Day 01: KATHMANDU (1,300 m) - LHASA (3,650 m)
Transfer to airport – Take a trans-Himalayan flight to Lhasa crossing over the panoramic Himalayan ranges (1 hr) with a high chance of enjoying the close up view of Mt Everest (8,848 m) and other adjoining peaks. Upon arrival at Gongaar airport, welcome and assistance by our Tibetan guide - Transfer to Lhasa (45 min) through the new tunnel and check in to your hotel. Full rest for acclimatization.
Day 02: IN LHASA
Full day sightseeing tour in LHASA including Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Bazaar,
AM: Visit Potala Palace.
It is one of the most famous architectural works of Tibet and stands on the top of the Red Hill in Lhasa. The term Potala comes from Sanskrit. In the 7th century, it was built for meditational purpose. It was the Dalai Lama’s winter palace. Its white part used to be for the administrative purpose and the red part for the religious purpose.
PM: Visit Jokhang Temple & Barkhor Bazaar
Jokhang Temple is situated at the centre of the old part of Lhasa called Barkhor. It was built in the mid-7th century and was later extended by the successive rulers. It is a four storied temple with splendid golden roofs. It has a combination of architecture of Tang Dynasty & Nepalese Buddhist temples. It is just like the central Buddhist cathedral.
Barkhor Bazaar is the downtown market area just outside and around Jokhang Temple. It is the main Tibetan bazaar which has been able to sustain Tibetan culture & heritage until today. This bazaar is good for shopping and eating out and also mixing with the local Tibetan people.
Day 03: IN LHASA
AM: Visit Drepung Monastery.
It is situated five km away to the western suburb of Lhasa city at the foot of Mt Ganpoi Uze. It was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelugpa sect in Tibet. The monastery occupying 250,000 square meter with a one time 7,700 monks is the biggest one in Tibet. It maintains plentiful of historical relics, Buddhist scriptures, arts and crafts.
PM: Visit Sera Monastery.
Sera is one of the Gelugpa’s six great monasteries in Tibet. It was founded in 1419. The complex today, a veritable monastic city, occupies a site of nearly 12 hectre. Sera, like Ganden & Drepung Monasterie, was a vital center of religious activity that drew students from the far corners of Tibet. In its heyday, it boasted over 5,000 monks and novices. In fact, Sera is one of the best preserved monasteries in Tibet. The debating monks are the worth seeing sight organized everyday in the afternoon in the garden of Sera Monastery.
Day 04: LHASA - XIGATZE (3,900 m) - GYANTSE (3,950 m): 280 + 90 KM
AM: Scenic drive to Xigatse, the south west of Lhasa through the northern route. The drive is scenic as the road drives along the picturesque valley and gorges made by the Brahmaputra river (Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibetan).
PM: Visit Tashilhumpu Monastery in Shigatse. The Panchen Lama’s Tashilhumpu Monastery is the most beautiful monastery in Tibet, it is believed. It was founded in 1417. The most amazing in this monastery is the giant statue of the Maitreya (the future Buddha)(26 metre in height and 275 Kg pure gold with many more invaluable jewels) erected by the 9th Panchen Lama in 1914 and took 4 years for its completion. Fourth Panchen Lama’s funeral stupa was also built inside the monastery in 1662 which is one of the major attractions in the monastery.
Late afternoon, scenic drive to Gyantse (1½ hrs) through the beautiful mustard farmland with sporadic tiny villages - Overnight at hotel.
Day 05: GYANTSE – LHASA: 261 KM
AM: Visit to the Kumbum Stupa & Phalkor Monastery.
The famous Kumbum Stupa, a combination of pagoda and stupa arts, stands with nine floors with its 108 doors and 77 chapels containing clay sculptures and various murals. The pagoda is said to have 100,000 images of the Buddha either sculptured or painted.
Phalkor monastery is the next door monument to the Kumbum Stupa. It was founded in 1418. Its role is unique on the Buddhism in Tibet as it represents all the three sects of Tibetan Buddhism: Gelugpa, Sakkyapa and Bhuton.
PM: After lunch, take a picturesque drive to Lhasa passing by high passes of Karo La (5,010 m), Khamba La (4,794 m) and above all, Yamadroke Lake (beautiful fresh water turquoise lake ). Photography session with the lake is memorable. Do not miss to stop by and enjoy it to your best by touching the fresh water with holy fish yourself.
Evening, reach Lhasa overcrossing the Brahmaputra river. Transfer to your hotel. Rest and overnight at hotel.
Day 06: LHASA - KATHMANDU
After breakfast, transfer to the airport (45 min) and fly back to Kathmandu or to your onward destination.