Lhasa - Namtso Lake Cultural Discovery Tour

Introduction

Lhasa - Namtso Lake Cultural Discovery Tour | Outdoor Himalayan Treks

The Lhasa - Namtso Lake Cultural Discovery Tour in Tibet serves you a superb combination of historic-cultural heritage of the city rooted in ancient past and the ultra-modern present. While you delve into the distant past with some of its monuments dating back to 7th century A.D., the modern markets are abuzz with modern day traders and commodities. In one moment, you lose yourself in the deep, ancient rooted aura of the city’s religious and cultural icons, breathing in their air scents going back over a millennium. Out of their compounds in the next moment, and you encounter the life as you do in some advanced cities of the world, with modern glitz, wares, traders and their frantic pace galore. Even the dullest of the senses are stirred by these awesomely contrasting experiences, which only a few places of the world can afford.

The glorious history of Lhasa goes back to 7th century A.D., when it was the capital of a large Tibetan empire under Songtsan Gampo. The foundations of the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, and the Ramoche Temple were laid at the same time. The former two are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Formerly the royal palace of the king, the Potala Palace also served as the chief residence of the Dalai Lamas later on, consequently an important spiritual center of Buddhists. When the 14th Dalai Lama went into exile in India after the Tibetan uprising in 1949, the government converted the Potala Palace into a museum.

The Jokhang Temple, another major attraction of tourists and pilgrims, is the chief religious center of Buddhists, who come in large numbers everyday to circumnavigate it. It is artistically and architecturally a grand temple, making a seamless blend of Nepalese, Indian vihara and Tang traditions. The second important spiritual center of Lhasa after the Jokhang Temple is Ramoche Temple, which was built by Songtsan Gampo to house Jowo Sakyamuni, brought by the Nepalese princess Bhrikuti, a consort of the king. Besides them, there are numerous other monasteries and places of interest in Lhasa, some frozen in its ancient history and some rooted in modern times. Together, they have contributed to making Lhasa a timeless tourist destination of Tibet, reason why so many travelers crave for Lhasa tour and Tibet tours.

Trip Facts

Trip Duration: 5 nights and 6 days

Trip Grade: Moderate

Minimum Altitude: 1300 m, Kathmandu

Maximum Altitude: Laken Pass, 5186m, en route to Namtso Lake

Itinerary Outline

Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, and drive to Tsedang

Day 2and 3: Lhasa Exploration

Day 4: Drive from Lhasa to Namtso Lake (4718m)

Day 5: Drive from Namtso Lake to Lhasa

Day 6: Flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu

Itinerary Details

Day 1: Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, and drive to Tsedang
The first day of the tour starts with a flight over the mighty Himalayan range, with breathtaking scenes of Mt Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and many other mountains in clear weather from your airplane window. We land at Gonggar International Airport and drive towards Tsedang. Get refreshed in your hotel there. Then we visit the major highlight of the day, namely, the Yumbu Lakhang Palace. Typical of palaces and monasteries in Tibet, the grand palace-cum-monastery sits on a beautiful hilltop which commands enticing views of the valleys around. After exploring this one of the oldest of monuments in Tibet, we return to Tsedang. If we still get some time, we can visit monasteries and carpet factories around in Tsedang

Day 2 and 3: Lhasa Exploration
We set aside two full days for exploring Lhasa, the religious, spiritual, political and administrative center of Tibet. It is steeped in ancient heritages and, at the same time, glowing in postmodern cosmopolitan environment. Of the numerous tourist attractions, the Potala Palace is going to capture our imagination. Now a museum, it serves as the royal palace and also the abode of the Dalai Lama in the past. It is a grand structure by all measures—grand in its sheer dimensions, grand in the artful design, grand with the statues and thangkas decorating its chambers, grand in its beautiful gilded roof.

The other important cultural icon of Tibet is the Jokhang Temple, in the Barkhor Square, falling in the old part of the town. Another grand structure consisting of four stories, the temple houses the statues of Chenresing, Padmasambhaba, Songtsan Gampo, Bhrikuti, Wen Cheng and others.

In the southwest of the Potala Palace is Norbulinka Palace and the largest park in Lhasa that surrounds the palace. The Norbulinka Palace served as the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas. Another center of attraction is Ramoche Temple, second in importance only to the venerated Jokhang temple. The Lhasa Zhol Pillar, the Tibet Museum, Monument to the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, Sera Monastery, and Drepung Monastery make up the list in the other must-sees of the city. In fact, Lhasa can glue you to its attractions for days.

Day 4: Drive from Lhasa to Namtso Lake (4718m)
After immersing into the historical and cultural abundance of Lhasa, today we make a trip to a stunning natural attraction. The Namtso Lake, some 112 kilometers northwest of Lhasa, is the largest and one of the holiest lakes of the Tibet autonomous region. This salt lake is unusually beautiful, sitting in the lap of mountain ranges. The cave hermitages around the lake have long been the holy quests for Tibetan Buddhists. And the monasteries around are equally sacred centers. The lake remains frozen in winter. We spend our night at a hotel nearby.

Day 5: Drive from Namtso Lake to Lhasa
We observe the holy bustle around the lake in the morning, explore the caves and monasteries and return to Lhasa.

Day 6: Flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu
At the end of our Lhasa exploration tour, we return to Kathmandu on an exciting flight over the Himalayas. After landing in Kathmandu, you may still have some time at your disposal. If so, visit the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kathmandu valley. Their grandeur shall surely remind you of the majestic ones you observed in Lhasa.

Guidelines

Health and Fitness Requirement:

This trip requires you to be in good health and physically fit. Since the tour takes place above 3000m, altitude sickness may be a problem.

Travel Insurance:

  • Make sure that you are insured against cancellations, accidents, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of, or damage to, baggage and personal effects.

Notes:

  • We will arrange your pick-up/drop-off according to your flight schedule.
  • We can customize this itinerary according to your interests and preferences.

Documents required:

  • Visa
  • Scanned copies of passport sized photo and passport of each participant
  • Travel insurance

Photo Gallery

Book

...