This trek provides a rich variety of scenery: from high snowy passes to lush alpine meadows — finally culminating at the barren, desert-like surroundings near the Samye Monastery. Along the high passes we discover secluded valleys — only inhabited by high-altitude nomads and their yaks. This pilgrimage route is well used by Tibetans, who find it convenient to combine a visit to Ganden (the principal monastery of the Gelugpa) with a reasonably direct but hard walk to Samye (Tibet's first monastery). With a slow amble, this trek is fulfilling and pleasant. Its two passes are moderate, while displaying beautiful views. Though this trekking route is popular, the walk is a challenge and the altitude gains are higher than what is often recommended. We start our trek at 13,940 feet at Ganden and head toward the Samye Monastery. The highest pass we cross is Shogu La at 17,220 feet.
Pick up from Gonggar airport, after finished immigration formalities it takes about 1 hour 30 minutes drive along 93 km road leading to Lhasa. It is advisable to rest in Hotel
Tour starts from the religious Potala Palace built in the 7th century by the famous Tibetan king-Songtzen Gampo. The present one was built by the 5th Dalai Lama in the 17th century. It became known as the "Winter Palace" by the 1750, when the 7th Dalai Lama built the Norbulingka Park as his summer residence. fter that, you will visit Norbulingka Park. In 1752, the 7th Dalai Lama built the first palace in this summer palace for successive Dalai Lamas to carry out their political and religious activities during the summer season. Today Norbulingka has become a public park for picnicking, relaxing and entertainment. Later, visit Sera Monastery which is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa's disciples built the monastery in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The monastery was named Sera which mean wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built.
Full day sightseeing takes you to Drepung Monastery. "Drepung" means "the hill of rice', because this white Monastery looks like a big hill of rice in Tibetan. This monastery occupies an area of 150,000 square meters with 7700 lamas and becomes the largest monastery in Asia. After that, you will visit Jokhang Temple, situated in the old section of Lhasa. King Songtzen Gampo built this temple in the mid-7th century A.D. Now it is the most sacred place in Tibet. Pilgrims come here to pay homage from all over Tibet. Take a leisure walk at Barkhor Street, located in the heart of Lhasa circling the Jokhang Temple. It means a pilgrim's inner circuit, and is the earliest street of old Lhasa city.
After going a short drive you will reach Ganden where you will spend the day acclimatizing further and exploring this wonderful area. Further, there are many attractions in this ancient town among them the highlight for the most is the first Gelugpa Monastery. Although this monastery has been destroyed over the years, there is still much to see. Many pilgrims wish to walk the kora around this holy place and one can enjoy the rituals along the way. Then, we will trek to Camp 1.
Today you will walk for 5 hours approx. The starting day of trekking begins at the highest point on the Ganden Kora. From here, you will pace towards a saddle trail with hypnotic views after which you traverse the west side of the ridge before passing through an ancient Hepu village. Later in the day move through Ani Pagong, a narrow bottleneck in the trail and former site of a nunnery. You will finish the day climbing up to Yama Do, where you will make camp to stay.
As the day breaks, you will leave the valley floor and launch your way through a steep gully rising from the stream bank. Finally, you will ascend up the Shug La and begin to descend through treacherous boulder fields. Later, you will cross Tsotup Chu, a large stream winding through the valley floor. Finally, you will set up in herder fields.
Today, you will move through the Tsotup Chu down along its tributary and pace towards the Chitu La pass. After ascending this rocky pass, you will quickly climb down to reach a suitable place to camp in the fields surrounding the stream. To find our campsite, you will hover through quiet herder camps for nearly an hour by which another day of our trek will terminate.
Today, the trail gets easier as you move through scrub forests in the main valley. Splashing streams and lush forests entertain you as you walk. However, the desert is close by. The walk of next few hours is arguably the most fascinating part of your trek. More than 15 types of scrub trees, blooming rhododendrons, and vast meadow will wonder you every step of the way! After passing through this wondrous landscape you will trek pass the Changtang village. Less than an hour away participants can choose to make the one-hour hike to the Yamalung Hermitage which is an ancient and holy Buddhist meditation site however it is completely up to you whether you want to go or not. Towards evening, you will encounter the Samye valley along the splashing tributary stream and close to Samye; you will spend the night at comfortable campsite.
In the morning, you will enjoy the widespread charming sceneries from Pisha. From where the entire Samye valley can be glanced at once. After reaching the summit of Dragmar you will view the numerous temples nearby. However, the Cultural Revolution deteriorated the temples. You will then prepare yourself for a breathtaking site as you meet up with the jeep trail and get even closer to Samye. Samye monastery, representing the Buddhist universe, is the prime focus of the trip for most of the visitors. There will be plenty of time to explore this mushrooming number of buildings. At the evening, you will drive in Jeeps and spend the night in Tibet's third largest city; Tsethang. You can take shower for making your sleep cosier.
Immediately after leaving Samye, we have to drive through a long tunnel that goes under the mountain range between Samye and Lhasa valley. The highway then climbs steeply to the Kamba – La with its magnificent views of the turquoise lake Yamdruk Tso. Continue to Gyantse to the Kumbum, Palkor Chode Monastery and fort. On reaching, check in to the hotel
In the morning, visit Kumbum Stupa and Phalkor Chode Monastery. The Phalkor Monastery, the only monastery that houses monks from different sect (Gelupa, Sakyapa and Kahdampa) in harmony. Phalkor also features its Bodhi Stupa or Kumbum Stupa, which consists of hundreds of chapels in layers, housing about a hundred thousand images of Buddha, so it is called Myriad Buddha’s Stupa as well. The Gyantse Town is located 100km southeast of Shigatse. It takes about 2 hours to drive from Gyantse to Shigatse. Check in to the hotel.
In the morning, visit Tashilunpo Monastery. It is the seat of Panchen Lama. Each year, there is a display of a gigantic thangkas of Buddha will on its Thangka Wall. Beside the trove of thangkas, its murals and other religious and artistics treasures certainly will impose an indelible impression upon visitors. You will also pay a visit to the New Palace of Panchen. Drive to New Tingri (4100 m). The distance between Shigatse and New Tingri is 270 km and it takes 6 hours approx. by land. On reaching, check in to the guest house.
Drive to Zhangmu for night, and make a visiting in Nyalam town on the way. Nyalam is a small Tibetan town near the Nepal border. It is 35 km from Zhangmu town in the same county, which is the point of entry of Nepal. Nyalam is situated at 3,750 m above sea level. A town of stone building and tin roofs, it is nickmaned "The Gate of Hell" by the Nepalese trader because the trail between Nyalam and the Nepalese border was so treacherous to negotiate.
Today is the end of your trip. As the day breaks, you we will cross the Friendship Bridge and return Nepal. You will express your fond farewell and thanksgiving to your Tibetan crew and go through all the necessary border paperwork. Then you will meet our Nepalese guide on the other side and by nearly five hours scenic drive you can reach Kathmandu.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
- Henry David Thoreau
Get lost and feel the mystic energy of the Himalayas with Shiva Treks