which was originally constructed in 637 by Songtsen
Gampo, the first king of the united Tibet, and
later expanded and served as the winter residence
of the Dalai Lamas as well as the religious-political
nexus of traditional Tibet. The crowds of pilgrims,
innumerable magnificent murals, Buddhist statues,
scriptures and rare treasure altogether create
a dense religious and art atmosphere that impresses
every visitor. In the afternoon visit Jokhang
monastery, the center of the Tibetan Buddhism
and the sacred land of Buddhist followers where
innumerable pilgrims come for worship everyday.
The temple, built in 647, is the earliest wood-and-masonry
structure still existing in Tibet. Walk on the
Barkhor street surrounding Jokhang, a big free
market with its prolific stalls for selling
Drepung monastery the sacred
land of Gelukpa sect., which was created in
1416 and the second, third and fourth Dalai
Lama once resided in. In the afternoon visit
Sera monastery, which was created in 1419 and
has always been an important Buddhist seminary.
As rose are planted everywhere in the monastery,
it is also called "the court of wild rose".
Today still 200 lamas live in there.
the way Lhasa for Shigatse
via Gyantse you will drive to the holy lake
of Yamdrok Tso (4441 m), one of the three holy
lakes in Tibet and the largest habitat of water
fowls in south Tibet. There enjoy the unforgettable
vista of its spear-shaped expanse of turquoise
water, with the mysterious Mt. Donang Sangwari
(5,340m) on the peninsula beyond, and the snow
peaks of Nojin Gangzang (7,191m) in the distance.
The lake and the Yarlung-Tsangpo River (3570)
is separated by a mountain and the shortest
distance between them is only 6 kilometers.
The 800m height difference contributes a rich
water resources to this region. Many Tibetans
believe that the life of Tibet will no longer
continue when the lake dries up.
There in Shigatse visit Tashilunpo monastery,
the seat of the Panchen Lama built in 1447 and
one of the six grand monasteries in Tibet. The
monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya
Buddha, the biggest gilded statue of Maitreya
(Bouddha of the future) in China, and a tomb
of the 4th Panchen Lama containing masses of
jewels and gold.
In Tibet Buddhism, Panchen Lama is the reincarnation
of Maitreya Buddha. Supposed to get up early,
have a chance of listening to the morning prayers
in the Grand Hall of Tashilhumo Monastery, and
seeing lamas rushing around pouring yak butter
tea into endless rows of cups.