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Tibet
6:18 AM
Lhasa10°C
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Tibet

The moniker, ‘roof of the world’, is apt for Tibet in many ways. Not only does the region stand amidst the Himalayas, but also has an otherworldly simplistic charm that is bound to enthrall the traveller. For this, one should make a trip to Tibet.

Affixed in a time-warp, Tibet is a window to how the world looked many centuries ago, unaffected by western influences, content and wonderfully aloof from the rest of the world. It is a treasure trove of nature and Buddhist history and the original home to Dalai Lama, before he was exiled to India. A spiritual vibe hangs thickly in the air in Tibet. This, and the company of the Himalayas are compelling reasons for travellers to go here.

Tibet knows only different degrees of cold. While it’s cool in summer, the weather is excruciatingly cold in the winters. It’s only in the thick of summer when the lower lying regions get some relief to thaw themselves from the cold to the bone weather from the rest of the year. Since this is a high altitude plateau, encircled by towering mountains, there is little rain in the actual habitated places of Tibet. An arid, cold desert aura accompanies all parts of the region. This insipid looking topography throws up fantastic vistas.

Major Cities / Tourist Places

major-city

When speaking of Tibet, Lhasa is the one name that travellers identify with immediately. The ancient city is the prominent junction for a traveller. Showcasing its 1400 years old history, Tibet is a proud symbol of freedom, ever since Tibet was declared an autonomous region of China. Lhasa, as a capital of this region is the most eminent gateway into Tibet. It is home to the Potala Palace and Norbunglinka, structures that commemorate the Dalai Lamas as their living quarters and summer palace, respectively. The other important cities include, Gyantse, Shigatse and Qamdo.

Iconic Places

iconic-place

Apart from the mighty Mount Everest, in whose shadow the region stands, iconic places of Tibet include all the structures that are embedded in history for their association with the Dalai Lama – namely, Norbunglinka and Potala Palace. The Jokhang Temple, Yamdrok, Barkhor Street and the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery are other structures that resonate the history and living culture of the people of Tibet.

Experiences

experience

The rugged terrain of Tibet is ideal for adventure lovers. It is no wonder that biking enthusiasts and motorcyclists find this region exceptionally great to discover. Apart from that, the Mt. Kailash trek is another charm for those who love the outdoors. High mountain passes, villages balancing on the steep hillsides and trekking routes that promise to enthrall make Tibet one of the most coveted destinations for outdoor enthusiasts.

Festivals

festival

Most of the festivals in Tibet are celebrated in the Buddist monasteries of the towns, which are the cynosure of prayer, commemoration and celebrations. The Saga Dawa, The Monlam Prayer Festival, The Butterlamp Festival and The Thangka Unveiling at Tashilhunpo are some of the most important occasions for the locals. Festivities are low-key and do not have a raucous vibe – much in tune with how the whole region is even otherwise. But do expect to see a lot of colour, local food and dances.

Festivals Calendar 2017

Feb
27th
Tibetan New Year
May
07th
Saka Dawa
Jun
15th
Saga Dawa Festival
Jul
06th
Birthday of the Dalai Lama
Jul
19th
Zamling Chisang
Aug
06th
Choekhor Duechen
Sep
01st
Shoton (Yogurt) Festival
Nov
20th
Lha-Bab Duchen
Dec
23rd
Ganden Ngachu

Top Stays

stay

Though there aren’t too many options of accommodations in the country, a handful that are present are delightful. Local architectural and design nuances can be seen in most of them, which is a great orientation to the culture for the travellers. Tibetans are proud of their heritage and use these aesthetics in many aspects. Reasonably good standard hotels are found only in Lhasa, the capital town of the region while at rest of the places the lodging gets more rudimentary.