yamdrok Shangri La Travels, Tibet

Lhasa City & Ganden - 5 days

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Lhasa City Tours

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Lhasa City

Day1. Arrive Lhasa, meet your guide and transfer to 3* Yak Hotel or similar x4n
Day2. Sightseeing: Drepung monastery and Sera monastery
Day3. Sightseeing: Jokhang temple and Potala palace
Day4. Day trip to Ganden Monastery
Day5. Transfer to Airport

The Detail

Day 1. Arrive Lhasa
Arrive at Lhasa airport or train station where your guide will be waiting to meet you. Transfer to your hotel and relax and adjust to the altitude.

Day2. Drepung monastery (8km to the west) and Sera monastery (5km to the north)
Morning, visit Drepung Monastery (rice heap). Drepung monastery was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Cheojee a disciple of Tsong-khapa. It was one of six great monasteries of Gelukpa sect and possibly the largest monastery in the world. Before the construction of the Potala by the fifth Dalai Lama; it was the principal seat of the Gelukpa Sect. There were originally 7 colleges but were consolidated into 4, each with its own abbot and syllabus. The monastery keeps plentiful historical relics, Buddhist scriptures, and arts and crafts.
Afternoon, visit Sera Monastery: one of the three great monasteries of Gelukpa sect in Lhasa-Ganden, Drepung and Sera. Sera monastery means merciful hail'-the origin of the name is thought to derive from the fact that Sera was in constant competition with Drepung ('rice heap monastery') and that the 'hail' of Sera destroyed the 'rice' of Drepung. It was founded in 1419 by Shamchen chejee-a disciple of Tsongkhapa. One of the highlights of a visit to Sera is the debating session from 3pm to 5pm attended by most of the monks. The noise and fervor is exciting even if you can't understand a word they are saying.
Day3. Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple
Morning, visit The Potala Palace. The original construction dates back to the 7th century, and was built by King Songtsen Gampo. Later in the 17th century the 5th Dalai Lama rebuilt the Potala Palace to its present size with 1500 artisans and 5000 workers. The maze-like structure contains over a thousand rooms and is thought to house 10,000 shrines and 200,000 statues. The massive structure contains a small world within it itself with a 13-storey castle rising over 117m high.
Afternoon visit to the world heritage site of Jokhang Temple and explore the bustling bazaar along the Barkhor Street. The Jokhang Temple is the first temple in Tibet and built by King Sontsen Gampo’s wife princess Bhrikuti in the 7th century when he moved his capital to Lhasa. Unlike most temples, the Jokhang is not identified with a particular sect because it houses the holiest statue of Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old and consecrated by Buddha himself.
Day4. Day trip: Ganden Monastery: (60km to the east)
Ganden was founded in 1409 by Tsongkhapa after the first Monlam festival was performed in the Jokhang temple. This was the first Gelugpa monastery and remains the main seat of this major Buddhist order. After Tsongkhapa died in 1411, the abbotship of the monastery passed to his disciples and the post came to be known as the Ganden Tripa and is earned through scholarly merit, not reincarnation. It is the Ganden Tripa, not, as one might expect, the Dalai Lama, who is the head of the Gelugpa sect. The site boasts stupendous views of the surrounding Kyi-chu Valley and has a fascinating Kora. Ganden is an experience unlike the other major Gelugpa monasteries in the Lhasa area. Try the high kora for the best views, though at over 4000m make sure you are acclimatized before attempting this one.
Day 5. Transfer to airport
Departure from Lhasa to airport and fly to your next destination.