Tibet, the ‘Roof of the World’, is the highest place on the planet and stretches all the way to heaven. It stretches for about 4,900 meters in a plateau to the North of the Himalayas. It is a place worth visiting once in a lifetime. Since recent times, the peaceful land has opened its doors to tourists, and the majestic scenery and the mysterious culture has exerted an awesome draw on travellers. It attracts millions of travellers each year to the witness some of the most relaxing and fun things to do in Tibet.
Tibet is full of pilgrimages, and if you are visiting the place, you simply cannot miss out a tour to the Jokhand Temple, or take a fill of the appealing Potala Palace, which is the most iconic image of Tibetan culture. Once you’re out, take a walk down to Barkhor street where shopaholics go to feast their eyes. Take the time out to explore the mountains and try hand at trekking and other mountainous activities.
Listed below are some of the most authentic places to visit in Tibet:
1. The Potala Palace
Potala Palace is regarded as the landmark and the symbol of Tibet. It is a great palace with consists of many houses, chapels, towers, etc. Potala Palace has been regarded as the highest place in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Because of its unique architectural style, it is honoured as one of the most beautiful architectural buildings in the world. Situated in Lhasa, Potala Palace is known to the most famous UNESCO Heritage site in Tibet.
2. Jokhang Temple
Jokhang temple (also known as Jokhang Monastery) is the holiest place in Tibet and is the spiritual centre for all Tibetan Pilgrims. It is listed in the World Cultural Heritages alon with many other famous places here. This Temple is situated at the heart of Lhasa and surrounded by Barkhor street. This four storied building was built in the 7th Century by Songtan Gambo, and has roofs covered with Gilded bronze tiles.
It displays a combination of the architectural style of Han, Tibetan, Indian and Nepal, and has a Mandala world touch of Buddhism. This Temple was formerly called ‘Tsuklakang’ or ‘House of Religious Science’, or the ‘House of Wisdom’. Today it is merely calked the Jokhang, or ‘The House of the Buddha’.
3. Namsto Lake
Located in Damshug ounty, Namsto, which means ‘Heavenly Lake’, truly lives up to its name. It is usually described as being next door to Heaven because of its lofty mountains, High altitude, stunning beauty, pure blue water and friendly spiritual associations.
This is the highest saltwater lake in the entire world. It consists of snow-capped mountains and extended open grasslands which are dotted by yak and sheep herds. Local Nomads surround the crystal clear water of Lake Nam, making it the most beautiful place in Tibet.
4. Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Lake is one of the three most sacred and largest lakes in Tibet. It is about 72 km (about 45 miles long). It is surrounded by many snow-capped mountain ranges and is fed by numerous streams. At it far western end, the lake doesn’t have an outer stream. According to the local mythology, Lake Yamdrok is the transformation of a goddess.
5. Mount Everest
The highest mountain range on the earth is called Qomolangma, better known as Mount Everest. It can be seen from hundreds of kilometres away and appears to be a shining pyramid in the distance. The mountain is covered in snow throughout the year and has inspired artists, photographer and century old Buddhist pilgrims. It is considered a scared mountain in Tibet and is revered by all Tibetans. The mountain is a part of the High Asian Himalayas and is located in the border between China’s Tibet and Nepal.
6. Mount Kailash
When you are in Tibet, you cannot possibly miss the amazing Mount Kailash. This incredible mountain rises to over six thousand and six hundred meters, but it has never been explored properly or have been climbed enough. This is a place of absolute mystery, spiritual meaning and a rich cultural atmosphere. By trekking Mount Kailash, you are bound to experience a great deal of Tibetan culture and religion, while at the same time testing your limits of endurance and physical strength.
Norbulingka Palace is the biggest man-made garden in Tibet Autonomous Region. Norbulingka means ‘The Park of Treasure’ and was usually used as the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas to deal with governmental issues and hold religious activities. It was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 2001.
Built in late 1755, the palace has seen countless number of Dalai Lamas and has been reconstructed over time. It now extends over three hundred and sixty thousand square meters and has more than three hundred and seventy four rooms, which includes the Dalai Lamas’ palaces for 7th to 14th. It is mostly famous for its beautiful garden and consists of various kinds of precious flowers and plants. One is bound to feel relaxed when walking inside this peaceful and pure land.
8. Tashilhunpo Monastery
As part of one of the six Gelug monasteries, the Tashilhunpo Monastery is the seat of successive Panchen Lamas. It was founded by the first Dalai Lama in the year 1447, which makes it an important monastery in Tibetan history and culture. The monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari, west side of Shigatse (the second largest city of Tibet), it means “all fortune and happiness gathered here” or “heap of glory” in Tibetan.
It takes up an area of about a hundred and fifty thousand square kilometres and is the largest monasteries in the entire country. It is made in the traditional Tibetan monastic style, the halls, chapels and all other structures are connected by precipitous steps and narrow cobblestone alleys.
9. Barkhor Street
Barkhor street, located in the Lhasa downtown is the place for those who are shopping crazy. As a public square and around the Jokhang Temple, it forms a polygon which is connected by different streets and laneways and has a total length of over a thousand meters. It is the popular place for pilgrims and commercial centre. Being a “Saint road”, you could find hundreds of pilgrims here from all over Tibet, flocking around in different dresses and dialects. There are many shops along the street and they display the most characteristic of items and commodities, which include thangkas, prayer wheels, prayer flags, Tibetan tea, clothing and much more. It is a great place to by souviniers and take a peek into the Tibetan lifestyle.
10. Sera Monastery
The Sera monastery in Lhasa is one of the top six monasteries of Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is stared as the “three great Lhasa monasteries”. This Monastery is not only famous for its Buddhist debating, but also maintains a good reputation among the visitors for its Buddhist culture, buildings and cultural relics.
Tibet is the land of absolute harmony. From silent and serene monasteries to tranquil landscapes, the country has a lot to choose from. So pack up sooner and plan your next trip to Tibet to have the time of your life.