Source: https://www.topchinatravel.com/

We can’t talk about Tibet without talking about the high mountain lakes. In Tibetan, Nam Tso means Heavenly Lake and heavenly this lake is. Situated at an elevation of 4,718m, Nam Tso alongside Mansarovar and Yamdrok Tso is considered sacred by the locals. It is the largest lake in the Tibet Autonomous Region and certainly one of the most beautiful. The water is deliciously blue and shimmers in the sunlight. The lake is surrounded by the snow-covered Nyenchen Tanglha Range, the highest mountains in northern Tibet. During the summer months from late May through mid-September, nomad Tibetans can be seen in the area herding their yaks and sheep. Clear skies join the surface of the lake in the distance, creating an integrated and scenic vista. Here even a simply glimpse will take your breath away. If you only have time to visit one lake in Tibet, Nam Tso is the easy choice!

The Tashi Peninsula, the biggest island here stretches long and wreathed Namtso into its center, providing tourists a land for spiritual refreshment and hiking around. In the middle, there is a dozens of meters high hill, and at the north end of the peninsula is lined with countless bizarre peristeles and stone peaks. There is a natural stone bridge connecting between the peaks. As the peninsula has been long-term water erosion for a long time, there are many quiet rock caves, which are full of stalactites and forming unique Karst landform. You can visit Tashi temple which is still surrounded by incense smoke on the peninsula. There is a large cave, named Lianhuasheng Cave. It is said that there is a natural lotus pagoda in the cave.

You can choose to have a one-day trip from Lhasa, which involved about a 4 hours drive each way. Or there is some basic accommodations at the lake side, which provides the only way to truly experience the Namtso Lake sunrise.

Mount Kailash

mount kailash
Source: http://gurkhaencounters.com/

Mount Kailash – one of the holiest mountains in the world has long been identified with the striking peak in the Himalayas that now bears its name. The mountain is considered sacred in Buddhism, Hinduism, Bon religion and Jainism. Hindus believe it to be the abode of Lord Shiva, Buddhist and Jains consider the mountain home to sacred deities and the Bon religion reveres it as a sacred holy mountain at the center of the world and the residence of all gods. No one is allowed to climb Mount Kailash as it is believed that only a man entirely free of sin can summit this holy mountain.

However you can circumnavigate around the base of Mount Kailash. Each year thousands for Buddhists and Hindus do the 52 kilometer pilgrimage circuit around the mountain. It is said that 1 trip around the holy mountain will wipe away all the sins of one’s current lifetime; 108 revolutions will remove the sins of all one’s lifetimes and bring salvation from reincarnation.

Located at the southern foot of Mount Kailash, as one of three holy lakes in Tibet, Lake Manasarovar is one of the highest freshwater lakes on the planet with an elevation of 4590 meters. The lake lies near the border of Nepal and offers a sweeping view of the Himalaya to the south. In the shape of pear for the widest part of 26km long, the lake water is very limpid and glimmering blue under the sunshine. Taking a dip in the cold waters of Lake Mansarovar is a must when you visit the place.

Everest base Camp

everest base camp
Source: https://www.tourmyindia.com/

From a mountain which you are not allowed to climb, to a mountain which is extremely difficult to climb. The tallest mountain in the world Mount Everest, known in Tibetan as Chomolangma, lies along the border of Nepal and Tibet, so there are 2 base camps: south side and north side. The south side lies in Nepal and is extremely popular among the mountaineers. But do you know that the north side of Everest in Tibet offers a far superior view compared to the Nepal side.

Unlike the south side of Everest which can only be reached by trekking, you can drive all the way to the Tibet side Everest Base Camp, elevation 5200 meters. This is a dream come true for people who can’t hike for a longer duration but still want to see the majestic Everest.

The vehicles are allowed till Rongphu (Rongbuk) Monastery which lies 8 km before Everest base Camp. From here passengers must trek or take a bus to finish the last 4 km. The way up is gentle and the altitude gain is less than 200 m. Along the way you pass scree slopes, jagging ridges, and broad glacier valleys flowing with muddy water. The 8 to 10 day overland journey from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp is the single most popular journey that people take in Tibet. It allows you to see many of the most important and most beautiful places in Tibet. You can also extend this journey a couple of more day and go all the way to the Nepal border and continue on to Kathmandu.

Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon

yarlung tsangpo
Source: https://www.thrillophilia.com/

Holding the record of being the deepest canyon in the world and slightly longer than Grand Canyon in the US, Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon is a natural wonder and you can trace the human presence in the harshest conditions. Situated at an elevation of 5,000 metres and higher, the canyon offers the perfect setting for an adventure getaway.

The Grand Canyon is rich in forest resources. There are rare and unique plants, and wildlife animals, such as king cobras, leopards, red pandas, musk deer, monkeys, tigers and virgin forests. All kinds of wildlife exits here, so the Canyon is regarded as “the Gene Pool of Biological Resources”, whilst enjoying fameas a “Geological Museum” because of the various geological phenomena. You can also appreciate some humanistic landscapes: Qujiao Wu Temple, Buddha Palm Sand Dune, Ping Greeting Guests and South Jiabawa Peak. 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. Explore the deepest of pits or relax at the monasteries in the region, Yarlung Grand Canyon would give you a sense of the immense power of nature.

Sera Monastery

sera monastery
Source: https://www.tourmyindia.com/

Sera Monastery is one of the best places to witness the life of the Tibetan monks. Arranged at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa City, Sera Monastery is one of three well known houses in the city close by the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery. The monastery was named Sera, which implies wild rose in the Tibetan language, signifying the presence of wild roses at the slopes on the back side of the monastery. It is one of the most important spiritual places in the country.

Hearing perpetual chanting of Buddhist scriptures by lamas echoing in the Tsochin Hall and seeing the routine activity of Buddhist debating in the large debating courtyard, a palpable sense of holiness floods through the whole body. Thousands of murals on the building walls make visitors coming to worship the Monastery and feel as if they were in the heaven of Buddhism, accepting the baptism of the Buddhist doctrines and powers. Sera Monastery library and printing press guide you to get an  all-round comprehension about the Monastery’s past and the present.

Have you read Neeraj Narayanan’s book – This Guy’s On His Own Trip yet? It’s right now #1 bestseller in the travel books category on Amazon. Click here to buy your copy!

Liked this post? Share it with others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like...