5 Days Lhasa City Cultural Tour
If you want to savor the rich Tibetan culture and history but don't have much time to spare, then this tour is tailored for you. Lhasa, the most famous among Tibetan cities, was the capital of the first Tibetan emperor Songstan Gampo. The city of Lhasa lies on the north bank of the Lhasa river, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo river, at an altitude of 3,700 meters. Covering an area of 544 sq kilometers and lying at an altitude of 3660 meters,
Lhasa is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Surrounded by colossal mountain ranges in southwestern China, the city of Lhasa ("Place of the Buddha ") is the spiritual heart of the Tibetan world. Every Tibetan Buddhist aims to visit Lhasa at least once in his or her lifetime. Lhasa rose to prominence following the founding of three large Gelugpa monasteries by Tsongkhapa and his disciples in the 15th century. Two centuries later, the Fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso (1617–1682) moved to Lhasa and began construction on the Potala Palace. Today, although most of the temples and monasteries of Lhasa remain active and visited by throngs of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims, Over 1 million visitors come to Tibet each year. Lhasa tourists and pilgrims alike spend most of their time in the Tibetan Quarter, also known as the Barkhor District, which centers on the sacred Jokhang Temple. It is the second most populous city on the Tibetan plateau, after Xining, and at an altitude of 3,490 meters (11,450 ft), Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. The city contains many culturally significant Tibetan Buddhist sites such as the Potala palace, Jokhang temple and Norbulingka palaces.
The city has a history of over 13 centuries and is synonymous with Tibetan culture and heritage. Your tour itinerary includes a visit to the majestic Potala palace, the splendid Norbulingka (summer retreat of the Dalai Lama), the sacred Jokhang temple and the busy Barkhor square. You will also be taken on a guided tour to the ancient monasteries of Sera and Drepung, important seats of Tibetan Buddhism, Potala Palace.
Day1: Arrival/ Acclimatization (3650M, Stay in 3/4 star hotel in Lhasa: Shangbala, Yak, Dhogu, Thangka)
Day2: Lhasa sightseeing visit Jokhang, Norbuliga, Sera, Barkhor Street (3650M, Stay in 3/4 star hotel in Lhasa: Shangbala, Yak, Dhogu, Thangka)
Day3: Lhasa sightseeing visit Potala Palace, Drepung (3650M, Stay in 3/4 star hotel in Lhasa: Shangbala, Yak, Dhogu, Thangka)
Day4: Free day in Lhasa for your wish to explore
Day5: Departure from Lhasa
Trip Detail Itinerary from day to day
Day1: Arrive in Lhasa (3650m)
We can arrange your arrival in Lhasa from anywhere. You can either join the trip from Kathmandu and fly to Lhasa or arrive Lhasa from Chengdu, Beijing, and Shanghai, Xian or any nearby hub. You will be met at Gonggar Airport by your Tibetan guide. After immigration formalities, you will be driven to Lhasa (3650 meters). It takes around an hour to reach the old city. After checking in at your hotel, you are advised to take rest and take it easy. Drink plenty of fluids and let your body get used to Lhasa’s high altitude. Note: There is no fixed program arranged for today.
Day2: Lhasa Sightseeing visit Jokhang temple, Barkhor market, Norbulingka, Sera monastery
After breakfast, you will be briefed on the day's program. An experienced guide will take you on a tour to Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka, the Barkhor Square and Sera Monastery. At the famous Sera Monastery, you will get an insight into the important aspects of Tibetan Buddhism. You pay a visit to Norbulingka, the summer retreat of the Dalai Lama. Completed in1956, the handsome building is ornately decorated with Tibetan carvings and paintings. Jokhang temple provides yet another glimpse of the rich Tibetan cultural heritage. You will also get the chance to stroll around the busy Barkhor Square, the nerve centre of Lhasa. After the day's tour, you will be escorted back to your hotel. Barkhor Market is one of the oldest streets in Tibet which is having more than six-seven hundred years of history. Here you can buy lots of different Sevigne for you family and friends abroad. Norbulingka Palace, situated in the west side of Lhasa is just around a km southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka meaning 'Treasure Park' covers an area of around 360000 sq. m. and is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet. You will be amazed to know that there are more than 370 rooms inside its premises. It is called summer palace because after the 7th Lama, Dalai Lamas used to visit here during summers to hold religious and government related activities. As a part of "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace", UNESCO added Norbulingka in its list of world heritage sites. The Sera Monastery at the foot of Tatipu Hill is located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City. It is one of three famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung monastery and the Ganden monastery. The Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsongkhapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples built the monastery in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which mean wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built. The monastery is magnificent and covers an area of 114,946 square meters (28 acres). Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall, Zhacang (college) and Kamcun (dormitory). Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa's other famous monasteries.
Day3: Lhasa sightseeing visit Potala palace, Drepung monastery
After an early breakfast, you will be escorted by your guide to the majestic Potala Palace. The imposing structure of the palace dominates the landscape of Lhasa. As you are guided through the ancient chambers of the palace, you get to see Tibetan art at its best. The Potala Palace has a vast array of intricate Tibetan murals and beautiful statues. You will also get to view the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas. Later in the day you will visit the beautifully landscaped Drepung Monastery where you can observe nuns and monks chanting and performing religious discourses. After the day's tour is over, you are escorted back to your hotel for a well-earned rest. Potala Palace was constructed on the site above the city of Lhasa originally hosted the meditation retreat of King Songtsen Gampo, who built the first palace there in 637 in order to greet his bride Princess Wencheng of China. Construction of the present palace began in 1645 under the fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso, an important figure in Tibetan history. Known as the "Great Fifth," he unified Tibet and made the Yellow Hat sect the state religion. The White Palace was completed in 1648, after which it was used as winter quarters by the Dalai Lama. Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 by Tsongkhapa disciple Jamyang Choeje. It was the home of the Dalai Lamas before the Potala palace was built in the 17th century. Resembling a heap of white rice from a distance, it was dubbed "Monastery of the Collecting-Rice" (Drepung Gompa) in Tibetan. Drepung lost a major source of income with the death of the charismatic teacher Gen Lamrim in 1997, whose lectures drew devotees from all over the Tibetan world. The monastery therefore gratefully accepts donations from pilgrims and visitors, which can be made in the kitchen.
Day4: Free day in Lhasa
This is a leisure day for you. You can decide to spend it as your wish. Explore and soak in the sights and sounds of the old city, revisit a favorite monastery, go for souvenir hunting in the busy local market at Barkhor Square, or simply sit in a café and watch the pilgrims as they circumambulate the Jokhang. There is also the option of an additional tour to places such as the Tibetan Medical Centre, Ganden Monastery and Tsurphu Monastery. But this additional tour will incur an extra cost.
Day5: Departure / The last day of your trip in Tibet
You will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your flight home. Tibet warm heartily welcome you back home forever. We would to send you all the best wishes for your continue happy journey.