Tibet is a beautiful place where you can get a real taste of nature and culture. Also, considered as the roof of the world, traveling to Tibet can be a dream of any travel lover as it showers with all the natural and cultural ecstasy that an enthusiastic traveler seeks for. Tibet is an antique city that treasures all the art, architecture, culture and custom of ancient times. The old traditions, ancient architecture and art crafts, paintings and untouched form of nature gives you a positive vibe and you will feel as if you have traveled back to time to endure all the religious, cultural and natural ecstasies at once. The history of Tibet can be traced around 4000 years ago since when the Buddhism religion flourished in Tibet. The artistic monasteries, temples, and palaces are the surreal form of the religion that reflects its resemblance.
If you are planning to visit Tibet then there are a few places that you must visit. Some of the places to visit in Tibet are as follows:
1. The Potala Palace
Potala Palace is a majestic palace built on a top of a hill that dominates entire Lhasa city, the capital city of Tibet. When anyone enters into the city, the first thing that comes to sight is the red and white painted buildings of Potala palace. The palace dominates the entire skyline of Lhasa city. Potala palace used to be the winter residence of Dalai Lama. However, after the Tibetan uprising when Dalai Lama fled away from Lhasa, the palace turned into a museum and is amongst one of the UNESCO listed world heritage sites. The palace is beautifully built with art and craft manifested in abundance. Thus, the architecture in the palace justifies the unique culture and art of Tibetan people.
2. Jokhang Temple
Jokhang temple is considered as the spiritual center of Tibet. It is an ancient temple that was built in 7th century and is located in the center of the Bakor Square, Lhasa. The temple holds high value amongst the Tibetans. Tibetans consider this temple to be the most sacred temple in Tibet. The pilgrims around Tibet visit this temple and circle around the temple in a clockwise direction. As per mythology, the temple was built by King Songtsen Gampo for his two brides – Princess Wencheng and Princess Bhrikuti. The princesses brought statues from their hometown respectively which were housed in the Jokhang Temple.
Namtso is a heavenly lake and is considered to be one of the must-visit places in Tibet. It is the second-largest saltwater lake in Tibet. The word Namtso is a Tibetan word for heavenly therefore as its name depicts, the lake is truly a heavenly place to be at. Besides, its natural allure, the lake is popular from its religious aspect too. The Tibetan people consider this lake to be a holy lake. As per the Tibetan calendar, in the sheep year, pilgrimages pay their visit to this place. There are four temples built around the lake. The azure lake with the open blue sky is a wonderful combination to melt your heart at peace.
4. Yamdrok Lake
Considered as one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet, Yamdrok Lake is a heavenly place to be at. The lake is placed in a fantastic location surrounded by snow-capped mountains on its all sides. There are numerous small streams that join this lake. The lake is over 45 miles long and unlike Namtso Lake, Yamdrok is a freshwater lake and is turquoise colored. As per the mythology, Yamdrok Lake is referred to as the transformation of a goddess. A fairy maiden left heaven and came to earth and transformed herself into this lake.
The purity, serenity, and gorgeousness of the lake are compared to the traits of the fairy maiden. There are various large fishes in this lake however people don’t hunt and eat the fishes in this lake as they believe the fishes and embodied with their ancestor’s soul. At Yamdrok Lake, you can relish the angelic beauty of nature. The snow-clad mountains all around and a clear and azure turquoise-colored lake in a pristine environment, one could have asked for nothing more.
5. Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon
Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon is the longest, largest and deepest canyon in the world and one of the fantastic places in the earth to be at. Located in the northern Himalayas of Tibet, the canyon originates from the holy Mt. Kailash and flows to the northern section of the Himalayas in Tibet. The word – the Yarlung Tsangpo in itself translates as the water flowing from the highest peak. The canyon is considered as the most important moisture channel of Qinghai Tibet Plateau. The canyon stretches about 505 km from Dakula village at an elevation of 2880 meters to Pasighat village at an elevation of 115 meters.
The deepest point of the canyon is 6009 meters however in average the canyon is 2258 meters deep. Furthermore, the canyon is home to various species of plants and wildlife. Owing to its subtropical climate, the sea level is best for tropical forests. The place receives rainfall in abundance and treasures some rare species of plants and trees that are very important for mankind.
6. Mt. Everest Base Camp
One can get there to the roof of the world – Mt. Everest Base Camp from Tibet as well. An overland drive can easily take you to the base camp of Everest Base Camp. If you can fight with the rising elevation then Everest Base Camp is not a big deal from the Tibetan side. Mt. Everest Base Camp is the dream of many enthusiastic travel lovers. Who wouldn’t want to get there in this heavenly place where one can relish the appealing views of mighty Mt. Everest rising tall? The Tibetan plateaus, pristine environment, and wild mountains all together make Mt Everest Base Camp one of the must-visit places in Tibet.
7. Mt Kailash
Mt. Kailash is a holy pilgrimage site situated in the most stunning location of the world. Lying in the remote plateaus Himalayan valley of Tibet, Mt. Kailash is a spiritual site for Hindu, Buddhist and Jain followers around the world. The mountain is very appealing as it is covered with snow all year round. Every year many Hindu, Buddhist and Jain people around the world visit this place to perform Kora. In Hindu mythology, this mountain is considered to be the abode place of Lord Shiva.
Similarly, in Buddhist mythology, it is considered to be the place where Guru Rinpoche had meditated and as per Jain mythology, it is the place where their founder Rishabhdev attained nirvana. The high altitude lakes near Mt. Kailash – Mansarovar Lake and Rakshasa Lake add to the beauty of this place. The mightiness of Mt. Kailash and the shimmering azure beauty of the mountain lakes is an awesome combination that makes Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake a must-visit place in Tibet.
8. Norbulingka Palace
Lying in the west of Lhasa city, Norbulingka is a treasured park as its name depicts. It is built beautifully at the bank of Kyichu River and used to be the summer palace of Dalai Lama. Just one kilometer southwest of Potala Palace, Norbulingka is a grand palace that is magnificently built with 374 rooms inside the palace. It is surrounded by a spectacular garden that covers an area of 360,000 sq. meters. The palace was constructed in the 1740s. Before this, the place was nothing but a wasteland that was full of wild weeds and scrubs. Despite the wilderness, Dalai Lama often visited this place and spent his time there.
Therefore, Qing magistrate built a palace in this place. Later, the palace was reconstructed and many complexes were added which made the palace one of the grand palaces and attraction of anyone who visited this place. Norbulingka palace consists of multiple complexes which include Kelsang Potrang, Golden Linka, Tsokyil Potrang and Takten Migyur Potrang. When Dalai Lama had to flee away from Tibet, the palace was opened to the public as a public park. So, this premier park with the artistic palace is also one of the attractions in Tibet.
9. Tashilhunpo Monastery
Located in the west of Shigatse city, on the Nyima Mountain, Tashilhunpo monastery is one of the four Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet that was built in 1447 by Gendun Drup. Followed by its construction, the major expansions were made to the monastery by the 4th Panchen Lama. The monastery covers an area of 150,000 sq. meters and can accommodate around 2000 monks. The white tall walls of the monasteries are very appealing and the Maitreya Temple of Tashilhunpo monastery is the highest statue of Maitreya Buddha around the globe. Moreover, the monastery is the biggest monastery in Shigatse and is as popular as the other three Gelugpa monasteries – Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, and Gandan Monastery.
10. Lulang Forest
As you move to the east of Bayi town and pass the mountain pass – Serji La, you open up right before the beautiful Lulang forest. The place is spectacular with the views of mountains, rivers, and villages around. Located in an astounding location, the forest is one of the most visited touristic places is home to many species of birds, animals, and plants. Nestled in between the mountains and glaciers, Lulang forest is a plateau at an elevation of 3700 meters. Besides that, this place features some fantastic alpine scenery with endless pine trees, clear blue sky and snow-capped mountains on sight. As you walk into the forest, you will be blessed with the relishing views of a flower blossom, marshy grassland, and shimmering rivers. As you walk through the villages, you will be able to get some insights on people, their rural lifestyle and culture.
The above mentioned are some of the places to visit in Tibet. However, the spectacle of Tibet doesn’t end here. There are many other places one can visit in Tibet and one can never get enough. Drepung Monastery, Sakya Monastery, Basum Lake, Mansarovar Lake, Samye Monastery, Tibet Museum and Segrila Mountain are some other places to visit in Tibet. If you are interested in traveling to Tibet, then do not forget to contact your reliable and experienced travel operator – Himal Eco Treks. Himal Eco Treks is one of the most approached tour operators in Nepal for Tibet travel, tours, and treks.