LHASA, The holy city of Lhasa (3650metres) is the historical capital of Tibet and dates back to the 7 th century, when King Songtsen Gampo moved his capital from the Yarlung valley to Lhasa after unifying Tibet. Lhasa city is located on the north bank of Kyichu river and is the cultural centre of Tibet.
POTALA PALACE,The Potala is considered one of the great wonders of the world. It is held sacred by Tibetans as the former residence of successive Dalai Lamas, and is one of Tibet's most holy pilgrimage sites. A palace was originally built in the 7 th century by King Songtsen Gampo, and was believed to have been nine stories high, but around the 9 th century it is believed to have been destroyed by a big fire. The present Potala Palace was constructed by the great fifth Dalai Lama in the 17 th century after he became ruler of Tibet. The Potala Palace is divided into two sections, the White Palace (completed in 1653) and Red palace (completed 1694). It has more than one thousand rooms and is thirteen stories high. The White Palace was secular in nature and mainly used for government administration, whilst the Red palace was mainly used for religious functions and still has numerous chapels, including those containing reliquary stupas of the successive Dalai Lamas which are richly decorated in gold, silver and semi-precious stones.
NAMTSO LAKE at (4,700Meters) is one of the biggest lakes in Tibet and is 70Km long and 30Km wide. The landscape is dominated by the snow peak of Nyenchen Thangla to the south west of the lake. Tashi Do hermitage stands on a promontory with more than 50 small caves including some small chapels. Pilgrims do a half hour walk (kora) around Tashi Do hermitage.
MOUNT KAILASH is located in Western Tibet, at an altitude of (6714Meters) above sea level. It is the most sacred mountain for both Hindus and Buddhists. It is the abode of Samvara, or Demchok in Tibetan, the wrathful meditational deity who is the Buddhist tantric aspect of great compassion.
For Tibetan Bon followers, whose custom it is to circumambulate anti-clockwise, it is the abode of Lord Tonpa Shenrab. For Hindus, it is the abode of Shiva, the destroyer of evil. Jains also hold Mount Kailash sacred.
LAKE MANSAROVAR is located in Western Tibet, at an altitude of (4572Meters) above sea level. It is the holiest lake for both Hindus and Buddhists, conceived from the mind of God. It is the mentral creation of Samvara or Demchok in Tibetan, a wrathful meditational deity who is the Buddhist Tantric aspect of great compassion. For Tibetan Bon followers, whose custom it is to circumambulate anti-clockwise, it is the mental creation of Lord Tonpa Shenrab. For Hindus, it is the mental creation of Shiva, the destroyer of evil. Jains also hold lake Mansarovar sacred.
ANCIENT BHARKOR STREET is the most sacred pilgrimage site in Lhasa and it is full of pilgrims from down till dusk. There are four huge prayer flags situated in Bhakor street which surrounds the Jokang, known respectively as Gadhen Dharchen in the northeast, Juyak Dharchen in the west, Kelsang Dharchen in the southwest and SharKyaring Dharchen in the southeast. The Bharkor street is the most active market in all Tibet and it is possible to purchase traditional Tibetan artifacts, religious implements, antiques, modern goods, books, music, clothing, spices, fresh meat and vegetable.
NORBU LINGKA (Lingka means Garden in Tibetan) is the first summer Palace which was founded by the seventh Dalai Lama in 18 th century and the first Palace Kelsang Podrang was also constructed as the same name as the 7 th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso. The eight Dalai Lama Jampel Gyatso (1758-1804) did more initiated work on the Norbulingka, expending the gardens and digging a lake which can be found south of the new summer Palace. The thirteenth Dalai Lama (1876-1933) was responsible for the three Palaces in the north west corner of the park and the fourteen the Dalai Lama built the new summer Palace in 1956. Nowadays there are some monks who are taking care of the Palace.
YUMBU LHAKANG is the first Tibetan building, founded in 127 BC for their first King, Nyatri Tsenpo and it had been used as the palace by the Numbers of Tibetan Kings. According to the legend, Nyatri Tsenpo is said to be descended from heaven and he was greeted by some herdsmen when they were grazing their animals because the herdsmen found Nyatri Tsenpo as a complete special good looking man, totally differed from them so they respected him as their king and carried him on their neck and named Nyatri Tsenpo, meaning neck throned king. Nevertheless, today the Yumbu Lhakang serves as a chapel and it is inhabited by 5 monks who are taking care of the chapels.
GUGE KINGDOM was founded in the late 10 th century by lineages of Lang Dharma, King Palkor Tsen’s son Kyede Nyima Gon after the Tsenpo period was diminished in the late 10 th century and it was resided by 16 lineages of the Kings respectively. The citadel of Guge is situated up on a giant cliff and it has (300Meters) in height and 18,0000 square Meters in length. Eventhough the citadel of Guge was heavily destroyed, it still remains important Buddhist arts in Tsaparang. The wall paintings and the statues paint were influenced by Kashmiri style in 11 th century, Newari style in 14 th and 15th century, and Tibetan style in 17 th century respectively. The least damaged temples now are White, Red and Demchok temples and you can see damaged heads or shoulders of the statues and destroyed wall paintings on the wall in those temples.
DUNGKAR PIYANG has around 1100 years history and the murals in the cave are possibly the oldest in Ngari region. The oldest temple at Dungkar is attributed to Princess Lhei Metok, daughter of King Yeshe-O in the 10 th century, but the building that is most prominent nowadays is Tashi Choling. Tashi Choling was built for Tsongkapa’s student Ngawang Drakpa in the 15 th century. Piyang is around 3Km from Dungkar at the far end of the valley. The oldest building in Piyang was the Karsak Lhakhang, attributed to King Yeshe-O. Both Dungkar and Piyang have extremely gorgeous paintings.
PALYUL NAMGYEL JANGCHUBLING was built at the village of Palyul in 1665 by the King of Derge, Lachen Jampa Phuntsok who appointed Rigdzing Kunzang Sherap as it’s first throne holder and it was originally connected with Kagyupa sect but nowadays it has a very big influence of Nyingmapa sect. The temples of Palyul were constructed on the slopes below the peak of Dzongnang and the ridge Dago Osel Lhari. Among them the most important was the Lhasarkang, constructed by Kunzang Sherap himself and containing a gilded copper image of Shakyamuni in the form of Jowo Yishin Norbu as well as the frescos of Namcho deities.
DERGE GONCHEN was once the capital of the largest and most influential of the five Kingdoms of Kham. The crafts of Derge, particularly in printing and metal work here renowned throughout Tibet. The monastery of Derge Gonchen was built in the 17 th century by the Derge King Lachen Jampa Phuntsok and became the most important centre for the Ngorpa order of the Sakya school in east Tibet.
DERGE PARKANG AND PRINTING HOUSE was founded in 1729 and eventually completed in 1750. Derge Parkhang was the biggest printing house throughout Tibet and it not only contains an enormous bullock of printing board of the all different sects of Buddhist religion in Tibet but also numerous texts of other Tibetan culture like medicine, divination, history, grammar, biography, poem, history etc. Here the Sakya School Shuchen Tsultrim Rinchen produced his own edition of the Kagyur and Tangyur, generally considered as the most accurate in Tibet.
Mt. Everest the world's highest peak just standing on the border of China and Nepal, in Tibetan, called Mt. Qomolangma, it is one of the must-see places of Tibet. The Karakorum Mountains guards the west and the hengduan Mountains with vertical cliffs and deep valleys surges on the east. Within the boundary of these huge mountains, the mountain chain of Gandise-Nyainqentanglha and their branches stretch from east to west. the forest of Snow-capped mountains forms quite a breathtaking view on the plateau.