yamdrok Shangri La Travels, Tibet

Lhasa & Ganden-Samye Trek - 10 days


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Trek Ganden-Samye (Lhasa-Lhasa)

Arrive Lhasa, meet your guide and transfer to 3* Yak Hotel or similar x4n
Sightseeing: Drepung monastery and Sera monastery
Sightseeing: Jokhang Temple and Potala Palace
Drive from Lhasa to Ganden - visit the monastery & start trek (camping)
Trekking (camping)
Trekking (camping)
Trek to Yemalung cave. 6hours (overnight camping)
Trek from Yemalung cave to Samye 3/4 hours (Overnight Samye htl)
Drive back from Samye to Lhasa 170km (Overnight Yak htl)
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.

Day 2. 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.

Day 3. 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. Drive from Lhasa to Ganden and trek starts after visiting the monastery (4.5 hours)
Ganden monastery was built by Tsokhapa and which was the first Gelugpa monastery.  After Tsongkhapa died in 1411, the abbotship of the monastery passed to these disciples. The post came to be known as the Ganden Tripa and was earned through scholarly merit, not reincarnation. It has stupendous views of the surrounding Kyi-chu Valley and fascinating Kora, Ganden is an experience unlike the other major Gelugpa monasteries in the Lhasa area. After visiting the monastery, Trek starts along a trail going up the slope towards east. It takes 1.5 hours to a pass. It takes another 3 hours to get to Hebu village from the pass. To start early from next pass, the best choice is to cross the river and camp nears the nomads.

Day5. Trek from Hebu village
This is the hardest day. First it takes 4 hours to climb up to a pass through a steep trail which is not easy to recognize, and at least 2 more hours to go down through the steep trail to get to the campsite.

Day6. Trek
Walk up to Shukhu La, which is lower and easier than Jooker La pass. After the pass, the valley narrows in to a short gorge before an opening grassy meadows, and then pass more nomad tents to reach a junction of 2 brooks.

Day7. Trek to Yemalung cave.
This day takes 6-7 hours trekking. En route visit to Yemalung-Padmasambhava meditation cave.
Day8. Trek from Yemalung cave to Samye

Last day of our trekking; 2-3 hours walk to Samye and afternoon visit the monastery. It was built in the 8th century by an Indian Buddhist master Padmasambhava. Samye was designed on plan of Odanphuri temple, covering a total of 25000 square meters of land.

Day9. Drive back from Samye to Lhasa 170km

Day 10. Transfer to Airport
Departure from Lhasa to airport and fly to your next destination.