Tibet holds the imagination of Shangri-la to many westerns for centuries. The place attracts millions of travelers each year to admire its surreal natural beauty and old religious culture. Below are five most beautiful places you should not miss when you traveling in Tibet.
Built in 637, the Potala Palace was a royal palace of King Songtsan Gampo. In 1645, Lozang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama reconstructed the Potala Palace, from which time the Potala Palace became the residence of the Dalai Lama and the theocratic center of Tibet.
Collected within are innumerable treasures and art works — the Potala Palace is “the palace of art”. The Potala Palace is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site that you cannot miss in Tibet.
2. Jokhang Temple
Built in the 7th century, Jokhang Temple is located on Barkhor Square, Lhasa. It is the supreme temple of Tibetan Buddhism, and is considered as the most sacred and important temple by Tibetans. Jokhang Temple is a must for Lhasa tour.
It was built by King Songtsan Gampo for his two brides: the Tang Princess Wencheng and Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti. The temple’s architectural style combines Chinese Tang Dynasty design with Indian vihara design and Nepalese design.
Both princesses brought statues of Sakyamuni from China and Nepal respectively, and the two statues were housed in Jokhang Temple. At present the statue Princess Wencheng brought is still housed in the temple, but the statue Princess Bhrikuti brought is housed in Ramoche Temple.
Namtso is considered as one of the most beautiful places in Tibet. Located in Damxung County and Baingo County, Tibet Autonomous Region, Lake Namtso is the second largest salt water lake in China. Namtso means ‘Heaven Lake’ in Tibetan. Namtso is at an altitude of about 4,718 meters (15,479 feet) — truly a lake in the sky.
Namtso is regarded as a holy lake by Tibetan Buddhists. During the Year of the Sheep in the Tibetan calendar believers make a pilgrimage to Lake Namtso. There are four temples around the lake. Quiet and large Lake Namtso, next to the blue sky, with white cloud surrounding the giant snow mountains, will purge your soul whether you are a Buddhist believer or not.
4. Yamdrok Lake
Yamdrok Lake (Yamdrok Yumtso) is one of the three holy lakes in Tibet. Located in Nagarzê County, Shannan Prefecture, Yamdrok Lake is about 70 kilometers from Lhasa.
Yamdrok Lake means ‘jade lake’ in Tibetan. It is a barrier lake, since glacial mud-rock flows blocked the river way millions of years ago. Yamdrok Lake, with a surface area of 638 km2 is about 70 times the size of West Lake in Hangzhou. It is a coral-colored lake and it is also called coral lake.
The famous Samding Monastery, the only Tibetan monastery which is headed by a female tulku is on the southwest coast of the lake. The unique natural scenery of Yamdrok Lake, combining lakes, islands, pasture, wild animals and plants, the monastery, snowy mountains, and blue sky, is incredibly attractive.
Stretching 505 km (314 miles), the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon starts from Daduka Village, Mainling County at an altitude of 2,880 meters (9,450 feet) in the north to Pasighat Village, Mêdog County at an altitude of 115 meters (377 feet) in the south. Its average depth is 2,268 meters (7,440 feet) and the deepest point is 6,009 meters (19,714 feet).
The Tsangpo Canyon is the biggest channel for aqueous vapor from the Indian Ocean to access the Tibet Plateau. Therefore the Tsangpo Canyon is very moist, with dense forests and various wildlife. Combining high mountains, turning canyons, and great waterfalls, it is no doubt that the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon is an amazing natural phenomenon, and a great treasure for mankind.