We will depart from Kathmandu early in the morning, driving for 174km through the beautiful Nepalese countryside to Rasuwagadhi on the Nepal – Tibet border. After completing the border formalities at both the Nepalese and Chinese immigration posts, we drive up to the Kyirong on the Tibetan side of the border. Overnight stay in the town of Kyirong.
After breakfast in the morning, drive to the Nyalam. Nyalam is the starting point of the trek to Shisapangma base camp. Driving through the cascading waterfalls and the beautiful meadows on the either side of the highway is the beautiful experience in the Tibet. You can stop by the scenic places and observe well and take photographs. Upon arrival, check in to hotel and overnight stay in the hotel.
Today we will stay in Nylam to get proper acclimatize before heading up higher. A short way out of town there is a small temple, Nyalam Pelgye Ling, which is associated with eleventh-century Tibetan poet-yogi Milarepa -the famous Buddhist master and Yoga meditator. You will also find the contemplative cave of him. Surrounding the cave are many temples and shrines. After the sightseeing and a restful day in Nyalam, overnight stay in the hotel.
Today is first day of trekking; we will trek towards the Tshongde Phu river valley after breakfast in the morning. After a couple of hours we will reach to the point where we can make a choice to head directly up to o Draabochhan or make a detour to the lake Tara Tsho. On route to Tara Tsho we will ascend for 2-3 hours on a steep trail. The lake is quite large, though it remains hidden until you are fairly close. The shoreline is speckled with hundreds of small stone offering piles and larger Cairns with prayer flags. Tara Tsho has neither inlet nor outlet, it is said to be 40 meters deep. According to local legends, the lake manifested from a piece of ice brought here by a lama(high priest) returning from Mount Kailash. He camped at the location with the herders when the lake was formed. Overnight camping at Draabochhan.
After breakfast, today we start out by climbing to the top of a ridge; the climb is about one hour. From the summit we walk parallel to the ridge, along some nice hills thick with dwarf grass. We end up in Shingdip a beautiful meadow camp with a large boulder near the junction of converging moraine valleys. The south base camp is only two hours away, but it is nearly 450 meters higher in elevation, so we stop here for the night.
Today we take a cross-country route west towards the Base camp. Again today climb to a ridge and follow it for some time, with Jugal Himal towering across the valley to the south of us. We reach the base camp by a little glacial lake after two hours of walking. Shishapangma is out of view from the base camp, but we have plenty of time to head further up towards advanced base camp and explore around base camp, there is good views of Shishapangma on a boulder-plateau one hour above base camp. Overnight stay in the base camp.
Today after an excursion of the Shishapangma, we walk all the way down to Draabochhan ; all the way we will have outstanding views of Jugal Himal. We will walk through the beautiful alpine meadows and the dwarf rhododendrons on the hills. After a long descent we once again use the herders’ camp in Draabochhan for overnight halt.
After the breakfast in the morning we again descent lower and more fertile ground in the Tshongde Phu river valley, and soon we once again find ourselves in Nyalam. Overnight stay in the Nyalam.
After crispy and crunchy breakfast in the morning, we start our driving. Today’s drive takes us from the lush, green lower hills into the dry, arid landscape of the Tibetan Plateau. We cross several high passes including the Lalung La [5050m] from which, there is a breathtaking panorama of the Himalayan range including Mt Everest – a fitting backdrop to the vastness of the Tibetan Plateau. We stay overnight in the town of Lhatse in guest house.
Today continuing our drive the Friendship Highway, we pass by lonely monasteries and the camps of nomadic herders. We then cross the highest pass of our journey, the Gyatso La [5220m] before descending once more to the barren splendor of the plains. Tonight, we stay in Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse town you can visit Tashilunpo monastery which is seat of Panchen lamas.
Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the Six Big Monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in Tibet. Also called the Heap of Glory, the monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara’s Mountain), Shigatse. Founded by the First Dailai Lama in 1447, the monastery’s structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. Tashilhunpo Monastery covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters (3,229,279 sq. ft.). The main structures found in the Tashilhunpo Monastery are The Maitreya Chapel, The Panchen Lama’s Palace and The Kelsang Temple. Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama since the Fourth Panchen Lama took charge in the monastery, and there are now nearly 800 lamas.
After breakfast in the morning we have time to visit the Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the largest functioning monasteries in Tibet, before setting off on the relatively short drive to Gyantse. Once in Gyantse, we can explore the Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Gyantse Kumbum. The Kumbum is a large gold-domed stupa and its many chapels house an impressive array of Tibetan Buddhist murals. Our overnight accommodation is at Hotel in Gyantse.
A spectacular day’s drive today will take us over the Karo La [5045m] where we are treated to the awesome sight of a huge glacier tumbling down to within a few hundred meters of the road. Beyond the small, developing town of Nagartse, the road follows the bank of a beautiful turquoise lake, the Yamdrok-tso, for about 20 Km we then cross the Khamba La [4794m.] and continue on to Lhasa -Surrounded by colossal mountain ranges in southwestern China, the city of Lhasa (“Place of the Buddhas “) is the spiritual heart of the Tibetan world. Every Tibetan Buddhist aims to visit Lhasa at least once in his or her lifetime. Lhasa rose to prominence following the founding of three large Gelugpa monasteries by Tsong-kha-pa and his disciples in the 15th century. Two centuries later, the Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso (1617–1682) moved to Lhasa and began construction on the Potala Palace. Today, although most of the temples and monasteries of Lhasa remain active and visited by throngs of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims, Over 1 million visitors come to Tibet each year. Lhasa tourists and pilgrims alike spend most of their time in the Tibetan Quarter, also known as the Barkhor District, which centers on the sacred Jokhang Temple. Overnight stay in the Lhasa.
Today in the morning we will visit to the Jokhang monastery which is located in the heart to the old city, after Jokhang we will go to visit the summer palace of the Dalai Lama’s. In the afternoon after the lunch we will be visting the Sera monastery which is one of the biggest monasteries in Tibet. Finally in the evening we would suggest you to go for around in Bharkor Street following thousands of pilgrims circumambulation the Bharkor Street.
Norbu Lingka (means “The Jeweled Park”) is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, built from 1755. It served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai lamas; Norbulingka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a unique representation of Tibetan architecture. Norbulingka Palace is situated in the west side of Lhasa, a short distance to the southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka covers an area of around 36 hectares (89 acres) and considered to be the largest man made garden in Tibet. Norbulingka Park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet, including the Norbulingka, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities. The park is where the annual Shun ton or ‘Yoghurt Festival’ is held. Norbulingka consists of several palace complexes, such as the Kelsang Potrang, Tsokyil Potrang, Golden Linka and Takten Migyur Potrang built for different Dalai lamas. Each palace complex is divided into three sections – the palace section, the section in front of the palaces and the woods. Norbulingka both reflects the ethnical, religious features of the Tibetan people and embodies the architecture style. It is of great cultural value and was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2001 as an extension of Potala Palace
Sera Monastery is one of the great Gelugpa School of learning centre and famous debate session of monks on Buddhist sciences of philosophy, metaphysics, psychology and epistemology. The history of Sera monastery is strongly connected to master lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) the founder of Gelug order, the much venerated and highly learned Guru in Buddhist sacred scriptures. It was under his divine tutelage that his disciple Jetsun kunchen lodroe Richen Senge established the Sera monastery complex in early 15th century AD.
Bharkor Street is the oldest traditional market in Lhasa. It circulates the Jhokhang temple and other Tibetan residential areas. In old Tibet you can buy goods from all over the world from the luxuries good like swatch to the handicraft products from China. In contemporary Tibet almost all the shops in Barkhor Street sells souvenir for visitors visiting Lhasa. Barkhor is also a spiritual place for Tibetan Buddhist all over the world. You will see thousands of pilgrims from all over Tibet prostrating and circumambulating the street as Jhokhang temple is located inside Barkhor Street.
This morning we will visit the Potala Palace, which dominates the city of Lhasa. After visiting the potala palace you will have lunch time. In the afternoon after the lunch we will visit Drepung Monastery, the largest monastery in Tibet and the world according to many explorers.
Potala palace was built by Tibetan king Songtsan Gampo and later rebuilt by fifth Dalai Lama. It was the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas until peaceful libiration in year 1959. Its builted on a rocky hill overlooking the city of Lhasa, the Potala Palace has a sturdy fortress-like appearance. It contains more than a thousand rooms spreading over an area of 1,300 feet by 1,000 feet. The stone walls are 16 feet thick at the base, but more finely constructed (without the use of nails) in the upper stories. The Potala Palace is made of two main parts, easily distinguished by their color: the Red Palace and White Palace. The two are joined by a smaller, yellow-painted structure that houses the sacred banners hung on the exterior for the New Year festivals. The rooms inside the palace are identified by numbers as well as names.
Drepung monastery is one of the three great Gelugpa monasteries of Tibet. Drepung is the largest of all Tibetan Monasteries. Freddie Spencer Chapman reported after his 1936 -37 trip to Tibet,that Drepung was at that time the largest monastery in the world and housed 7,700 monks , but sometimes as many as 10,000 monks . It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choeje Tashi Palden (1397-1449) of Lama Tsongkhapa main disciple.
Today you will be transferred to Gonggar airport as per your flight schedule to onward destination.
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