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The Chinese autonomous region of Tibet offers some of the best views of the Himalayas. The region is a stronghold of Buddhist culture and tradition, with beautiful monasteries and stunning mountain vistas of some of the highest mountains in the world. The Tibetan Plateau is the world’s highest – spanning mountains averaging over 4000m in height. No wonder it is nicknamed the Roof of the World.
Tibet’s capital Lhasa is a lovely city with a scenic surrounding. The UNESCO world heritage listed Potala Palace in Lhasa is Tibet’s most photographed monument. An astonishing feat of engineering with over 1000 rooms, it was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas for over 300 years. Lhasa is also home to the most sacred Buddhist temple in Tibet – Jokhang Temple. Just about 5 km from Jokhang lies the early-15th-century Sera Monastery – where you can watch cloaked monks debate Buddhist philosophy.
Traveling towards Nepal from Lhasa along the Friendship Highway, Tibet’s second-largest city Shigatse is located, which is known for the 15th-century Shigatse Dzong. From here, one can arrange a trip to the historic town of Gyantse, home to a 15th-century monastery and the largest Buddhist Stupa in Tibet – Gyantse Kumbum (also known as Palcho Monastery).
Close to the Indian state of Uttarakhand, in north-western Tibet lies the 6,638 m high peak of Mount Kailash – Hinduism’s holiest mountain. Mount Kailash dominates Darchen – a small village which acts as a base for Indian pilgrims who visit the area between July and August to circumambulate the holy mountain.
Getting to Tibet is difficult, both logistically and politically, but once you get in, you will be rewarded with unique experiences for a lifetime.
The Tibetan Plateau is the world’s highest – spanning mountains averaging over 4000m in height. No wonder it is nicknamed the Roof of the World!