If you are looking for stunning landscape and architecture and wanted to know more about Tibetan culture, I would suggest you to visit Lhasa, the ‘place of the gods’. Lhasa lies in the south of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, and is high in Himalayas.
Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and now capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, is the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama. With an elevation at 3,650 m (12,000 ft), Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. Interestingly to know that it rose to prominence more than 1,300 years ago when the original Jokhang Temple and the first Potala Palace were built in the seventh century. Three large Gelugpa religious residence, namely Ganden, Sera and Drepung were built by Je Tsongkhapa and his followers in the fifteenth century.
Lhasa is a mystical, mysterious and remote city with an impressive heritage and spiritual history that defines Tibetan culture. Surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, Lhasa is the attention to the snaking Kyi Chu River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra river that runs through the city.
The massive Jokhang Temple, within which is Tibetan Buddism’s most sacred statue, the Jowo Shakyainuni, consists of three floors filled with places of worship or chapels. There are three concentric paths, one is within the complex while two are outside that allows pilgrims to walk around it.
Forming an UNESCO World Heritage Site with the temple and Norbulinkga (the Summer Palace) about 3 km (2 mi away) is the vast Potala Palace, once the spiritual and political hub of Tibet, but now a museum. You will notice the 1,000-room fortress gracefully perched above Mount Marpo Ri and built in the seventeenth century under the fifth Dalai llama. The inner section, the Red Palace, contains the temples and tombs where religious relics stored or displayed for Dalai Llamas.
When is the best time to go to this interesting place? March to October would be ideal.
Other things that I think you may want to know will be:
- Dress modestly. Dress in Tibet is informal but conservative. Therefore, shorts, short skirts, and revealing tops will put women at risk of encountering unflattering remarks and perhaps unwanted touching.
- Be careful what you eat and drink. Leafy vegetables are known to carry parasites, so avoid those of dubious origin or those likely to have been washed in tap water. I suggest you try to eat only fruit that has a skin you can peel. Avoid drinking drinks with ice, as that is often made of non-boiled water.