LHASA, TIBET

   
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Welcome To Our "Holy City"
LHASA - WHERE HEARTS ARE CHANGED

 

As the capital of Tibet, a country with over two-thousand years of history, the word Lhasa means "HOLY CITY", the "PLACE OF THE GODS." Tibet is holy to both Hinduism and Buddhism. For Tibetans Lhasa is the most sacred city in Tibet. Located here, just a few miles apart, both the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple attract pilgrims from every Tibetan region. Like making it to Mecca for Muslims, Lhasa is every Tibetan's lifetime goal. Many prostrate themselves over hundreds of miles, maybe even for years, to reach the holy city. In witnessing their dedication and passion, their humble feet ambling around the Barkhor kora, one cannot help marvel at their determination to hold on to their beliefs, traditions and culture. It's so easy to become enchanted with this place. See Tibet Attractions or Lhasa Day Trips
   
ROOF OF THE WORLD
A
lso known as the "FORBIDDEN CITY" due to it's remote location and traditional desire to stay secluded from foreigners, Lhasa dates back hundreds of years. With impressive religious artifices, and pilgrims meandering in the Tibetan alleys of the old city, no one can deny the intrigue and captivation that lures tourists by the thousands. Lhasa, also known at "THE CITY OF SUNSHINE" due to more than 3000 hours of sunshine annually, is the center of Tibet's political, economic, cultural and religious activities. It is situated at the foot of Mount Gephel, on the north bank of Lhasa River, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangbo River, at an altitude of 12,139 feet in the south central part of what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and counts among one of the highest cities in the world.
   
HISTORY
Before discovery of this area by the Tibetan Empire more than 1300 years ago, this terrain was a high altitude, marshy wilderness where antelopes roamed the range. Before civilization this land was known as Wotang. Back in the 7th century AD, King Songtsen Gampo, transferred his capital to the area, after discovering it while bathing in the Wotang River. His personal residence was constructed on the Potala  hilltop, overlooking the magnificent mountains that rose to the sky from both sides of the river.

The king conquered the whole Tibetan region and took five wives, one of which was Princess Khri b'Tsun, or "Royal Lady" from Nepal, and another Princess Wencheng of the Imperial Tang Court. At that time in this new city, most Tibetans lived in tents, not houses. There was a lot of construction needed to adapt the land to the desires of the new government. Princess Wencheng insisted on a monastery to house her most valuable dowry possession, a statue of Sakyamuni, the Buddha. Thus the Ramoche Temple in Lhasa. Likewise the Napalese Princess Khri b 'Tsun wished to build a monastery for her statue of Sakyamuni, however when construction obstacles continued, Princess Khri b 'Tsun asked Princess Wencheng for advice. She told her,  "Lhasa is a like a Rakshas witch lying on her back, with the Wotang Lake of Lhasa being her heart and water being her blood. Build the monastery on top of the lake and that will rid Lhasa of these evils." And so the temple named Lhasa meaning "the Sacred Land" (now known as the Jokhang) was built.

These myths and stories, along with dozens more, delight tourists as they walk back into the timelessness of this awe-inspiring city. From calm alleys to bustling markets and people still living in yesteryear, tourists from around the world who are lucky enough to come while traditions are still strong, leave with a new sense of the world.

Please note that reports indicate that around 24 or 25 April 2002, demolitions began on a building on the southeast corner where Dekyi Shar Lam (Ch: Beijing Dong Lu) and "Snow land Street" meet. Disappointing for tourists, the Beijing government's plans are to demolish the entire block around this building complex, including an old residence called Samding. The area concerned is the block beside (immediately north of) the well-known tourist hotel "Snowlands," including a French restaurant opposite (east of) the Pentoc Hotel and the Xiangbala Hotel. This block contains some important old aristocrat buildings, such as Phunkhang and Ganglha Metok and is one of the few remaining centers of traditional Tibetan buildings. The area is approximately three minutes walk from Jokhang Square, which is the historic centre of Lhasa. The Tibetan quarter is shrinking rapidly. more

See Tibetan Festivals for Lhasa's famous celebrations, including the bright "Butter Lamp Festival"


LHASA HOTEL & HOSTEL RECOMMENDATIONS  
DELUXE
Lhasa Manasarovar
Bramaputra Grand
Four Points Sheraton
Lhasa Hotel
STANDARD
Dhood Gu Hotel
Kyi Chu Hotel
Gor Kha Hotel
BUDGET
Oh Dan Hotel
Mandala
Banak Shol
LHASA & SURROUNDING ATTRACTIONS, CLICK HERE  

Lhasa 4-Kora Prayer Tour
Includes walking the outer and inner Potala koras and the outer and inner Jokhang koras with the pilgrims, spinning the prayer wheels and stopping in 3-5 local Lhasa monasteries. Religious history and theory included as desired. Contact our guides for more information.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
       

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