Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour via Everest Base Camp -8 days
Within this eight days Kathmandu to Lhasa Overland Tour via Everest Base Camp you will be able to make a truly adventurous and fun filled tour over the roof of the world and from wilderness to the center of Tibetan culture. Kathmandu to Lhasa overland tour via Everest Base Camp combines everything that you are wishing to squeeze out in the shortest possible time and without missing any of the fantastic places. This overland Tiebt tour includes Asia's most impressive ancient cultures along with geographical wonders from Lhasa streets and Dalai Lama's Potala Palace to medieval towns of Tibet and ancient monasteries including monastery in the highest place of world, the Rongbuk Monastery as well as the Everest Base Camp with the sheer grandeur of Everest's north face.
After exploring the historic treasure, we make a detour of Everest Base Camp, and make a face to face encounter with world's highest mountain. Continuing via Sakya, Shigatse - with the Tashihunpo monastery, the seat of Panchen Lama - and Gyantse, and discovering the medieval villages, cultures, and lifestyles of the highlands, we finally reach Lhasa. In Lhasa we will visit most holy Jokhang temple,
Jokhang Temple ("House of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas) in Lhasa is the holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism, attracting crowds of prostrating Tibetan pilgrims and curious foreign tourists every year. It hosts the annual Great Prayer Festival, as well as all ceremonies of initiation for the Dalai Lama and Panchen Llama
see the legendary seven-wonder Potala Palace,
The potala palace in Lhasa was the primary residence of the Dalai Lama until 1959
Today the Potala Palace is a state museum, a popular tourist attraction, and a UNESCO world heritage site. It was also recently named one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" by the television show Good Morning America and the newspaper USA Today.
Norbulinka Palace (the summer palace of the Dalai Lama), Drepung, Sera Monastery and more. After two full sightseeing days in Lhasa, you can either get back to Kathmandu or continue to mainland China on your way to home.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 01: KTM-Nylam (3,750m/12,300ft): 153 Km/5 hrs
After morning breakfast we start our journey along the Friendship Highway for the Tibet border. Lunch at the border and then we pass through the Nepal side of the customs and immigration. Cross the Friendship Bridge to arrive at Tibet! Then we take a 30 minutes drive from Kodari to Zhangmu, where second immigration formalities have to be done. From Zhangmu to Nylam is to an hour's scenic drive. Overnight at Hotel in Nylam.
Day 02: Morning Acclimatization, Nyalam to Lotingri/old Tingri (4050m/13,284 ft): 147 Km/5-6 hrs
In the morning, we take some walk around Nylam which would help us to acclimatize with the high altitude. Then we rest for some time, take our breakfast, and head for Tingri. Cross two spectacular passes: Nyalam pass (3800m/12,464 ft) and Lalung La pass (5082m/16,668 ft). Enjoy the fabulous views of the high mountains including, Mount Everest (8848m/29,028 ft) Jugal Himal, Mt. Makalu (8464m/27,761 ft) and more. Overnight at hotel in Lotingri/Old Tingri.
Day 03: Lotingri/old Tingri to Rongbuk (5050m/16564ft): 105 Kms - Visit Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft)
After breakfast easy and short drive to Rongbuk. Rongbuk monastery is the highest monastery in Tibet. Enjoy the unique view of Mt. Everest also known as Mount Quomolangma in the Tibetan side. It's certainly a great experience to be face to face with the greatest mountain on earth, Mt. Everest. We make about 16 kms round trip around the Everest base camp. The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the views of Everest are more than compensating. It is a truly awe-inspiring place with the sheer north face of the highest mountain in the world towering above you. Overnight in a hotel.
from everest base camp you can see the amazing view of the world's highest mountain on earth , we call it" the holy mother."
Everest Base Camp -the common and easy answer is- it is a rudimentary campsite on Mount Everest (8,848m/29,021ft), that is used by the Mt. Everest summit climbers during their ascent and descent. Our trek takes you to the Base Camp (5,320m/17,450ft) of the roof of the world- Mt. Everest (8,848m/29,021ft). Except, summit to this roof of the world, trekking to Everest Base Camp is also an incredible experiences as well as it is the most deserving trekking destination of the world.
Everest Base Camp trek is famous for its spectacular Himalayan Shangri-la, the loyalty and friendliness of its inhabitant’s local peoples (Sherpa), their richest cultural and traditions and for the most famous Buddhist monasteries. Everest Base Camp is a glacier moraine. Reaching and exploring Everest Base Camp is an experience of lifetime. Another highlight of this trek is hike to Kalapathar (BlackRock); it has most dramatic views of Mt. Everest, Pumari, Nuptse, and Lhotse along with the entire incredible views of Khumbu region Himalayan peaks.
Day 04: Drive to Sakya Moanstery, evening arrive in Shigatse (3800m/12,464 ft): 345 Kms
Morning drive to Sakya to visit famous Sakya Monastery. Sakya Monastery is the ancestral temple of Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was founded by Khon Konchog Gyalpo of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), also the founder of Sakyapa sect of Lamaism. Sakya, means "Grey Soil" in Tibetan since the soil surrounding it is gray. The monastery is to the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. In the evening we arrive in Shigatse, the second biggest city in Tibet. Overnight at a hotel in Shigatse.
The Sakya tradition is one of the four major religious traditions that existed in Tibet. It rose to play a significant role in the development and spread of the new Tantras that came to Tibet in the 11th century. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the holders of the Sakya tradition were also the principal political powers that ruled over Tibet . Although its political stature gradually declined over the centuries, emphasis on its unique religious traditions continued to be nurtured and sustained.
Consequently the Sakya tradition strengthened and flourished and produced many great and distinguished practitioners, saints, and scholars. The origins of the Sakya tradition are closely connected with the ancestral lineage of the Khön family: a family which itself originated from celestial beings. Beginning with Khön Konchok Gyalpo (1034-1102), the founder of the Sakya tradition, the lineage continues to be unbroken to this day.
Day 05: Drive Shigatse to Gyangtse to Lhasa (3650m/11,972 ft): 365 Kms/ 7 hrs
In the morning visit the Tashilunpo Monastery. After breakfast, embark on a pleasant 2 hours drive to Gyantse. Here, we visit the Khumbum Stupa and Phalkot Monastery. From Gyantse, we continue to Lhasa: cross the Karo La (5010m/16,432 ft) and Kamba La (4794m/15,725 ft) pass and lake Yamdrok Tso(Turquoise Lake). You will cross the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahamaputra) river and see the distant views of the Potala Palace. Overnight at a hotel in Lhasa.
Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the Six Big Monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in Tibet. Also called the Heap of Glory, the monastery is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara's Mountain), Shigatse. Founded by the First Dailai Lama in 1447, the monastery's structure was expanded by the Fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. Tashilhunpo Monastery covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters (3,229,279 sq. ft.). The main structures found in the Tashilhunpo Monastery are The Maitreya Chapel, The Panchen Lama's Palace and The Kelsang Temple. Tashilhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama since the Fourth Panchen Lama took charge in the monastery, and there are now nearly 800 lamas.
Day 06: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Sera Monastry, Jokhang Temple.
Foremost, our tour begins with a visit to Sera Monastery. An experienced tour guide also working as an interpreter will guide us through this preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Then we visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. Visit to Barkhor Market can be quite a change from other visits as we roam around the city. Overnight at a Hotel in Lhasa.
This hilltop 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.
Construction on the Red Palace was still underway when the Great Fifth died in 1682. Fearing the project would be abandoned, the monks kept his death a secret for 10 years until the Red Palace was completed. In the meantime, the Dalai Lama was impersonated by a monk who looked most like him.
What to See
Built on a rocky hill overlooking the city of Lhasa, the Potala Palace has a sturdy fortress-like appearance. It contains more than a thousand rooms spreading over an area of 1,300 feet by 1,000 feet. The stone walls are 16 feet thick at the base, but more finely constructed (without the use of nails) in the upper stories.
The palace is fronted by a great plaza at the south base of the rock, enclosed by walls and gates. A series of fairly easy staircases, broken by intervals of gentle ascent, leads to the summit of the rock. It is important to become acclimated to the high altitude of Lhasa before making the climb.
The Potala Palace is made of two main parts, easily distinguished by their color: the Red Palace and White Palace. The two are joined by a smaller, yellow-painted structure that houses the sacred banners hung on the exterior for the New Year festivals. The rooms inside the palace are identified by numbers as well as names.
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 Tsong Khapa. 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 means 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.
History of Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple was founded in 647 by King Songtsen Gampo (r.617-49), the first ruler of a unified Tibet, and his two foreign wives who are credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. The king's first wife, Princess Bhrikuti (married in the 630s), was the sister of the Nepalese king, while his second wife, Princess Wencheng (married 641), was the niece or daughter of the Chinese emperor.
The temple was constructed to house a sacred image of the Buddha, the Jowo Rinpoche, which Queen Wengcheng brought with her from China as a dowry. This statue is still enshrined within the temple and is the holiest object in Tibet.
What to See
Tourists can only tour Jokhang Temple in the afternoon; the morning is reserved for pilgrims. The best way to experience the temple is to arrive at 8am to watch the pilgrims perform their devotions, then visit the interior in the afternoon. The temple is relatively quiet then, for the presence of Tibetan local tour guides.
Jokhang Temple is a very important pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists. Pilgrims come from all corners of Tibet, usually on foot and often performing austerities for penance along the way. The most devout pilgrims cover the last several miles prostrate on the ground. More prostrations are undertaken in the plaza in front of the temple. Before entering, most pilgrims circumambulate the temple on the Barkhor, a sacred path that is also lined with market stalls selling yak butter and jewelry.
Inside the temple, pilgrims make their way gradually to the central shrine, often crawling on their hands and knees or prostrate on their bellies. They hum prayers while also spinning prayer wheels, and bring offerings (typically white scarves and yak butter for the votive candles) to the many chapels that ring the shrine. Finally, they pray before the sacred image of the Jowo Shakyamuni
Day 07: Lhasa Sightseeing: Drepung manastery, Norbulinka summer Palace
Like the previous day, you experience invaluable insights during your visits to Potala Palace and Drepung Monastery. The 17th century Potala Palace offers an awesome view of entire city and also has private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Ancient history has it that Drepung Monastery which was built in 14th century used to shelter around 10,000 monks but as now there has been quite a declination resulting in only few hundreds. Tibetans' respect and belief are immensely knotted with this monastery. Overnight at a Hotel in Lhasa.
Drepung monastery was Founded in 1416, Drepung Monastery on the outskirts of lhasa was once Tibet's largest and most influential monastery, with over 10,000 monks. Today, Drepung houses about 700 monks and attracts pilgrims and visitors from around the world.
Drepung is especially known as the site of the annual Shoton Festival, with its dramatic unfurling of a giant thangka painting on the hillside.
Festivals and Events
Before the 17th century, Buddhist discipline required monks to stay in their temples for weeks in the summer. This prevented them stepping on small creatures outside for a time, and taught them to live in harmony with one another. When finally allowed to leave their confinement, monks went down to the mountains, where laymen would prepare yogurt for them as alms. The monks enjoyed the yogurt and happily celebrated their newfound freedom.
This is the origin of the Shoton Festival at Drepung, which takes place every August. Today, the Shoton Festival is a time for monks to go the mountains for contemplation, after which time their families will meet them on the mountainside. Many lay Buddhists make a pilgrimage to Drepung during this time and participate in the festivities, which include performances by the Tibetan Opera.
The Shoton Festival begins with the dramatic unfurling of a giant thangka banner of the Buddha, amidst incense smoke, the sound of bugles, and scripture recitations. Devotees rush to make offerings before it is rolled up again in less than two hours.
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.
Day 08: Final departure from Lhasa or extend your tour
Your adventure in the Himalayas comes to an end today! If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. A representative will take you to the airport for your onward journey. You can either get back to Kathmandu or continue to mainland China on your way to home.
we end here our unforgetable Tibet tour and Tibet will warmheartedly welcome you back home forever . we send you all our best wishes for your continue happy journey.