Places to see in Tibet

Tibet is a magical land of monasteries, mountains and sacred lakes. Here are ten must-see places in Tibet

1. The Potala Palace- It is an impressively vast and ancient building complex located northwest of Lhasa alongside the MarpoRi (Red Mountain). It was built in 637 as the royal palace for then king SongtsanGampo. After LozangGyatso, the fifth Dalai Lama re-constructed the palace in 1645, and it became the official residence of Dalai Lama. Potala Palace is famously known as ‘’the palace of art’’ and is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

2. Jokhang Temple: It is the spiritual center of Tibet, it lies on Barkhor Square in Lhasa. The temple was built in the 7th century and is now the supreme temple of Tibetan Buddhism. SongtsanGampo built it for his bride, Nepalese princess Bhrikuti (known as the ‘green star’) and Tang Princess Wencheng.

3. Namtso Lake- This heavenly lake is considered one of the most serene places in Tibet, it is a perfect postcard location. The lake is located in Damxing and Biango County, and it is the second largest saltwater lake in China.

Namtso Lake (translation Heaven Lake’) is at an altitude of 4,718 meters/15,479 feet. It is one of three sacred lakes for the Tibetan Buddhists who make a pilgrimage to the lake during the year of the Sheep in Tibetan calendar.

4.Yamdrok Lake- It is one of the three holy lakes of Tibet. Yamdroklake is 70 kilometers far from Lhasa-it is located in Nagarzê County, Shannan Prefecture.

5. YarlungTsangpo Grand Canyon: undoubtedly the most beautiful canyon in China, YarlungTsangpo is 505 kilometeres/314 miles long stretching from Daduka Village Mainling County in the north at 2,880 meters/9,450 feet to Pasighat Village, Mêdog County in the south at the height of 115 meters ( 377 feet)

6. Mt. Everest Base Camp- While you are in Tibet, get a chance to step foot on the base of the top of the world. You can spend a night at the Everest Base Camp on the Tibet side easily, and wake up to a sunrise over Mount Everest. You directly drive to the base camp from Lhasa or Nepal-Tibet border.

7. Mt. Kailash -It is breathtaking pilgrimage site in remote western Tibet, the most sacred mountain for Hindus Buddhists, Jains, and Bones. Tibetans considered Mt. Kailash as the center of the world. The trek to Mansarovarlake in the foothills of Kailash is an extremely difficult one, but thousands of people from South Asia make the pilgrimage every year.

8. Norbulingka-Dalai Lamas’ Summer Palace: Norbulingka( translation: Jeweled Park) is located west of Lhasa, a short distance to the southwest from Potala Palace. The palace was built in 1755 and is the summer destination for Dalai Lamas who move there from Potala Palace for the season. Shoton Festival is celebrated here.

9. Tashilhunpo Monastery- It is Tibet’s largest monastery. Located west of Shigatse City on Nyima Mountain, the monastery was built in 1447 by GendunDrup; later, the 4th Panchen Lama added more to it. Tashlhunpo is one among the four Gelupa Monasteries of Tibet, other three being Ganden, Drepung and Sera Monastery.

10. Lulang Forest- Also famous as the Chinese ‘Swiss-Alps’, Lulang means ‘’dragon King Valley’’ in Tibetan. The forest is nearly 88 km from Bayi Town, Nyingchi Prefecture and since National Road 318 runs through the woods, getting it is very convenient. It is a plateau forest on mountain slopes with Himalayan vegetation and snow-covered mountain views. Apart from the above mentioned 10, some other places in Tibet worthy of a visit are Samye Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Basum Lake, Mansarovar Lake, and Srila Mountain.