Tibet can be listed among some of the offbeat tourist destinations. It lies like a hidden treasure with so many great things to offer to those who flock there. Tibet tourism is an entirely different field because this place has something so different from other places. Scenic beauty, cultural ambience, authentic handicrafts and food together make your Tibet tour unforgettable. Tourists who have been to Tibet will know about the rich tradition and hoar heritage of the place. It is mainly this mystery and mysticism that draw tourists towards it.
Best features of Tibet tour
Tibet, the roof of the world, is best known for its mouth gaping landscapes and scenery. The glacial world punctuated by dense green forests and gushing streams take one’s heart away. In addition to these silver mountains, the alpine scenery of Tibet is breathtaking. Lulang forest in the Lulang town of Nyingchi County is a mountain meadow amidst snowy peaks featuring vast expanse of vegetation, greenery, plants and flowers.” Lulang” in Tibetan means “a place to forget homesickness” and indeed this place with amazing Alpine scenery appears to be a real-time description from some of Wordsworth’s Nature poems. The placidness of this scenery also depicts the simple lifestyle of the rural folk residing in the nearby villages. The alpine forests within the snow capped mountains are somewhat similar to the alpine landscapes found in Switzerland. That is why the forests are said to offer Swiss style scenery to its tourists.
Tibet is a land of wisdom, spirituality and sacredness. Buddhism has been woven into the heart of this place. Mahayana Buddhism has developed and flourished here. The monasteries, the religious practices, ceremonies, the meditative mood of the region are enough to bind the tourists into the labyrinth of this mystical religion. Many tourists spend a great deal of time meditating in these monasteries as if the air of Tibet has a spiritual power to calm one’s restless body and soul.
Tibet with myriads of variety has succeeded in upholding their culture and ethnicity. The blend of Bon culture and Buddhist culture makes Tibet a land of mystery and tradition. Tibetans follow elaborate ceremonial rituals like wedding, housewarming and such others. Being in Tibet demands devouring its mind-boggling landscape and enjoying the exotic culture of the place. As a land of age-old customs and traditions, Tibet stands as a senile grandfather wisely enamouring his children with long tales of history and legend.
Tibetan monasteries in Lhasa
Tibet is a place where the tourists will find a lot of monasteries. The monasteries are often sought after by the tourists because they are believed to bestow solace and comfort to the mind. Lhasa city and its surroundings are densely populated by such monasteries.
Tourists coming to Tibet must make a trip to each of these holy houses. The Tibetan monasteries are often huge in size with intricate detailing in the architecture housing several unique statues of Buddha. Some of the most famous ones include the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery.
The Potala Palace
The Potala Palace in Lhasa city is the greatest attraction in Tibet. It has its name written on Guinness book of world records to be the highest place in the world. Potala Palace exhibits magnificent architecture, glamorous internal decorations and tells the tourists an alluring history of Tibet. The place also forms a Kora route to the Tibetan pilgrims. This is the palace of the Buddhist leader – Dalai Lama. The building carries splendid artworks that can leave the tourists with a certain kind of bewilderment and awe.
The greatest attraction of Jokhang temple is the 12 year old statue of Sakyamuni Buddha.People follow a Kora round the Buddha hall where the statue is enshrined.During the morning time, Jokhang temple with its serene atmosphere calms the tourists.The temple is a four storey building with an exterior full of paintings of deer and wheels depicting Buddha’s lessons . The interior is a dark maze of praying grounds decorated with candles and teeming with strong fragrance of incense.There are handwheels in the temple premise constantly spun by tourists.This temple provides one of the best experiences of pilgrimage.
North of Lhasa city, stands the mind-boggling Sera Monastery. This monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery with an essence of Buddha’s teachings and sermons appears to be an architectural metaphor for Buddhism. The monastery with the beautiful etymology of its name as “Sera” means wild roses draw our eyes to the hill covered with wild roses behind the monastery. This monastery also holds intellectual debates on Buddha’s teachings and thus stands apart from the rest of other monasteries.
Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery located to the west and south of Lhasa respectively are the other two great temples in Tibet. A tourist must visit these temples in series to understand the historical and religious link among the “Three Great Temples.”
Travel from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp
The tour from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp remains the topmost wish of every trekker and tourist visiting Tibet. The journey may take 8-10 days covering all the mesmerising sight scenes of Tibet like the beautiful monasteries, Yamdrok Lake, glaciers and the much awaited view of Mt Everest from the base camp. This journey fulfills the dream of coming near the highest peak of the world and feasting the eyes with its view. The tour from Lhasa to Everest Base Camp is worth taking for the journey altogether takes us on a trip to the heart of Tibet. However, altitude sickness is a common problem in this journey and precautions should be accordingly taken.
The Tibetan cuisine is quite distinctive in nature. The cuisine deals more with mutton, yak, cheese, butter, momos and noodles. Tsampa, a kind of flour related dish from roasted barley is their staple food. However, there are a great number of other dishes that make the tourists lick their fingers.
Tibetans have a habit of extra warming their food. A cool atmosphere and a warm dish make the experience all the more enchanting. Momos with hot chocolate are served in Tibetan restaurants. The fried and steamed ones are mouth watering. Tibet is all about Yak wraps, the most common authentic Tibetan dish. It is served with garlic salad. Tibetan pastries form an important dessert in Tibet. These deeply fried doughs with butter tea are savory to the core.
The Tibetan noodle soup known as Thenthuk is the best item in that cold climate. Local people also recommend meat sausage, liver sausage and flour sausage. Lhasa is famous for its soft drinks and beer. In Lhasa restaurants, Tibetan food is supplemented by Chinese food that is Sichuan cuisine.
Kora with Tibetan pilgrims
Tourists often join the pilgrims and locals in their practice of Kora. They share their beliefs and customs as they walk and prostrate around these holy sites. Lhasa core city and the surrounding area are filled with holy sites to perform Kora. Mt Kailash, however, is the greatest site to observe Kora – a sacred mountain to three religion-Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. A view of Kailash with fervent religious spirit comforts both the pilgrims and the tourists journeying with them.
The roof of the world offers the tourists great activities, memorable experiences and a mind-blowing trip. Natural beauty; religious and cultural aspects; delicious and distinctive food dishes; tour to Everest Base Camp and a holy pilgrimage form a great package to cover all the best sides of Tibet tourism.