Lhasa, is capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region. It has a history of more than 1,300 years a political, economic, cultural and transport center of the region. Lhasa has an area of 30,000 square km with a population of 400,000. Lhasa is home to the Tibetan, Han as well as other ethnic groups, but the Tibetan ethnic group makes up about 80 percent of the total population.
The Potala Palace is 117 meters high atop the Red Hill in Lhasa. It was built over 1,300 years ago in the 7th century. The 13-story palace, the world's highest, is more than 3,700 meters above sea level and is a rare showcase of traditional Tibetan architecture.
The Jokhang Temple is one of Lhasa's holiest shrines, first built in 647 A.D. in celebration of the marriage of the Tang Princess Wencheng and the Tubo King Songtsen Gampo. Located in the center of old Lhasa, the temple was set up by craftsmen from Tibet, China, and Nepal and hence the different architectural styles.
Bakhor, also named as Baghor, is the oldest street in Lhasa,encircling the circular street of the Jokhang Temple, a distance of 500 m. In the past, it was only a circumambulation circuit, “a holy road” in the eyes of Tibetan. Now it’s also a shopping center with nation characteristics. It’s an old district with colorful Tibetan features.
The Drepung Monastery is situated in the hillside of Gambo Utse Mountain 5 kilometers northwest to Lhasa City. The monastery was first built in 1416 by a disciple of Tsong Khapa under the patronage of a noble family and later widened by the Fifth Dalai Lama. The second, third and forth Dalai Lama once lived here.
It was built in 1419 by a pupil of Tsongkhapa. It is located on the southern slope of the Serawoze Mountain in the northern suburbs of Lhasa. It is one of the three big monasteries in Lhasa. Each year it will hold the grand Sera Bungchen, which attracts Buddhists from all over the world.
It is a park first used as a bathing place by the 7th Dalai Lama in mid-18th century. It later turned into to be the summer palace for the Dalai Lama in the beginning and mid-20th century. The summer palace of the 14th Dalai Lama attracts most visitors by its well-designed structure and surroundings.
Ganden Monastery was founded near Lhasa in Tibet by Tsongkhapa in 1409 as the first and main Gelug monastery. Ganden Monastery is about 45 kilometers from Lhasa. This monastery mainly has the Coqen Hall, Tri Thok Khang, Serdhung, Zhacangs, Khangtsens and Myicuns.
Tibet Museum is located at the southeast corner of the Norbulingka Road in Lhasa. It is the first large-sized comprehensive modern museum in the Tibet Autonomous Region; it is a brilliant literary and arts palace of the Tibetan people, a gem of Tibetan civilization and a treasure house of Tibetan cultural relics.
Yambajan is the most hot springs of China , world-famous for its spectacular phenomenon of hot springs boiling on the cold plateau, features all kinds of hot springs including highest-temperature hot springs, boiling springs and geysers as well as common hot springs, the area of which totals more than 7,000 square meters.
Namtso lake, the second largest salt lake in Tibet, is held as "the heavenly lake" in northern Tibet. Namtso is respected as one of the four holiest lakes and the seat of Paramasukha Chakrasamvara by Buddhist pilgrims. Buddhists believe Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Vajras will assemble to hold religious meeting at Namtso in the year of sheep on Tibetan calendar.
Shigatse: Situated in the alluvial plain at the confluence of Brahmaputra and Nianchuhe rivers, Shigatse is about 270 kilometers west to Lhasa. It is on an elevation of 3,800 meters with the area of 3,875 square kilometers. it has the population of 820,000,the second biggest city in Tibet.
To the west city of Shigatse, you can find the gold roof of Tashilunpo Monastery glittering under the sunshine. It still remain its original vigor through past 5 hundred years. Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the Six Big Monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in China and the biggest Tibetan Gelugpa Buddhism monastery in back Tibet area.
Sakya Monastery is well known as the "Second Dunhuang", also the first Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism created by its initiator Khon Konchog Gyalpo in 1073. Sakyapa grew and once ruled Tibet and lived there. The monastery located in Sakya Country, 130 kilometers (80 miles) southwest of Shigatse.
Tsetang is about 189 km south-east of Lhasa, the third largest in Tibet. It is the capital of Shannan Prefecture and an important administrative center. It is located on the south bank in the middle section of the Yarlung Tsangbo River. The nearby Yarlung River scenic area is a national scenic park with Samye Monastery, Yumbu Lhakang Palace, burial site for Tsampos and Traduk Monastery highlighting the region.
It is the first monastery ever set up in Tibet. It was first founded by the Tibetan King Trisiong Desen. It belongs to the Nyingmapa and Skayapa sects. The construction has the three styles, namely the Chinese Han, the Tibetan and the Indian.
Yumbulagang, also called“palace of mother and son”in Tibetan dialect, is the first palace ever built in Tibet. It has a history of over 2,000 years. Acording to the history it was first built for Nyatri Tsanpo, the first Tibetan King. Later it became the summer palace of Songtsan Gampo and Princess Wencheng.
About 7km south of the Tsetang Hotel, Trandruk is one of the earliest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, which dates back to the same time as the Jokhang and Ramoche in Lhasa., the 7th century reign of Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the Demoness Subduing temples of Tibet.
Gyantse is located in the Nyang Chu valley 254km south-west of Lhasa and 90 km west of Yamdrok Yumtse Lake. It is the 4th largest town in Tibet. Gyantse is famous for its woolen carpets. It is considered among the finest in all of Tibet.
Dzong Fort is the former location of Gyantse local government in old Tibet. Four steles set up by the high-rank commissioners dispatched by the emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty are still kept in good order for extremely precious value as the historical cultural relics. Dzong Fort is also the old battle field between British army and local army men and civilians in 1904.
The Kumbum, the only Nepalese-style stupa in Tibet, is located in the Pelkor Chode Monastery in Gyangtse. The stupa has numerous chapels dedicated to various Buddhist deities.
The Pelkor Chode Monastery
First built in 1418, Pelkor Chode was once a multidenominational complex of monasteries. The best way to get the feeling of the original extent of Pelkor Chode is to see it from the Gyantse Dzong. Pelkor Chode Monastery is a dark, gloomy place and if you want to have a good look at the various murals and Thangkas, it is a good idea to take a torch.
To west of Tibet stands Mt Kailash which is the most holy mountain in Asia. It is prayed by Buddhists, Hindus. Mt Kailash is an important place for Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims who make a trip of a 53km circuit around the mountain. Buddhists and Hindus circumambulate clockwise. To circumambulate once is said to wipe off the life-time crimes. The mountain itself is 6714m high above sea-level.
Mt. Everest is called in Tibetan as "Quomolangma" which literally means "The Third Goddess". High as 8848.13 meters in the middle place of the Himalaya in Tingri County, Shigatse, Quomolangma is covered with snow and glaciers. Everest area has four peaks above 8000 meters and over 30 peaks above 7000 meter, hence the Third Pole on the Earth.
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