Among all the Buddhist communities in Asia, Tibet has preserved the most original forms of Indian Buddhism, partly because of its remoteness but mainly because it has allowed spiritual beliefs to permeate its culture and people's conscience almost entirely. From the 8th to the 10th century AD, Tibet witnessed the birth of more than 20 religious schools, each deriving from distinct lineages of Buddhism, and among these the most influential were the Nyingmapa, Kagyupa and Gekupka.
In this tour, we fly to Lhasa and then drive to the birthplace of the Tibetan nation at Tsedang, visiting the tombs of the early Religious Kings and crossing the Tsangpo – the world’s highest river – to Tibet’s first temple, Samye, founded in the early 700s by the Precious Teacher, Padmasambhava, then to Lhasa and stay for a few days in this Holy City’s shrines and monasteries. Another dramatic Himalayan drive takes us past sparkling snow peaks and over lofty passes to Gyantse and Shigatse, treasure-houses of art and devotion. And, at trip’s end, we are confident that you will have a deeper understanding of why it is crucial to the world’s spiritual ecology that Tibetan culture be preserved and protected.
Day 1: Fly to Tibet in the morning and drive to Tsedang for elevation acclimatization. Afternoon visit Yumbu Lagan and Changzhu Monastery.
Day 2: Visit Samye Monastery, believed to be Tibet‘s first monastery. Drive to Lhasa in the afternoon and visit Barkhor Street, Kora or pilgrimage route around the Jokhang Temple's circumference.
Day 3: Potala Palace, Drepung Monastery, Tibetan Carpet Factory and Dropenling Handicraft Development Center.
Day 4: Visit Jokhang Temple. Hospital of Tibetan Traditional Medication and Tibetan Family Visit.
Day 5: Moderate day hike to Pabongka Monastery, Tashi Choling and onwards to Sera Monastery in time for afternoon debating.
Day 6: Lhasa to Shigatse via Yamdrok Tso Lake (4408 m). Arrive at Shigatse in the afternoon when we check out a lovely local market and kora of Tashilunpo Monastery if time permits.
Day 7: Shigatse Day Hike. We enjoy a moderate climb to the Chack La pass at 4470m and savor the stunning views of the Ngor monastery. We spend a special overnight camping near the village with charming surroundings.
Day 8: Visit Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in the morning and drive back to Lhasa in the afternoon.
Day 9: Fly out Lhasa to gateway cities of Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong or Katmandu.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Tibet History Whiz Archeology/History Pilgrimage/Spirituality