You will spend the first 3 days, visiting Dalai Lama’s Potala and Norbulingkha palaces, Drepung and Sera-the two great Gelug Monasteries, Jorkhang Temple-the ancient Buddhist temple and Barkhor Street that forms the most venerated pilgrimage circuit, kora of Tibet. If you find that Lhasa’s altitude sickness is already over with you, you can try optional hikes in the hills behind Sera or Drepung monasteries. En route, Lhasa to Tsedang, you will cross Yarlungdzangbo River by ferry, take a truck ride for another 20-25 minutes along the rough and bumpy road to visit the Tibet’s first Buddhist Monastery. Retrace the way to take ferry crossing and continue to Tsedang, which of course is not an inspiring town in itself but has some great sites related to Tibetan history. Ancient Yambulakhang palace, Tradruk Temple and burial mounds of Tibetan kings are worth visiting
Day 01 Arrive in Lhasa
Our guide will meet you at Gonggar Airport, and transfer you to Lhasa with about 1 hour driving. After arrive in Lhasa, rest and acclimatize. Overnight in Lhasa
Day 02 In Lhasa
Visit the Potala Palace. King Songtsan Gampo builds Potala Palace in the 7th century and he moved his capital from Yarlung valley to Lhasa. In the 17th century the great fifth Dalai Lama renovated it and expanded it into present size. Potala is divided into 2 sections namely red palace and white palace. Red palace is for religious use. There are funeral stupas of Dalai lamas and chapels including Namgal Dratsang. The white palace is for official use and it includes Dalai Lama’s living quarter, meeting room, studying room and meditating rooms and so on.
After lunch visit the Johkang Temple and Norbulingka Palace, Jokhang Temple, one of the oldest Temple in Tibet date back to 7th century built by Nepalese princess Birikuti. The Jokhang was constructed solely of timber and mud.The main section of Jokhang is three storeys high, with topped with golden roofs found nowhere else except in Tibet. The Image of Sakayamuni Buddha brought by Chinese princess Wencheng is enshrined in the central of of main building and also contains all sorts of murals, Thangkas, statues and scriptures. Countless Buddhist followers come on pilgrimage to pay homage to the statues of Sakymani Buddha, and circumambulate around the Temple.
Norbu Lingka Palace, The Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. This place is well worth a visit and the park is a great place to be at festival times and public holidays. During the 7th lunar month of every year the Norbulingka is crowded with picnickers for the Shoton festival. Traditional Tibetan opera performances are also held at this time. There are many cultural relics including 14th Dalai Lama’s golden throne.
Day 03 In Lhasa
This morning we will visit Drepung Monastery ,About 8 km to the west of central Lhasa, Drepung was once the world's largest monastery, with a population of more than 10,000 monks. The word Drepung literally translates as "rice heap", a reference to the huge numbers of white monastic buildings that once piled up on the hillside. A disciple of Tsongkhapa called Jamyang Choje founded the monastery in 1416. He was able to raise funds for the project quickly and within a year of completion the monastery already hosted a population of 2000 monks. By the time of the 5th Dalai Lama in the early 17th century, the number of resident monks was somewhere between 7000 and 10,000. Today there are around 600 monks in residence.
After lunch we will visit, Sera Monastery The monastery, around 5 km north of central Lhasa, was along with Drepung one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries. Its once huge monastic population of about 5000 monks has now been reduced to several hundred, and building repairs are still continuing. The monastery is worth a visit, particularly from around 3 pm onwards when debating is usually held in the monastery's debating courtyard.
Day 04: Lhasa-Samye
To the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, among the open farmland, stands Tibet's very first monastery- Samye that has a history over 1200 years. To reach Samye, you'll drive to Tsethangto cross the Yarlung Tsangpo River. East of Samye is the Hepo Ri hill, a 30-minute climb up the side ridge takes you to an incense burner, festooned with prayer flags and offering great views of Samye below as Buddhist mandala.
Samye Monastery , The monastery is Tibet's first monastery with a history of 1200 years. It was founded in the reign of 38th King Trisong Detsen under the supervision of Indian Tantaric master Pedmasambava and abbot Shantarakshita, seven Tibetans were put into experiment whether Tibetan can be monk or not and those monks led monk’s life successfully and so Samye represents the starting point of Tibetan Buddhism and monks. Over night in Samye Monastery Guest house.
Day 05: Samye – Chimpu - Samye
Northeast to the Samye Monastery, where Indian tantaric master Pedmasambava used to meditate. Departure from Samye, after crossing through desert-like territory for a couple of hours, the path ascends into the surprisingly lush area in which the caves are found. You can some monks and nuns are still live there for retreats.
Day 06: Samye-Tsedang
Back from Samye,we will vist Yumbulakhang Castle and Tradruk Temple
Local Tibetan builds Yumbulagang as a castle for their first King Nyatri Tsanpo and it date back to 2nd centry BC. Literally Yubulagang means “Palace situated on the hint of female deer”. Namri Songtsan, father of Songtsan Gampo moved his palace to Podrang Dhalma Mir Gyurling at Gelma in Meldo Gongkar and since then Yubulagang turned into chapel.
Trandruk Monastery,the Temple is one of the earliest Buddhist Temple in Tibet, having been founded at the same time as the Jokhang in Lhasa. Dating back to the 7th century reign of Songtsen Gampo, it is one of the "Demoness Subduing" temples of Tibet. The Temple has undergone numerous enlargements and reconstructions over the centuries. The 5th and 7th Dalai Lamas significantly enlarged it. The relics of Tradruk are embroidered pearls Thangka of Avalokitshvara(Buddha of Compassion),Sakyamuni Thangka woven by Chinese Princess Wencheng , Statue of Spoken female BuddhaTara ,and Indian Tantric master Pedmsamba which was belong to Sheldrak cave. It doesn't take that long to explore Yumbulagang and Tradruk. Perhaps the best part of the visit is the walk up along the ridge above the building. There're fabulous views of the Yarlung valley. Overnight in Tsedang
Day 07: Return to Lhasa, free day to explore own your own.
Day 08: Drive To Your Next Destination
After check out from hotel,transfer to the airport, depart Lhasa.
Cost is based on using standard hotel like New Mandala or Similar
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