What to See in Tibet, China

By | July 19, 2022


Shigatse is the second largest city in Tibet. The main local attraction is built in the middle of the XV century. Tashilhunpo Monastery, which was the seat of the second most important hierarch of the Lamaist Church of the Panchen Lama. The monastery occupies an area of 300 thousand m 2, and the area of ​​​​closed territories is 30 thousand m 2. The buildings are painted red and white and form rows and terraces. It houses a unique 26-meter golden statue of Maitreya Buddha, as well as many valuable ancient items.


According to Top-Engineering-Schools, Gyantse was virtually unscathed during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and for that alone it is worth a visit. The city is home to one of the greatest monuments of Tibetan culture, the Kumbum Stupa . This stupa rises to 35 meters, has 4 tiers, 7 floors, 77 chapels, which become smaller and smaller as you go up. The most complete collection of the Tibetan pantheon is stored inside – hundreds of statues of deities, as well as many paintings of the 15th century. It is also worth seeing the 14th century dzong, which is a palace-fortress.


Sakya is an ancient capital city. For 100 years, from the middle of the XIII century. until the middle of the 14th century, his hierarchs ruled all of Tibet. At the beginning of the XIII century. Sakya became the most important center for the study of Buddhism. The city is located at an altitude of 4280 m above sea level, 150 km from Shigatse. Its main attraction is two monasteries: southern and northern. Of greatest interest is the southern fortified monastery, since most of the building of the northern monastery turned into ruins, despite constant restoration work. The southern monastery was founded in 1268 and looks more like a defensive fortress than a monastery. It is best to visit it in the early morning, when most of the temples are open.


Linzhi is located in the southeast of Tibet at an altitude of more than 3000 m. The city has a unique natural landscape and a specific national culture. Several nationalities live compactly here. In this area, 2.64 million hectares are covered with forests, some of which are relict, and the canyon of the Tsangpo River is located, striking in its size.

Trandruk Monastery.

Trandruk Monastery, located 7 km south of Tsetang, is the oldest Buddhist monastery in Tibet. It was built in 641 during the reign of Songtsen Gampo and served as his winter residence. The famous tanka (thangka is a picture of religious content on brocade, stretched between two sticks) is kept here, on which an image of the Buddha is composed of 29,000 pearls. The tank is 2 m long and 1.2 m wide.

Samye Monastery.

Samye is the first monastery in Tibet built for the monks. The approximate date of its foundation is between 765 and 780. In the Western Temple (Jampa Ling) in 792-794. The “Great Debates” between the Indian Mahayanists and the Chinese adherents of Ch’an Buddhism took place, ending in a complete victory for the Mahayanists. The main temple (Samye Utse), symbolizing the center of the universe (the mythical Mount Meru), is surrounded by four temples, symbolizing the continents, eight for each subcontinent, solar in the south and lunar in the north. The main building has three floors. The first of them is built in the style of Tibetan architecture, the second – in the Han style, and the third – in the Indian style. The monastery bells are cast in bronze, and the outside of the building is decorated with marble lions and tablets with the history of Buddhism. Samye is located 40 km west of Tsetang city. (Tsetang) on the opposite bank of the river from the city. You can get to this place by ferry, motor boat or mini-bus along the newly built track. Qingpu caves (Qingpu Shandong) are located 15 km northeast of the monastery. The caves were the retreat of Tibetan monks and the first monasteries. This place is one of the most popular among pilgrims. Rinpoche (Guru Rinpoche) preached here. He is credited with the footprint left on the Guruta rock. In one of the caves, the translator of Buddhist texts, Vairocana, spent 12 years. In the vicinity of the caves there is a small shop and you can set up a camp. Yarlung Valley. The Yambulangang Tower is one of the most famous landmarks in Tibet.

It is located in the Brahmaputra (Yarlunga) valley about 10 km south of Tsetang . The tower is one of the oldest structures in the region; its foundation dates back to the reign of the first kings of the Yarlung dynasty. According to the general opinion, Yambulangang was built as a royal residence, and its appearance at that time was significantly different from today. What can be seen today is of a later origin. According to legends, the first Tibetan scripture descended from Heaven here. Near Yambulangang is the Valley of the Kings. This is the burial place of the rulers of Tibet, which is about 1300 years old. There are 11 graves in total, 9 of which can now be clearly identified. One of the graves belongs to Songtsen Gampo.

What to See in Tibet, China