Short Breaks: Lhasa & Surrounds

Short Breaks: Lhasa & Surrounds

Lhasa, Lhasa & Ganden, Lhasa & Samye


5 days

What you will See & Do

A short introduction to the Tibetan world. Spend a couple of days exploring all the great sights of Lhasa. Then enjoy a taste of the surrounding countryside with an overnight trip into the valleys east of Lhasa. These are amongst the most beautiful and spiritually significant regions in all of Tibet and are home to a wealth of incredible landmarks and cultural sites.

First visit Ganden, an historic Gelugpa monastery founded in the C15th, which offers stunning views of the surrounding valley. Then spend a night at the nearby nunnery of Tidrom with its medicinal hot springs. A newly opened hotel makes this a very pleasant place to spend a night.

Nearby is the the remote, but religiously important Drigung Til, head monastery of the Drigung Kagyupa, first destroyed by the armies of Kublai Khan in the C13th.


Day 1: Arrive Lhasa - transfer to hotel

Arriving in Lhasa, visitors will be greeted by the stunning natural beauty of the Tibetan plateau. The city is situated at an altitude of over 3,686 meters above sea level and is home to many significant cultural and historical sites. Transferring to the hotel catch your first glimpse of the city and its unique architecture, which is heavily influenced by Tibetan Buddhism.
Your arrival day is relaxed with no set activities in order to allow your body to adjust to the effects of altitude. A welcome dinner is included this evening.

Day 2: Lhasa sightseeing: Drepung, Nechung & Sera monasteries

The university monastery of Drepung is one of the three most important Gelugpa monasteries in Tibet and was founded in the 15th century. It houses a large collection of Buddhist scriptures, artifacts, and artwork, and is known for its beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere.
Nechung is a small temple located nearby and is the home of the Nechung Oracle, a medium who is believed to be possessed by a deity and who offers spiritual advice and guidance. He is the personal oracle of the Dalai Lamas.
Sera is another important Gelug monastery located on the norther foothills of Lhasa and is known for its vibrant debating culture. Monks at Sera engage in lively philosophical debates on Buddhist doctrine, which can be fascinating to observe.

Day 3: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala, Jokhang, Barkhor Pilgrim Circuit (option to add Ramoche Temple)

The Potala Palace is a massive fortress-like structure that dominates the Lhasa skyline. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas and contains a complex of chapels, halls and rooms that are richly decorated with frescoes, carvings and sculptures. Explore the many levels of the palace, including the Red Palace and the White Palace, and admire the stunning views of the city from the rooftop.
The Jokhang Temple is considered the spiritual heart of Tibet, located in the heart of Lhasa. It is one of the oldest and most revered temples in Tibet and is known for its impressive architecture and religious artifacts. Amid the many shrines and statues of Buddha witness the daily rituals and offerings made by devotees.
The Barkhor is a bustling marketplace and pilgrimage route that circles the Jokhang Temple. It's one of the oldest and most vibrant areas of Lhasa and is a great place to buy traditional Tibetan goods such as prayer flags, incense and handicrafts. You may also ask your guide to visit a nunnery, Tibetan Medical Institute, art workshops ...

Day 4: Transfer to airport or station for departure or make a day trip to Ganden & Drak Yerpa.

A scenic drive from Lhasa to Ganden Monastery before continuing to Tidrum.
Tsongkhapa founded the first monastery of the Gelukpa order, Ganden in 1409 or 1417 (sources differ). It has remained the main seat of the Gelugpa. Of all Tibet’s monasteries Ganden suffered most at the hands of the Red Guards; today it is being revitalized and rebuilt and its setting high on a ridge overlooking the Kyi Chu Valley is spectacular.
The high kora takes approximately 1½ hours; longer if you take a packed lunch to eat overlooking the valley.
After visiting Ganden, continue to the Tidrum. Tidrum Gompa is home to a community of about 80 Buddhist nuns, headed by an emanation of Yeshe Tsogyel. In 772 King Trisong Detsun sheltered in caves here as he fled hostile Bon aristocrats. It is also famous for its medicinal hot springs. Soak in the hot springs and enjoy the natural surroundings, which include picturesque waterfalls and lush forests.

This morning drive to Drigung Til, located in the Drigung Valley - built like a fortress above the valley floor. Founded in the C12th by the first Drigung Rinpoche it grew to become a serious religious and political contender to the Sakya. Drigung’s political power ended in 1290 with a Mongol army led by a Sakyapa general, but it continued to be a centre for contemplative teaching and home of a Kargyupa sub sect.
Return to Lhasa in the afternoon with time for some shopping and a last night dinner.

Day 5: Transfer to airport or station & depart.

Transfer to the airport or station for departure – or add a day and head to Samye to explore Tibet’s first monastery on the banks of the Yarlung Tsangpo.

Inquire about this Tour.


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