Overview

The 5day Lhasa Tour covers the major historical sites like The Potala palace, Barkhor street, and Jokhang Temple and all the three biggest monasteries in Tibet, Drepung monastery, Sera monastery, and Ganden Monastery. 

The tour begins with a guided tour to Potala Palace, followed by Jokhang Street, Barkhor Street, and few others. On the second day of a sightseeing tour, we visit two of the great three monasteries of Tibet - Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery. Finally, the next day we visit Ganden Monastery, completing the tour of three great monasteries of Tibet.

Trip highlights

What's included?

  • All necessary permits to Tibet
  • All entry fee to the sites stated in the itinerary
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Ground vehicles to visit the places indicated in the itinerary
  • An experienced, English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide
  • Hotel Accommodations with twin sharing room
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes
  • Airport transfer
  • Tibet Handy Map
  • One shared big Oxygen tank in the car
  • Drinking water during the trip
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance

What's excluded?

  • International flight to and out of China
  • Domestic flight or train to and out of Lhasa
  • Tips and gratuities to guides and drivers
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone calls, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

Itinerary Show all

Day One:

Arrival in Lhasa

After you arrive at Lhasa, our airport representative will welcome and escort you to the hotel. You can get beautiful views of the Yarlung Tsangpo River/ Brahmaputra river (the Longest and largest river in Tibet) and the Lhasa river on the way to the hotel fat Lhasa. We recommend you to rest at the hotel after you arrive at Lhasa. It is very common for newcomers to get altitude sickness due to Lhasa's high altitude environment. To avoid altitude sickness, you have to get proper rest on the arriving day, then take it easy for a few days. So, do not rush to visit the city's attraction. However, if you can handle the altitude and want to explore the city, you can visit the famous Potala Palace, or roam in Barkhor street.

Day Two:

Sightseeing in Lhasa

Today, we will begin the tour of Lhasa after breakfast. Firstly, we will visit the famous Potala Palace. Potala Palace is the winter home of Dalai Lama. The 33rd great king of Tibet founded the palace in the 7th Century. The palaces' most valuable possessions are meditation Cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet and the gold-plated burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas.

After visiting the Potala Palace, we will stop for a short lunch break. After lunch, we will head towards the Jokhang Temple. The 33rd great king of Tibet founded the Jokhang Temple in the 7th Century. The temple possesses the statue of Buddha Sakyamuni at the age of twelve. Around the temple lies the famous Barkhor Street, where you can do kora with pilgrims and locals. The street is also one of the oldest streets in the city and the ancient city center. The place is also famous for selling unique handicrafts. So this is the perfect place to buy souvenirs if you want to buy any. If time permits, we will visit Tibetan handicraft art or Tibetan Traditional Medicine center.

Day Three:

Sightseeing in Lhasa

This is one of the most anticipated days of the trip. Today, we will visit a couple of the great three monasteries of Tibet,

Drepung Monastery: Firstly, we will visit the Drepung monastery, one of the "Great Three" Gelug monasteries in Tibet. Jamyang choge, one of the Tsongkhapa's chief disciples, founded the monastery in 1416. The monastery is famous for housing the biggest monastery kitchen inside. Drepung, in the Tibetan language, means prosperity. As the name, Drepung started its "prosperity" early after the establishment. Just after a couple of years, the monastery had around 2000 monks studying and living here. Since then, the monastery spread its influence quickly and became one of the most vital monasteries in Tibetan regions. Drepung Monastery has been dedicating to promote the study of Buddhism. In Drepung Monastery, you can learn both Esoteric Buddhism and Exoteric Buddhism. The monastery is famous for the place where many Tibetan leaders study places, especially the Dalai Lamas. So Drepung Monastery is respected as the "Mother Monastery of Dalai Lamas." There are a considerable number of historical and cultural relics kept in the Drepung Monastery including lots of ornate chinaware from early Song, Ming and Qing Dynasty, several hundreds of Thangkas mostly made during Ming and Qing Dynasty. The most famous Thangkas are four giant hanging Thangkas themed by the "scholar's four jewels." Other relics include the Wenshu Bronzed Mirror and thousands of Buddha statues.

The most important historical buildings of the monastery include Ganden Potrang, Coqen Hall, the four Zhacangs (or Tantric colleges), and numerous Kamcuns, subjected to the Zhacang.

The 2nd Dalai Lama Gendun Gyaco built Ganden Potrang in 1530, so this became his presidential palace. The next 3rd, 4th, and 5th Dalai Lamas also lived here until the 5th moved to Potala Palace. Ganden Potrang contains a plot of buildings. The main building is a 3storied monastery. The first floor is for holding ceremonies; second is for Dalai Lama's workplace; the third is for the personal living space of Dalai Lama.

Coqen Hall lies in the central monastery. The major feature of the hall is the colossal bronze statue of Qamba Buddha, built in the appearance of Qamba Buddha at his age of eight. In front of the Buddha statue, there is a conch gifted by Tsongkhapa. On the 5th, 8th, and 15th of every month, the monks chant sutra for a whole day in the Coqen Hall. On the same day, the most massive kitchen will be open to tourists. Here, you can learn about kitchen utensils and cooking material. From the ground before Coquen Hall, you can get a panoramic view of Lhasa.  

Zhacang is the unite of the academy in Gelug schools. It includes meeting hall and Buddha chapels with four Zhacangs that study different instructions of Gelug. Each Zhacang has its chapels, kamcuns, and dormitories.

Near Drepung, you can also enjoy the Buddhist Sculpture Carving workshop. 

Sera Monastery: After visiting the Drepung Monastery, we will stop for a lunch break. Then, we continue the trip to explore the Great Three Gelug Monasteries. After a break, we will visit the Sera Monastery, another one of the Great Three Gelug monasteries in Tibet. The monastery covers 28 acres, or 11 hectares, of land. During its prime time, there were five separate colleges of instruction and 5000 monks. However, the present monastery is very small in size. 

Monks' debate is the major attraction of the monastery that starts around 3 pm and lasts for a couple of hours. The young monks form small groups and practice their philosophy by debating one another. The debate is interesting due to the speaker's unique way of making his point. They make the point with their whole body. Different monks add much gesture to make their point making it very entertaining. You can't keep laughing while watching the debate. 

Inside the temple, you can see three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha. Besides, you can visit the Tibetan religious scripture printing house. The roads of the Sera Monastery are full of beautiful trees, and the debating courtyard looks like a private garden for kings. The Sera monastery looks cleaner and better maintained than other monasteries. On the left wall of the main meeting hall lies the Tibetan Buddhist Circle of Life.

The buildings of Sera monastery include Assembly Hall, colleges, and palaces spread around. Up to now, there is one Tsochin Hall, three Buddhist colleges and numerous small halls and chapels, and over 600 monks study here. The Tsochen hall is one of the major highlights of the Sera Monastery.

Tsochen Hall, made up by square, Scripture Hall, and five Buddhist chapels, is the main hall and also the directorial center in Sera Monastery. The hall looks like a forest with over 100 wooden columns standing. On some critical days, monks assemble here and chant the scriptures. In the east part of Tsochen Hall, there lies a golden bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha with a serene face. There are three Buddhist Chapels in the backside of Tsochen Hall, where the middle one houses a colossal statue of Maitreya Buddha. The figure is 6 meters high. There are many other beautiful sculptures in this chapel. On the south wall's bookshelf, lies the Kangyur, the first Tibetan printed Buddhist sutra.

With an area of 1,702 sq meters, Sera Je College is the largest college of Sera with many stupas and statues of Buddha. The inside chapel houses the statue of Hayagriva, who is a respected protective deity in Tibetan Buddhism. There is a belief among locals that the Hayagriva drives away all evil spirit and bring blessings. So many locals come to worship the statue. 

Day Four:

Sightseeing in Lhasa

Ganden Monastery: We will visit the last of the Great Three Gelug Monasteries of Tibet. Today, we will take a tour of the Ganden Monastery. Ganden Monastery lies about 60 kilometers east of Lhasa. The Great Tsongkhapa founded the monastery in 1409. Tsongpa was considered as the reincarnation of Manjusri, born in Qinghai. Tsongkhapa is also the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. He founded the sect when he got disappointed with the undesirable phenomena of other sects like Kagyu, Sakya, etc. The Gelug Sect emphasized the primacy of philosophical study with the austerity of monastic life. To distinguish from other sects, he and his followers wore a Yellow peach-shaped hat. So, the name "Yellow Hat Sect" came. On the way to Ganden Monastery, you can see the splendid view of Kyichu River. As we drive up to Ganden along the curving mountain road, we can see the distant view of the glorious monastery complex on the top of the mountain. Later we will pay a visit to the chapels of Genden monastery and the tomb of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect.

After visiting Ganden Monastery, we will move towards the Tibetan farmer's village nearby. 

Ganden Monastery houses many beautiful architectures and historical and cultural relics.

Historical and Cultural relics: Some of the remaining historical and cultural relics of the monastery include stunning murals and sculptures, elaborate Thangka, that dates back to the Ming dynasty, and the armor imprinted with four languages and adorned with jewelry, bestowed by Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty in 1757.

Architectures: As one of Tibet's cultural centers, Ganden Monastery includes more than fifty buildings, including assemblies, shrines, chapels, pagodas, and some other halls for Buddhism chanting or learning. The Tsochin Hall, the main assembly, comprises over a hundred gigantic pillars and different sections of lobby halls, chapels, and Buddha palaces. Most of the chapels are two-storied buildings that can shelter over a hundred Buddhists chanting at the same time.

Different buildings have different purposes. Such as the Tri Thok Khang, known as the clothing-preserving hall, formerly served as the bedchamber of Tsongkhapa and his successors. It was the place for them to learn esoteric methods. And the Serdhung is the Holy Stupa Hall to keep the body of each abbot by building pagoda here.

Tsongkhapa Butter Lamp Festival: This festival is celebrated in whole Tibet and is one of the most famous traditional festivals in Ganden Monastery celebrated to honor its founder. Hold on October 25 of the Tibetan calendar, the death date of Tsongkhapa, this festival is quite intense and grand. In the daytime, they hang the 26 meters long, 10 meters wide tapestry of Buddha outside the temple. And, in the night, the butter lamps light up the whole monastery to make the worship all-night. The locals around villages prepare the butter lamps several days in advance to light them on the day of the festival. The night during this day is covered with dim lighting.

Day Five:

Trip Concludes

Today, we will bid you farewell. Our representative will transfer you to the airport at the scheduled time of your flight.

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