To change the world we must change overselves - Tibetan Proverb
Tibet is surely a destination apart from most in the world, the rolling hills of the high plateau and the stunning Himalayas are none to any. Today in the age of information with jet aircraft, highways and the net work of computers, mysterious places are rare to be found. But, Tibet is an exception. Refereed as Shangri La, The Forbidden Land, The Roof of the World and by many more, the mysterious Buddhist Kingdom remained long closed to foreigners, exerting a strong hold on the imagination of the world.
For centuries, it has fascinated mankind. It was hardly accessible to the outside world and has been always a challenge to human beings. Tibet, a “forbidden land” not only by man but also by nature, attracted many explorers, scholars, and pilgrims and adventure lovers, all in pursuit of “Real Shangri-la”. It is not only the geographical and natural enchants but also a long historical culture and religion that appeal the foreigners to visit Tibet at least once in a lifetime.
Tibet covers 1.2 million sq. kms constituting one eighth of China’s land mass, nearly as large as the total territories of Germany and France. With an average elevation of 4,000 meters above sea level, and over 50 peaks above 7,000 meters, Tibet has become a real paradise for mountaineers and explorers.
Lhasa is the spiritual and political capital of Tibet. Lhasa means in Tibetan “The land of gods”. There are numerous scenic spots and historical attractions, among which Potala Palace, Nobulingka, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Ganden Monastery and Jokhang Temple being the most famous. Shigatse is the second biggest town in Tibet. Shigatse means in Tibetan “The Estate that fulfills one’s Wishes”. Tashilhunpo Monastery is its major historic attraction. Mt. Kailas, the near-legendary mountain in western Tibet is holy to both Hinduism and Buddhism. People come from far away lands to perform a pilgrimage, one even circle the mountain on the stomach. The mountain is the source of four major Asian rivers.
The popular time of the year to visit Tibet is May through October. To taste Tibet with its rich cultural heritage, incredibly dramatic landscapes and fascinating political history is a lifetime dream. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any details you might wish to enquire, certainly we can find a solution for any holiday requirement in Tibet.
Basically, the Tibetan climate is not as harsh as many people imagine it to be. The best time of year to be in Tibet is from April to the beginning of November, after which temperatures start to plummet. The central Tibet, including Lhasa, Gyantse, Shigatse and Tsedang, generally has very mild weather from April to November, though July and August can be rainy – these two months usually see around half of Tibet’s annual rainfall.
October and November often bring some dazzling clear weather and daytime temperatures can be quite comfortable at Tibet’s lower altitude.
The coldest months are from December to February. It is not impossible to visit Tibet in winter. The low altitude valleys of Tibet (around Lhasa, Shigatse and Tsedang) see very little snow.
Spring does not really get under way until April, though March can have warm sunny days and is not necessarily a bad month to be in Tibet. More specific information in different areas.
Mt. Everest Region
Early May and early October are the best time to visit Mt. Everest. Due to the clear weather, you have great chance to see Mt. Everest’s true face. From December to February, it’s too cold to go to this region. But the magnetism of Mt. Everest always attracts people anytime of the year.
Even without climate restrictions, this area is already inhospitable. Big rain and snow could make the journey worse. However, for those determined tourists, the appropriate time is May, June, July, September and October.
Don’t touch this area in July or August, the rain could ruin the road, and make terrible landslides. While in winter, the road could be frozen.
With the average altitude of 4,500m, this area offers very limited time for tourists. Summer is the prime time to enjoy the great plain in northern Tibet.
Tsurpu Monastery Built in 1187, the Curpu Monastery is located in the Doilungdeqen County, 70 kilometers away from Lhasa. It is the main monastery of the Black Cap Group of the karma Sect. The system of succession to grant the living Buddha was originated here and has become popular among various sects of the Tibetan Buddhism.
Drepung Monastery On the slope of the wuze Hill in Genbei five kilometers northwest of Lhasa, the Drepung Monastery was built in 1416 and is the largest of the monastery of the Gelug Sect. It covers and area of 250,000 square meters.
In Dagze County 60 kilometers to the east of Lhasa, it is one of the three great monasteries in Lhasa and one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug Sect. Gandain means happiness and contentedness in Tibetan.
Located in the center of the ancient city of Lhasa, the Jokhang Monastery was built in the seventh century by Songtsan Gambo, the Tang Princess Wen Cheng and Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti. Its four story main building demonstrates a combination of the Han, Tibetan, Indian and Nepalese architectural styles, as well as a man – made world outlook of Buddhism. With the Hall of Amitayus Sutra as its center, the monastery symbolizes the nuclear to the universe. The Hall of Sakyamuni is the essence of the monastery.
Located in the northern part of the old city of Lhasa, the klukang Monastery was built in the mid seventh century. It was damaged and rebuilt several times. The monastery houses many murals and the statues of Sakyamuni, Maitreya and others.
At the foot of the Wuze Hill in Sera to the north of Lhasa, the Sera Monastery is one of the three great monasteries in Lhasa and one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Buddhism in Tibet. It was built by one of disciples of Zonggaba in 1419. On 27th of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar, the monastery holds the grand Sera Bungchen Festival, which attracts flocks of Buddhists and other.
In Tibet, there are many festivals throughout the year that attract the faithful as well as curious onlookers. Dancing monks can be seen in the Year End Festival (February-March) held to dispel the evil of the old year and auspiciously usher in the new one; Losar (New Year Festival) is a colorful week of activities (February-March), including Tibetan drama, pilgrims making incense offerings and Tibetans dressed in their finest crowding the streets; cham dancing and chang drinking are the order of the day at the Tsurphu Festival (May-June) – the highlight is the dance of the Karmapa.
The Gyantse Horse Racing Festival is a traditional event that takes place in June and features dances, picnics, archery and equestrian events; the Chökor Duchen Festival, held in Lhasa around August-September, celebrates Buddha’s first sermon at Sarnath near Varanasi; the Bathing Festival (September-October) sees locals washing away the previous year’s grim in the river; Lhabab D¨¹chen (November-December) commemorates Buddha’s descent from heaven.
Tibetan New Year (February or March)
It is the greatest festival in Tibet. In ancient times when the peach tree was in blossom, it was considered as the starting of a new year. Since the systematization of the Tibetan calendar in 1027 AD., the first day of the first month became fixed as the New Year. On the New Year’s Day, families unite “auspicious dipper” is offered and the auspicious words “tashi delek” are greeted.
Butter Oil Lantern Festival (February or March)
it’s held on the 15th of the first lunar month. Huge yak-butter sculptures are placed around Lhasa’s Barkhor circuit.
Saga Dawa Festival (May or June)
It is the holiest in Tibet, there memorable occasions coincide on this day, Buddha’s birth and Buddha’s enlightenment. Almost every person within Lhasa joins in circumambulations round the city and spends their late afternoon on picnic at “Dzongyab Lukhang” park at the foot of Potala.
Gyantse Horse Race & Archery (May or June)
Horse race and archery are generally popular in Tibet, and Gyantse enjoys prestige of being the earliest in history by starting in 1408. Contests in early times included horse race, archery, and shooting on gallop followed by a few days’ entertainment or picnicking. Presently, ball games, track and field events, folk songs and dances, barter trade are in addition to the above.
Changtang Chachen Horse Race Festival (August)
There are many horse racing festivals in Tibet, the one in Nagqu of Northern Tibet is the greatest. August is the golden season on Northern Tibet’s vast grassland. Herdsmen, on their horsebacks, in colorful dresses, carrying tents and local products, pour into Nagqu. Soon they form a city of tents. Various exciting programs are held, such as horse racing, yak racing, archery, horsemanship and commodity fair.
Shoton Festival (August)
It is one of the major festivals in Tibet, also known as the Tibetan Opera Festival. The founder of the Gelugpa (Yellow Sect of Buddhism), Tsongkhapa set the rule that Buddhists can cultivate themselves only indoor in summer, to avoid killing other creatures carelessly. This rule must be carried out till the seventh lunar month. Then Buddhists go outdoors, accept yoghurt served by local people, and have fun. Since the middle of 17th century, the Fifth Dalai Lama added opera performance to this festival. Famous Tibetan opera troupes perform in Norbulingka (Dalai Lama’s summer palace).
Bathing Festival (September)
It is believed when the sacred planet Venus appears in the sky; the water in the river becomes purest and cures diseases. During its appearance for one week, usually the end of the seventh and beginning of the eighth lunar months, all the people in Tibet go into the river to wash away the grime of the previous year.
Kungbu Traditional Festival (November or December)
Long time ago, when Tibet was in danger of large scale invasion, the Kongpo people sent out an army to defend their homeland. It was in September and the soldiers worried that they might miss the New Year, highland barley wine and other good things. So people had the Tibetan New Year on 1st October ahead of time. To memorize those brave soldiers Kongpo people present three sacrifices and stay up at night from then on. And now it has become the Kongpo Festival for entertainment like Kongpo dancing, horse race, archery and shooting.
Harvest Festival (September)
The farmers in Lhasa, Gyantse and Shangnan to celebrating their bumer harvest in this time. During that time, people enjoy with horse racing games, costume fashion show, songs and dance Archery and picnic etc.