Shalu to Nartang Trek in Tibet starts at the historic Shalu Monastery, passes through several villages as well as uninhabited dry canyons, and then ends at Nartang Monastery. It is the shortest trek route in Tibet, just about 15 hours walking; you can divide into 2 or 3 days according to your personal physical condition. The optional walking season is from the beginning of April to the end of October. Not far away from Friend-ship Highway, Shalu to Nartang trek follows the ancient trade route between the two great Buddhist monasteries. This two-three days trek is a good opportunity to get an experience of trekking in Tibet. While you trek through the route, you can feel the caravans laden with scriptures and treasures that once passed this way. Situated 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Shigatse and built in 1087, Shalu Monastery is a perfect combination of Han and Tibet architectural styles. In 1320, this monastery was administered by Master Purdain Renqen Zhuba, a renowned religious scholar who compiled the Tenjur sutra, one of the classic works of Tibetan Buddhism. It is said that about 3,800 monks were drawn to his teaching. Therefore, the monastery became a holy site for many worshipers. Nartang Monastery, located 15 km west of Shigatse in Tibet, was founded in 1153 by one of the disciples of Atisha. It was the fourth great monastery of Tsang with Shalu Monastery, Sakya and Tashilhunpo. Nartang was first famous for its scriptual teaching and monastic discipline. After the fourteenth century it gained great eminence as the oldest of Tibet's three great printing centers (the other being the Potala and the Derge).
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
In the morning, your guide and driver will accompany you to Gyantse (250 km, 5 hours approx.), a town lying to the south of Lhasa City. On the way there, you will visit one of the holiest lakes in Tibet, a pilgrimage site, The Yamdrok Yumtso Lake, which is compared as “the fairyland in heaven” by Tibetans. You will also have view of the Karola Snow Mountain. Before check in to the hotel, you will visit a special monastery, The Phalkor Monastery, the only monastery that houses monks from different rders (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. Then, we check in to the hotel.
Drive to Shalu Monastery from Gyantse by 49km asphalt road. Visit Shalu Monastery,which is the seat of Buton Rinchendrub(1290-1346) who was the great codifier of the tibetan translations of the Indian Buddhist canon. Then start trekking in the afternoon to Upper Lungsang.
Trek through the farming fields to the Ngor village, the Ngor monastery is renowned for its Sanskrit library and Newar-style murals. There were once five assembly halls, 18 colleges and 400 monks, but presently there are only 25 monks.
Trekking from Ngor to Nartang by passing several villages, saddles, and one electric utility. After arriving at Nartang Monastery, our driver will pick you up to Shigatse. On reaching, 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. Then, drive to 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 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 nicknamed "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