Tibetan Palaces and monasteries
Lhasa Potala Palace
Standing on the Red Hill on Beijing C. Road, Lhasa, the Potala Palace is the highest of its kind in the world. The palace was first built in the seventh century and was damaged in the eighth century. In the 17th century, it was rebuilt by the Fifth Dalai Lama in three years. Its 13-story main building is 117 meters high and is composed of the Red and White Palaces, with the red one in the middle. The main building consists of the Hall of Stupas of Dalai Lamas from various historical stages and halls of Buddhas. The White Palace is the residence of the Dalai Lamas and place for handling political affairs.
The Potala Palace houses great amounts of rare cultural relics including the Pattra-leaf scripture from India, Bak'gyur and the imperial edicts, golden seals and titles of nobility from the Qing emperors to the Dalai Lamas.
(Open hours: 8:00am-18:00pm As it opens for every day, but have to book the ticket guests one week before, otherwise very hard get it. Admission is 200 yuan per perosn, The admission for the Golden Summit and the Exhibition of Tibet Cultural Relics is 10 yuan per person. Picture-taking inside the halls costs 40-150 yuan, but some of halls not allow to take picture, if you have guide who will tell you, if you don't have guide you have to look aroud in the halls because there are attion aborad)
Lhasa Jokhang Monastery
Located in the center of the ancient city of Lhasa, the Jokhang Monastery was built in the seventh century by Songtsan Gambo, the Tang Princess Wen Cheng and Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti. Its four-story main building demonstrates a combination of the Han, Tibetan, Indian and Nepalese architectural styles, as well as a mandala world outlook of Buddhism. With the Hall of Amitayus Sutra as its center, the monastery symbolizes the nuclear of the universe. The Hall of Sakyamuni is the essence of the monastery.
(Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm The admission is 70 yuan per person. Photos can be taken in front of the monastery and on the top floor. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls. It is unkindly to take a picture of Tibetans who stretch their body forward to pay their respects to the Buddha in front of them.)
Lhasa Sera Monastery
At the foot of the Wuze Hill in Sera to the north of Lhasa, the Sera Monastery is one of the three great monasteries in Lhasa and one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Buddhism in Tibet. It was built by one of disciples of Zonggaba in 1419. On 27th of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar, the monastery holds the grand Sera Bungchen Festival, which attracts flocks of Buddhists and others.
(Admission is 50 yuan per perosn. Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm)
Located in the northern part of the old city of Lhasa, the Klukang Monastery was built in the mid-seventh century. It was damaged and rebuilt several times. The monastery houses many murals and the statues of Sakyamuni, Maitreya and others. The main hall houses a gilded full-length statue of the eight-year-old Sakyamuni brought to Tibet by the Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti. The monastery is the location of the Tantric College of the Gelug Sect in Tibet.
Lhasa Drepung Monastery
On the slope of the Wuze Hill in Genbei five kilometers northwest of Lhasa, the Drepung Monastery was built in 1416 and is the largest of the monasteries of the Gelug Sect. It covers an area of 250,000 square meters. In its heyday, it had more than 10,000 monks. The monastery has trained a large group of talents for Tibetan Buddhism. The Fifth Dalai Lama lived here before he moved to the Potala Palace. It houses plenty of historical and cultural relics and Buddhist classics. In the exciting Shoton Festival, "Sunning the Buddha" by the monastery has been one of the most magnificent religious activities in Tibet.
(Admission is 50 yuan per perosn. Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm.Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls..)
Lhasa Gandain Monastery
In Dagze County 60 kilometers to the east of Lhasa, it is one of the three great monasteries in Lhasa and one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug Sect. Gandain means happiness and contentedness in Tibetan. The Gandain Monastery was built in early 15th century under the supervision of Zonggaba, the founder of the Gelug Sect. The main buildings include the Coqen Hall, the Chamber of Zonggaba and the College of Yangbajian.
( For FIT guests can take a mini-bus in the square in front of the Jokhang Monastery. The bus leaves for the Gandain Monastery at 6:30 and back at 14:00. It costs 35-50 yuan per perosn for going and back and takes 3 hours one way. The monastery provides simple lodge for 12 yuan each. The admission is 45 yuan per person. Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm)
Lhasa Curpu Monastery
Built in 1187, the Curpu Monastery is located in the Doilungdeqen County, 70 kilometers away from Lhasa. It is the main monastery of the Black Cap Group of the Karma Sect. The system of succession to grant the Living Buddha was originated here and has become popular among various sects of the Tibetan Buddhism.
(Admission is 30 yuan. Open hours: 9:00-14:00.)
Shigatse Trashilhunpo Monastery
At the foot of the Nyima Mountain on the outskirts of Xigaze, the monastery was built in 1447 under the supervision of the First Dalai Lama Gedun Zhuiba, one of the disciples of Zonggaba. It was expanded by the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Bainqen Lamas and has become the place of the reincarnation of the Bainqen Lamas. The monastery houses the 22.4-meter-high gilded bronze statue of Qiangba Buddha, the tallest of its kind in the world. The image of the Buddha is kind and generous, and is vivid.
(Admission is 30 yuan. But it is free during the holidays. Open hours: 8:00-16:00. Taking photos inside the hall are charged for 80 yuan in general.)
Gyantse Palkor Monastery
Located at the western end of the Changge Range in Gyangze County, it was built in 1414. Its 17 Dratsang (colleges) belong to three sects of Sagya, Kadam and Gelug and gather all religious sects, a salient feature of the monastery. Its main building is the Hall of Coqen. By the monastery stands the resplendent Palkor Pagoda. This nine-story pagoda is 32.5 meters high and has 108 doors. Its 77 Buddhist halls house some 100,000 statues of Buddhas. So the pagoda is also famous as the "100,000-Buddha Pagoda.Admission is 45 yuan per peroson. Open hours: 9:30pm-16:00pm. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls"
Shigatse Xalu Monastery
Some 30 kilometers to the southeast of Xigaze, the monastery was built in 1000. It demonstrates a combination of the Tibet and Han architectural styles. It is famous for its sandalwood slips carved with Buddhist scripture and ajar for filling sacred water. It is said that for years the water does not decrease or deteriorate. The murals in the monastery are rich in contents and excellent in workmanship and are one of the rare fine arts in Tibet.
(FIT Guests can be reached by taking the public bus from Xigaze to Gyangze and walking/or another hour after getting off the bus on the halfway.Admission is 40 yuan per peroson.Open hours: 9:30pm-16:00pm. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls)
Shigatse Sakya Monastery
Being 160 kilometers west of Xigaze, the Sakya Monastery is composed of Southern and Northern Monasteries. The Northern Monastery was built in 1079 and was damaged now while the Southern Monastery in 1268. The Southern Monastery houses great amounts of cultural relics including the titles, seals, crowns, garments and ornaments awarded by the Yuan imperial court to the local officials, the statues of Buddha, ritual instruments and porcelains from the Song, Yuan and other later dynasties, and the precious murals of historical themes. Also the monastery preserves great numbers of books such as the "Bakgyur," "Bstanggyur," Pattra-leaf scripture and other Tibetan classics on astronomy, geography, history, medicines and literature.
(FIT guests can be reached by taking the bus at the Xigaze Bus Station to Sakya. The bus leaves at 7:00-8:00 and takes five hours for 25-40 yuan per perosn, but you must join with travel agency for make Travel permit, without it then police will fine you big money, because it's not open area. The admission to the monastery is 45 yuan per perosn. Open hours: 9:30-12:00 and 15:00-16:00pm.)
Gyantse Zongshan Site
It is an ancient castle in the center of Gyangze. In the spring of 1904 the Gyangze armed forces and local people waged struggles against the invading British forces here. Today it is a tourist attraction. (Admission is 10 yuan.)
An ancient earth/brick castle, it is located to the northeast of Kamba County seat and was a defensive point of the Kamba tribe.
(It is 400 kilometers from Lhasa to Kamba via Nagarze, Kangmar. Today it is a frontier camp. Tourists should obtain the permission for a visit.)
Shigatsete Rongpu Monastery
Atop the Rongpu Qinzhogma Hill at the foot of Mt. Qomolangma, the monastery is 100 kilometers away from the Tingri and Shegar County seat and is 5,800 meters above sea level, the highest of its kind in the world. Annually it holds three-day sorcerers activities on the 15th of the fourth month and the Ghost-Beating Festival on the 29th of the 11th month of the Tibetan calendar.
(It is 7 kilometers from Rongpu Monastery to Base Camp, but not allow to drive car, but you can rent horse card 65 yuan ofacuse you can walk if you like.There are 2 places for stay over night, one is at Rongbuk monastery guesthouse near the monastery, other one is at Base Camp in Tent.)
Zedang Yombulagang Palace
In Nedong County, eight kilometers to the south of Zetang Town, it is the first palace in Tibetan history. It was said that the palace was built in the second century B.C. by the first king Nyatri Tsanpo. It houses the statues of the three-world Buddhas and Tsanpos of various historical stages including Nyatri Tsanpo, Lhatu Turi Niantsan, Rabajin, Songtsan Gambo and Trisong Detsen.Admission is 70 yuan per peroson.Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls
Zedang Samye Monastery
On the northern bank of the Yarlung Zambo River in Chanang County, Shannan Prefecture, the monastery was built in 779 under the supervision of Master Padmasambhava and Tibetan king Trisong Detsen. It is the first monastery for the monks in Tibet. The magnificent and unique Central Hall is three-story high. The first floor is of the Tibetan architectural style, the second the Han style and the third the Indian style. The halls in the monastery house many statues and murals. The monastery has bronze bells, carved marble lions and tablets marking the development of Buddhism. All these are valuable cultural relics.
(Tourists can take the bus from Lhasa to Zetang and get off at Samyae Ferry for a charge of 180 yuan for each group. Then you have to take a motor boat to the other bank of the river for five yuan and take a bus to the monastery. Also you can take a mini-bus from Zetang to the monastery (running on the newly built highway). you can also Staying in the monastery overnight. Just outside the east gate of the monastery stands the Friendship Snowland Hotel and others. Now most groups drive Lhasa to Zatang and Zedang drive to Samye, because you also visit in Zetang, so have to drive back to Zedang, there is 50km from Zedang to Samye. Admission is 45 yuan per peroson.Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls)
Zedang Minzholing Monastery
The monastery was built in the late 10th century and had its current name when it was rebuilt in 1677. It is one of the three great monasteries of the Rnyingma Sect. The monastery has paid attention to the research of Buddhist classics, astronomical calendar, calligraphy rhetoric and Tibetan medicines and is famous for its achievements in these fields. Over the years the recommendation of the "Chronology of the Tibetan Calendar" has been formulated by the monastery, and it is famous as the first academy of Lamaism in Tibet.Admission is 40 yuan per peroson.Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls
Zedang Changzhug Monastery
Standing by the highway on the east bank of the Yalong River in Nedong County, Shannan Prefecture, this monastery was built in the seventh century and has been repaired in various historical periods. A legend says after Songtsan Gambo established its capital in Lhasa, he came and stayed here together with Princess Wen Cheng who planted the willow trees around the monastery. The monastery houses a precious Thangka picture of a Buddha inlaid with pearls and gems.
(Tourists can take the mini-bus in Zetang Town to the monastery for two yuan each or a motor tricycle for 15 yuan or less.Admission is 70 yuan per peroson.Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls.)
Korqag Monastery is beautiful and is famous. The monastery is small and has been neglected for years. But it gets its name for the Statue of Manjusri for which the well-known senior monk Rinqen Sambu stayed in the monastery.
(It can be reached by going southward along the Phoenix River and takes 19 kilometers from Burang County seat.)
Ali Toding Monastery
It has become famous as the Indian senior monk Atisa arrived after experiencing 10-year hard traveling and presided the work of the monastery. It has since then attracted more monks from faraway. The murals in the Toding Monastery are of a free, wild and exaggerate style, like the works by Pablo Picasso.
(Admission to the monastery is 100 yuan per perosn. As the tourists to it are a few, there are no people by the gate to sell tickets some times and you should look for them.)
Chamdo Champalin Monastery
One of the biggest monasteries in the U areas, it was built by Xerb Songbo, a disciple of Zonggaba, leader of the Yellow sect, in 1444. The main living Bud-dhas of the monastery received titles of nobility offered by the Qing imperial court. Until today, the monastery houses a bronze seal offered by the Qing Emperor Kangxi to the living Buddha Pebala and a horizontal board with an inscription by the Qing Emperor Qianlong. Also the monastery houses many statues of Buddha, murals andThangkas, which are of a high value for appreciation.
(Champalin Monastery is located on the Mala Hill in Qamdo County seat. It takes 20 minutes on foot.Admission is 45 yuan per peroson.Open hours: 9:30am-16:00pm. Photos are taken for charges inside the halls. Charges are varied in different halls)