About Tibet

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About Tibet

Geography:

Tibet is known as the “Rooftop of the world” and it is a rich and beautiful land, located in the main part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the South-west frontier of China. Tibet borders Sichuan, Yuanan, Qinghai, and Xinjiang to the south contiguous to India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Burma and bounded by Kashmir on the west. Tibet possesses more than fifty peaks over 7000m among which eleven are over 8000m.

The Tibet Autonomous Region with a population of two million, mainly Tibetans, and an area of 1.2 million Sq.km. Tibet is rich in natural resources and owns a vast expanse of landforms. People living on this land have been creating a glorious culture since ancient times. There has a long history; majestic mountains and rivers, regular customs and habits, wonderful natural landscapes with monks clad in robes, and yellow hats are seen everywhere.

Most of Tibet is made up of an immense plateau that lies at an altitude of 4000m to 5000m. The cultural heartland of Tibet is the fertile Yarlung Tsangpo ( Brahmaputra)valley. On the upland surrounding this and other valleys, the inhabitants are mainly semi-nomadic pastoralists, who raise sheep, yaks, and horses. Western Tibet is higher still, and its spiritual and geographical focal point is sacred Mt Kailash (Kang Rinpoche)-revered by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, and Bonpo alike. Nearby is the equally sacred lake Manasarover source of the great rivers of Asia. To travel here is not an easy journey, but such a pilgrimage will be rewarded by a landscape of mystical beauty and perhaps spiritual elevation.

Traveling in Tibet is not your average trip but an experience of a lifetime, which we invite you to take with us.

History:

Inhabitants were existence in Tibet since the latter part of the Paleolithic Age which bais considered the opening curtain of Tibetan history. By the Neolithic Age, these inhabitants had scattered to a wider range of circles whose result had gradually led to the Tibetan race of the present generation.

In the 7th century, a famous Tibetan King named Songsten Gampo united the whole of Tibet and established the Tubo Dynasty. In the 7th and 8th centuries respectively two princesses from the Tang Dynasty had married Tibetan kings, consequence two people, the Hans and Tibetans became closer in the relationship and further exchanges took place within political and economical affairs between the Tubo and Tang Dynasties which gave creation to a beneficial condition for the development of Tubo society. Tibet fell into a decentralization period for over three hundred periods the Tubo society took a change over from the slave society to the feudal society. In the 13th century, Tibet became Yuan Dynasty then became Pagdu Dynasty. In the Qing dynasty, Gorshi Khan became the ruler of Tibet and established the Ganden Podrang administration which was recognized by the Qing central administration. The central administration of China, the Qing Dynasty, gave the overlordship of Tibet to the 5th Dalai Lama and established its representative in Lhasa called the “Amban” to supervise political affairs of Tibet in order to strengthen its control over Tibet. After the 1911 Revolution, the Republic of China established a working office in Lhasa to exercise its management over Tibet. In May 1951 concerning the method of the liberation of Tibet, some agreement was signed between the Central people’s govt. of China and local govt. of Tibet which opened a new historical page over Tibet.

People, Religion and Culture:

The Majority of Tibet’s population is Tibetan. Tibet is so thinly populated that it averages out 1.68 persons per sq. km. About 90 percent of the people live on farming and husbandry.

Buddhism is the main religion for hundreds of years in Tibet, has the unique form “Lamaism, Tibetan history, culture, and religion are mixed together and infiltrated on every aspect of social life. Tibetan religious arts have a distinctive style with the adoption of Indian and Chinese Buddhism. The Potala Palace is built on the top of a hill and penetrates its dome into the sky. It’s the king of Tibetan architectural structures and it has wonderful sculptures, carvings, murals, “Thankas” and skilled butter sculptures, and a vast accumulation of historical monuments which form a kind of religious art that is developed into a school of Tibetan tradition.

Festivals and Customs in Tibet:

Festivals in Tibet are in variety among which the grandest is the Tibetan New Year followed by others such as the “Wangkor” Festival and horse races. For the dead, sky burial, water burial, cremation, and stupa burial are in practice but the sky burial is the most popular of them all.

Tibet festivals are held according to the Tibetan lunar calendar, which usually lags at least a month behind the West’s Gregorian calendar. Following is a brief selection of Tibet’s major festivals: 1. Lhosar Festival (New Year), 2. Lanten Festival, 3. Monlam Great prayer festival), 4. Sagadawa Festival,5. Worship of Buddha,6. Shotun Festival (Yoghurt festival), 7. Gyantse Horse Race, 8. Death of Tsongkpa, 9. Driving off Evil Spirits etc.

Present khada is a common practice among the Tibetan people to express their best wishes on many occasions such as weddings, festivals, visiting the elders and the betters, and entertaining guests. The White khada, a long narrow scarf made from silk, embodied purity and good fortune.

Proposing a toast and tea when you come to Tibetan family, the host will propose a toast, usually barley wine. To entertain with tea is a daily etiquette. The guest has not had to drink until the host presents the tea to you.

Festival calendar of Tibet 2022:

Festival

Place

Date

Lhosar ( Tibetan New year)  All over Tibet  05 March
Monlam Prayer Festival Jokhang Temple, Lhasa 08 March
Butter lamp/Choe-nga Choepa Ancient Barkhor Street, Lhasa 19 March
Saga dawa Lhasa and Tarboche near Darchen 15 June
Zamling Chisasng/Samye Dolde Drepung  Monastery, Tibet 15 July
Thangka unveiling Tashilungpo Tashilungpo Monastery, Shigatse 15 July
Gyantse Horse Race Gyantse 20 July
Jerkhundo Horse Race(Yeshu) Litang Monastery, Yeshu, Tibet 25 July
Litang Horse Race Litang Monastery, Lithang, Tibet 01 August
Choekor Deuechen/Tukbe Tsheshi   03 August
Labrang Rikda   07 August
Ganden Thangka unveiling Ganden Monastery, Lhasa 13 August
Shoton Festival Drepung Monastery ,Lhasa 29 August
Karma Dunba (Shower Festival) All over Tibet 14 September
Lhabab Duechen All over Tibet 17 November
Palden Lhamo Festival Tibet 10 December
Ganden Nga-Choe/Lotus Lantern Ganden Monastery, Lhasa 20 December

When to go (Weather):

Actually, The Tibetan climate is not as harsh as people imagine it to be. The best time to visit Tibet is from May to October month. The visitor would not feel more cold and hot at this time.

Most of Tibet is a high-altitude desert plateau over 4000m and many passes exceed 5000m, Days in summer are warm, sunny, and dry from low to mid 20 degrees Celsius but the temperature drops quickly at night.

Winter will be colder, averaging around 5 to -10 degrees Celsius. During the day will be around 5 degree Celsius and plunging to -10 at night.

Most annual rainfall comes in the rainy season that starts from June to September. Usually, it rains at night in Lhasa and Shigatse area. Sometimes road may block due to rainfall but people can enjoy with beautiful scenery.

Food & Beverage:

There are different foods varieties depend upon the agricultural and pastoral areas. The staple food includes roasted highland barley flour, wheat flour, meat or red food, and milk or white food. Local flavors in the pastoral areas are mutton sausage and dried beef.

Yoghurt is an important daily dairy for Tibetan people. The creamy milk produced by yak cows is superb. Tibet nomads in eastern Tibet manufacture their yoghurt in a special process. Tibetan like to drink many different kinds of tea besides salted butter tea, sweet milk tea is another popular alternative. Tibetan barley beer, called “Chang” in Tibet is popular among all Tibetans. Soft drinks and beer are available in Lhasa and other main cities,

Now in Tibet towns,(Lhasa, Shigatse, etc), Tibetan food is supplemented by Chinese food, mostly Sichuan food, Vegetables, and fish become available in the market. Nowadays, Tourists can find different kinds of western foods in restaurants in the main cities in Tibet.

During the Mount Kailash tour, we provide pure vegetarian breakfast and hot dinner cooked by our Sherpas at the campsite, who will be taken from Kathmandu. It will be advisable to bring sufficient supplementary food like chocolates, biscuits, nuts, pickles, bhujias, Swahilis, and favorite tinned products, etc… to add variety to the meals. Lunch will be packed with light snacks.

Accommodation:
In Tibet, few major cities offer comfortable accommodations with modern amenities. Tibet itself a remote isolated high terrain that includes desert, grassland, lakes, mountains, and rivers above 3500 Meters. In Lhasa, a huge range of accommodations are available from simple guesthouses to four-star deluxe accommodations, In Shigatse, Gyantse & Tsedang offers up to three-star standard levels. Nyalam, Tingri, Xegar, Dza Rongbuk Everest Base Camp, Lake Yamdruktso, and Lake Namtso Simple Guest Houses are available with minimum facilities. Western Tibet, Nagri Prefecture, and Mount Kailash region, west from Nyalam, Saga, Parang & Darchen guest houses are available but they are primitive and only dormitory (3-4 persons at one room)beds are available in a limited capacity.

During the rest of the journey two men, high altitude tents will be provided. While camping we shall be providing all tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, and camping equipment for the trip, except for personal clothing. No laundry services will be available throughout the trip. A single room will not be available in Tibet.

Transportation:
For Kathmandu to Kodari private Jeep/Mini Bus will be provided for the group, border crossing from Kodari to Zhangmu (Tibet) will be on track or walk approximately 1 hour, ride, depending on the road condition. Throughout the journey in Tibet, you will be traveling in Land cruisers/ Pajeros/ Jeep/Van.

A support truck will be provided for luggage and all camping equipment and food supplies for Kailash Tour.

Communication:
Nowadays, communication in Tibet is much more developed than before. Tibet is no longer shut out from the outside world as it was several years ago. The development of communication provides great convenience to travelers in Tibet. Most of the Standard hotels provide International call, fax service, and photocopy facilities in Lhasa. Mobile phone services are also available in Lhasa and other major towns. Pagers and mobile phones with roaming functions also provide tourists with a convenient alternative form of communication. Internet is another alternative that is accessible to travelers. There are dozens of internet cafes in Lhasa and other major towns. In the Kailash route, International call services are available in Saga, Paryang, Darchen. Also, mobile phone services are available in most places nowadays.

Currency:
All major foreign currencies are accepted in Zhangmu bank in return for Yuan. The basic unit of the Chinese currency, 1 Yuan equals 10 Jiao and 1 Jiao equals 10 Fen. At present USD 1 = 7 Yuan, approx. Credit cards are accepted in some major places.

Photography:
Still, Cameras, Home Video cameras are allowed into Tibet without having to take any permission. Please ask your guide before take picture of any monastery, palace, or monument.

Custom Formalities:
Valuable goods taken for personal use (radio and video camera etc) should be declared at the customs office by completing a customs declaration form and brought back o the return journey. Antiques must be properly certified; otherwise, they may be confiscated. Some books are prohibited to bring inside the Tibet or China part so we recommend our clients not to bring books or any publications which indicate about Chinese and Tibetan Politics.

Staffs:
English speaking Tibetan Guide is provided from our Tibet Counter Part and our highly experienced Nepali staffs will be responsible for all camping and cooking arrangements during the whole Kailash tour.

Briefing and Orentation:
There will be a detail briefing on the program in Kathmandu before you leave for Tibet. It is very important that all participants attend this briefing. If you have any unanswered questions than you discuss during this meeting.