Cities and Resorts in Tibet, China

By | July 19, 2022

Bayi (Tibet, China)

Bayi is a large Chinese military town 300 kilometers west of Lhasa. Buch Monastery, built in the 7th century, is located 28 km from the city. Songtsen Gampo. Until recently, the former head of the Nyima order, Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-87), who was exiled here by the Chinese authorities, lived in it.

Golmud (Tibet, China)

According to Itypeusa, Golmud is a new industrial city in the west of Qingxai Province. It is located on a plateau at an altitude of 3000 m. Not far from it are the borders of the Gobi Desert, the Kunlun Mountains and the Cai Erhan salt lake. The population of Golmud is 140 thousand people, and the area occupied by it is truly large – 40 thousand square meters. km, which makes it one of the largest cities. There are practically no tourist attractions here. Basically, those who go to Tibet stop in Golmud – there is a road and railway from the city to Lhasa.

Gyantse (Tibet, China)

Gyantse is located 200 km southwest of Lhasa. It is one of the few cities that has hardly experienced the consequences of the Chinese invasion. And for this reason alone it is worth visiting.

The main attraction is the Buddhist stupa Kumbum (Kumbum). It is located on the territory of the Pelkor Chode monastery, founded in the middle of the 15th century. Kumbum or stupa of a thousand Buddhas rises to 35 meters, has 4 tiers, 7 floors, 77 chapels, which become smaller and smaller as they rise. Inside is the most complete collection of the Tibetan pantheon – hundreds of statues of deities. The statues have been restored recently, as the originals were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Painting, on the contrary, is well preserved and belongs to the 15th century.

Views of the monastery and Gyantse open from the upper tier. Also worth seeing is the 14th century dzong. , which is a palace-fortress.

Zhabdun (Tibet, China)

Zhabdun is located at an altitude of 4566 m, 800 km west of Lhasa. The headwaters of the Brahmaputra River are located in this area.

Lhasa (Tibet, China)

Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, is the main historical, cultural and religious center of Buddhism. Until the Chinese occupation in 1951, monks made up the majority of the city’s population. The name Lhasa itself literally translates as “the abode of the gods.” Lhasa became the administrative center in the 6th century, and in the 7th century. King Songtsen Gampo makes it the capital of Tibet. Subsequently, the city lost the status of the capital, and only in 1642, at the direction of the Fifth Dalai Lama, returned it. The Fifth Dalai Lama did a lot for the city, as evidenced by its current appearance.

Now the population of the capital is about 170 thousand people. The city is located at an altitude of 3650 m above sea level in the valley of the Ki-chu (Lucky River), a tributary of the Brahmaputra. The climate in the valley differs from the climate of the plateau in greater mildness. In the summer, a fairly large amount of precipitation falls here, which is why Ki-chu regularly overflows its banks and floods the city.

The geographical and religious center of the city is the Jokan Monastery. (Jhokang) and adjacent Barkhor Square. It is believed that it was founded in 649. The four-storey Jokan was rebuilt several times. Particularly intensive construction work was carried out in the XV and XVII centuries. Currently, the temple has more than 250 sculptural images and statues of Buddhist deities, lamaist saints, Tibetan rulers. Skillful sculptural images, compositions of frescoes and icons make a stunning impression. Two Buddha statues brought by the two wives of Songtsen Gampo are kept here. The temple is encircled by the sacred Barkhor Square, 800 meters long, which is also the largest Tibetan bazaar, where many shops, shops, and workshops are located.

High above the city on Mount Marpori (Red Mountain) stands the former palace of the Dalai Lama – Potala (Potala). The Potala is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The thirteen-story building of the palace seems to be just a huge white rock. This place used to be the residence of Songtsen Gampo, and in 1645 the Dalai Lama V ordered the construction of a new palace. Inside this truly huge building there are more than 1,000 different rooms, which contain 10,000 shrines and at least 20,000 statues. The palace was the winter residence of the Dalai Lama until 1959; now a museum is open here.

Potala consists of two parts – white and red palaces. The Red Palace houses the tombs of the eight Dalai Lamas. The height of the burial stupa of the fifth Dalai Lama is 20 m. 3,700 kg of gold were used to cover it. Near the stupa of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, 22 m high. Before the construction of the Potala, the Dalai Lamas lived in Drepung Monastery, located 8 km west of Lhasa. It was founded in 1416 and was once the largest Buddhist monastery with 10,000 monks. “Drepung” literally translates as “mountain of rice”, due to the huge cluster of monastic cloisters built on the hillside. Drepung is built on the slopes of a mountain and occupies a large area. Many buildings are interconnected by passages and stairs at several levels at once. Here are stupas with the remains of the second, third and fourth Dalai Lamas.

In the western part of Lhasa is the former summer residence of the Dalai Lama – the Norbulingka Palace. (Norbulinka). The construction of the complex began in 1755, and the new palace was built in 1954-1956. The palace has a beautiful park complex and an artificial lake. This place is ideal for walking and meditation. Near the palace there is a park of the same name.

Above Lhasa, at a level of 4500 m, is the third most important monastery in Tibet – Ganden. It was founded in 1409 by Tsongkhapa and was the first Gelugpa school. Since then, the significance of the monastery has not diminished, it still remains the center of this teaching. Ganden is built in the form of an amphitheater facing east. He owns large fundamental structures and a huge number of small structures. The sacred detour (kora) around the monastery will offer beautiful views of the landscape Tibet. Here is the famous cave of Tsongkhapa, where he spent many years in meditation. Sera Monastery (beginning of the 15th century) is located

5 km north of Lhasa. Sera is a whole city with streets and courtyards in which temples are located. In the garden at the end of the street, debates of the monks are held every afternoon. Nearby is Pabongka Monastery, the oldest Buddhist monastery in the Lhasa region.

Tingri (Tibet, China)

The village of Tingri is located near the foot of Everest, so it is often used as a starting point for climbing.

Cities and Resorts in Tibet, China