Lhasa and Tsedang Tour is one of the exciting cultural tours of Tibet, often called the "Roof of the World." In this short tour, you'll get to explore both prominent landmarks in Lhasa city- the heart and soul of Tibet and Tsedang city- the cradle of Tibetan civilization.
During your 6 days- Lhasa and Tsedang Tour, you'll visit many historical monasteries that profoundly influence Tibetan culture. In Lhasa, you'll visit many famous tourist attractions such as Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Street, Drepung Monastery, and Sera Monastery. Besides, you'll also embrace the history of Tibetan civilization by exploring Yumbulhakhang Palace, Trandruk Monastery, and Samye Monastery in Tsedang. All these monasteries are incredibly beautiful and historically, culturally, and spiritually blessed, which will add a unique experience to this tour.
Your voyage starts with arrival at Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. You'll begin your Lhasa tour by visiting the two most important religious sites in Tibet, i.e., Potala Palace, which was the seat of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century. You'll get impressed with its unique architecture, unique atmosphere, and ancient artifacts. After that, you'll walk towards the Jokhang temple, where you'll get the scene of the Jowo Shakyamuni Statue of the 12-year old Buddha. Later you can continue your circular walk to Barkhor Street. There are several small monasteries on the street, so you can make stops on the way to take photos.
Undoubtedly, the Lhasa sightseeing tour is incomplete without visiting the two most important monasteries; Drepung and Sera. The Drepung monastery is one of the biggest monasteries in the world, with over 10,000 monks living here. Next, you'll also explore Sera Monastery, which is famous for monk debate. Debates are significant to learn and understand Tibetan Buddhism.
As a tour progresses, you'll travel to Tsedang and discover some stunning monasteries. An impeccable beauty, unique architecture, and fantastic view of the surrounding valley attract thousands of tourists to this Yumbulhakhang. You'll catch the utterly beautiful sight of the Yarlung Valley from the pyramid structure palace that stands on rocky hills. You'll get an impressive view of old murals depicting the early history of Tibet and statues of Shakyamuni Buddha along with statues of Tibetan Kings.
On the way back to Tsedang, you can visit Trandruk Monastery. Built during the reign of Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, it stands on the east side of the Yarlung River. You can witness the statue of standing Tara which is also known as "Speaking Tara." The other prominent attractions of this monastery are the original Pearl thangka depicting Avalokiteshvara and the great thangka depicting Shakyamuni Buddha.
The next day, you'll proceed towards Samye Monastery, surrounded by barren mountains and dramatic dunes. Since Tibet's first monastery, it holds paramount historical and religious importance in Tibet. The major highlights of this monastery are four colored stupas built at four corners, the main Utse temple comprises three floors, and each floor represents a different architectural style.
After exploring Samye Monastery, get back to Lhasa. Once again, soak yourself into the natural beauty of snowcapped mountains and the incredible Tibetan landscape. With tons of good memories, you'll catch the flight back to your home, and eventually, this Lhasa and Tsedang Tour will end.
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|Day 1||Arrival in Tibet, Lhasa (3,650m/11,980ft) - Transfer to Hotel and tour Preparation|
|Day 2||Lhasa Tour: Potala Palace, Jokhang, and Barkhor Street|
|Day 3||Lhasa Tour: Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery|
|Day 4||Head to Tsedang: Yumbulhakhang Palace and Trandruk Monastery|
|Day 5||Day Tour at Samye Monastery and Journey Back to Lhasa|
|Day 6||Departure from Lhasa|
Upon arrival, our Tibetan guide will receive you at the airport and take you to Lhasa city. On the way to the hotel, you'll enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Yarlung Tsangpo River and Lhasa River. After you arrive at the hotel, you can rest and get acclimatized to the high altitude of the Tibetan plateau. If you feel well, you can walk around the nearby street and get familiar with the Tibetan daily lifestyle and culture.
However, we strongly recommend you to take good rest so you can be prepared for the sightseeing tour the next day.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
You'll begin your sightseeing Lhasa tour by visiting the remarkable Potala Palace, which sits in the heart of Lhasa city. It's not only famous for its astounding beauty but also for being the center of Tibetan culture, history, and religion. It is also the former palace of the Dalai Lama. The Red Palace, White Palace, and The Golden Roof Group are exquisite examples that reflect the traditional Tibetan architecture you shouldn't miss in Lhasa.
Next, you'll head towards Jokhang Temple, one of the most significant religious sites in Tibet. Inside the courtyard, you get to see murals depicting the history of Buddhism. In the center of the main hall, you'll also spot the statues of Padma Sambhava (Guru Rinpoche) and the future Buddha (Maitreya). You can visit some essential chapels, including; Tsongkhapa, eight Medicine Buddhas, and Avalokiteshvara. You'll get an impressive sight of the prominent statue of Jowo Shakyamuni, which depicts the 12-year old Buddha. From the temple roof, you'll get an outstanding view of Lhasa and the Potala Palace.
Thereafter, you'll visit Barkhor street, which is not only a famous walking street but also popular as a shopping paradise among tourists. It's one of the famous circuits in the city where you can witness diverse Tibetan treasures. In the late afternoon, pilgrims walk clockwise around the Jokhang temple. The oldest street yet most prosperous one comprises more than 120 handicrafts shops and 200 stalls of Tibetan-related items. So, you can do a bit of souvenir shopping and try Tibetan food too.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Have breakfast and begin your Lhasa sightseeing tour by visiting the Drepung monastery. You have to drive 5 kilometers from the western suburb of Lhasa. It is one of the most notable monasteries of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. In the Tibetan language, Drepung means collecting rice. You can explore the main vital buildings of the monastery, such as the Main Assembly Hall, the Ganden Palace, and a few chapels nearby. Inside the Assembly hall, there is the main statue of 3-floors high Future Buddha.
Additionally, there are statues of Shakyamuni, Tsongkhapa, and the 13th Dalai Lama and protectors in the chapels. It is also an essential educations center. Here you can interact with the Tibetan monks and learn about their culture and lives.
After exploring Drepung Monastery, you'll head towards Sera Monastery, in the northern suburb of Lhasa city. Named after a beautiful wild rose in the Tibetan language, the main attractions of Sera Monastery are the great Assembly hall, where you'll see the murals of the Four Guardian Kings. Inside there are 5 chapels where giant thangka are hanging down the ceiling. You can witness some impressive statues such as Jamchen Choje, the founder of Sera, Maitreya or Future Buddha, and thousand arms Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara Buddha). In the present day, still, 200 lamas live here. You can also be a part of a famous debate session. Since every afternoon, in the monastery, all the monks participate in the debate session.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Today you'll set out for Tsedang town, which is the center of Shannan city in Tibet. It's well-known as "the cradle of Tibetan Civilization." This city has mild weather and fertile land. Once you arrive, you'll make a tour to Yumbulhakhang Palace, one of the oldest buildings in Tibet. You can also opt to ride horses and yaks up the mountain to the temple. Built for King Nyentri Tsenpo in the 2nd century, the main feature of this first palace is the 11 m high iconic watchtower which consists of 3 floors. You witness the old murals depicting visions of Tsongkhapa on the first floor.
Several statues of Tibetan kings such as Nyatri Tsenpo, Songtsen Gampo, Trisong Detsen, and many others surround the central statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. You can even visit the second-floor chapel, where there is a scene of Nyatri Tsenpo. The legends believe that the first kind of Tibet was descended from the skies and arrive at Yumbulhakhang. There are also murals depicting Padma Sambhava and his eight manifestations, 21 Taras, Shakyamuni with his 16 disciples, and protectors.
Next, you'll visit Trandruk Monastery, one of the first Buddhist temples built during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. It belongs to the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. The center of attraction of the chapel is the statue of Tara, Known as Drolma Sheshema, along with five Dhyani Buddhas. Behold the most precious treasure in the monastery, a pearl Thangka brought by Princess Wencheng. It consists of 30,000 pearls and hundreds of other gems like diamonds, sapphires, turquoise, rubies, and amber.
Overnight stay in Tsedang.
Today, you'll make a day tour to Samye Monastery, one of Tibet's most important historical landmarks. It lies at the foot of Mt. Haibu Rishen, north of the Yarlung Tsangpo River. It is the first temple built in Tibet with the three Buddhist jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The splendid temple is famous for its unique architecture based upon Buddhist principles of the universe.
The main Utse temple lies in the center of the monastery, symbolized the mystical Mt. Meru. It has three floors, each built in a different style. The first floor is in Tibetan, the second floor is Chinese, and the third one is in Indian style. You can also visit four large colored stupas, each located in one of the four directions of the compass. From the roof of the chapel, you'll get an astonishing view of the monastery complex. After getting tons of incredible memories from exploring Samye Monastery, you'll drive back to Lhasa.
Overnight stay in Lhasa.
Today your Tibetan guide will drop you at Lhasa airport for your next destination. If you wish to continue your vacation, you can opt for a cultural sightseeing tour in neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, and India.