India Bhutan Nepal and Tibet tour with Pink Mountain Treks and Expedition is exiting tour which starts from Delhi, India. Travel to these four countries, best known to the world today as the last Shangri-La. The few visitors, who make the rare journey to these extraordinary Nations, discover that there is no other destination like India, Bhutan Tibet and Nepal. also known as land of pure and exotic mysticism. The Indian, Bhutanese, Nepalese and Tibetan people protected this sacred heritage and unique identity for centuries, by choosing to remain shrouded deep in a jealously guarded isolation. The rich Himalayan flora and fauna, dazzling white peaks, and lush valleys provide Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal stunning beauty and aesthetic grandeur. A limited number of people are now allowed every year for carefully organized Bhutan tours for cultural, trekking and climbing vacations.
Tour Attractions of India Bhutan Nepal and Tibet tour
Day 01:Arrive at Delhi
Day 02:Delhi. Start your exploration of India with a guided city tour of Old Delhi
Day 03:Delhi – Agra
Day 04:Agra – Jaipur
Day 06:Jaipur – Delhi
Day 07:Fly to paro and drive to Thimpu
Day 08:Thimphu sightseeing.
Day 09:Thimphu – Punakha-Thimpu.
Day 10:Thimphu – Paro
Day 11:Paro- departure to Kathmandu Nepal
Day 12:The main highlights of today’s tours are Swayambhunath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple and Bouddhanath Stupa.
Day 14:Ngarkot to Chitwan
Day 15:This is the day of jungle Safari in Chitwan National Park.
Day 16:Chitwan to Pokhara
Day 17:Pokhara Tours
Day 18:Fly to Lhasa.
Day 19:Lhasa sightseeing
Day 20:Lhasa Sightseeing
Day 21:Fly from Lhasa to your next destination or home via kathamndu or BeijingCustomize Trip
Day 1Arrive at DelhiArrival in Indira Gandhi International Airport and meet with representative of Pink Mountain Treks and Expedition then transfer to hotel where you are assisted with your check in. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and the Travel Facilitator.
Day 2Delhi. Start your exploration of India with a guided city tour of Old DelhiDrive, walk and ride through the ancient city’s streets and alleys; explore crowded and colorful bazaars. This excursion includes explorations of the Jama Masjid (finished in 1650 AD), the largest mosque in India, and the amazing Red Fort that was finished a decade before the mosque. Both structures were built by Shah Jahan, the emperor that created the Taj Mahal. The Masjid (Mosque) is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture and is constructed of red sandstone and white marble. It is an active place of worship and its courtyard can hold 25,000 worshipers.
The great city inside the massive sandstone walls of the Red Fort offers visitors a large number of architectural and historical attractions; it was once known as the 8th wonder of the world. The Red Fort was the seat of the Moghul Empire for more than two hundred and fifty years and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an amazing example of a blend of Persian, Indian, and European architecture. Once you leave the Fort you will experience a rickshaw ride in the alleys of the ancient bazaar at Chandni Chowk. After experiencing the crowded and colorful bazaar you will proceed to your last destination in Old Delhi. The cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat) is a simple yet stirring memorial to the father of the nation. Lush lawns extend beyond the enclosure that surrounds the black marble platform occupying the spot where the Mahatma was cremated. An eternal flame burns next to the platform.
Afternoon – enjoy a city tour of New Delhi. This excursion begins with a drive past Safdarjang’s Tomb (1753 AD) while driving to the awe-inspiring Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.). This 239 ft tall medieval tower is a symbol of victory and a beautiful example of Persian architecture from that period. There is a winding stairway inside the tower that goes up all the way to the balcony at the very top of the tower – unfortunately they are no longer accessible for visitors. The Qutab Minar and its Monuments are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque, stands one of the legendary Ashoka Pillars. This large iron pillar has withstood the ravages of Delhi’s weather (and recent pollution) and has not rusted in over 1500 years. After the Qutab complex you will be driven to visit the magnificent tomb of the Moghul Emperor Humayun. Delhi has such an abundance of amazing monuments that this Tomb Complex (1562 A.D.) does not quite get the acclaim that it deserves. It is Delhi’s third UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s amazing architecture and the elaborate gardens (all currently undergoing restoration) will captivate you. From the tomb you will proceed on a drive to Lutyens’ New Delhi. Time permitting, this drive will include photo opportunities at some of the following attractions – the exterior of the massive and awe-inspiring Rashtrapati Bhawan (known as Viceroy’s House during the British era), Delhi’s landmark structure India Gate, a golden domed Sikh Temple (Bangla Sahib Gurudwara), & the Birla Temple.
Day 3Delhi – AgraYou are assisted with your checkout from your hotel and driven to Delhi’s railway station where you are assisted with boarding the early morning Express train to Agra for a two hour journey. Your Easy Tours Facilitator assists you in getting seated in your assigned seats and gets your luggage ported to the appropriate location above your seats. The facilitator stays with you till the train departs. Your Tour Director provides you with a detailed itinerary of the trains schedule so as to make you comfortable with every step of the journey. Refreshments are served by Indian Railways during this journey – we recommend that you refrain from consuming these (except for the bottled water) as you will have been provided with a bagged breakfast. You are greeted by an Easy Tours Facilitator on your arrival at Agra.
You now start your exploration of Agra with a half day city tour of the magnificent monuments of this city. This exploration includes a visit to the famous tomb of Itmad-Ud–Daulah’s. This was built by Mughal Emperor Jehangir’s queen as a memorial to her father. The tombs sheer beauty will surprise you – the only reason it does not get more accolades is because it shares the stage with the incomparable Taj Mahal. Like the Taj it has amazingly intricate ‘Pietra Dura’ inlay and lattice marble screens. The mausoleum rests in a walled garden with a view of the river Yamuna. Constructed in the year 1628, most historians believe that its design provided the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. After your exploration of the tomb you will visit the first red sandstone fort of North India, the Agra Fort. It was built in 1565 by India’s greatest Mughal ruler, Emperor Akbar. Its royal audience halls, immense stone courtyards, marble mosque and the private royal chambers give us a glimpse of the grandeur of the Mughal Empire.
Afternoon – Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the incomparable Taj Mahal. The world’s greatest monument dedicated to love is obviously a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Taj Mahal was completed by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 AD as a memorial to his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. This spectacular white marble mausoleum was created by about 22,000 skilled craftsmen and it took twenty two years to complete. When you experience the Taj Mahal with an Easy Tours Guide and have them provide unique insights into its innumerable facets, some of their passion for this masterpiece may rub off on you! Explore the amazing Taj and its surroundings till it is time to admire the sun’s rays setting on the façade of the world’s finest monument.
Agra’s artists are famous for their creations in inlaid marble.
Day 4Agra – JaipurYou have the option (no charge) of a sunrise visit to Mehtab Bagh, which is a 500 year old Mughal garden located across from the Taj Mahal on the other side of the Yamuna River. You also have the option of visiting the Taj Mahal again for a sunrise visit (entry fee surcharge applies). If you select either of the two options, you will return to your hotel to freshen up after the visit. You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and then you are driven to Fatehpur Sikri. Enjoy a guided exploration of this beautiful uninhabited city. It was built by Emperor Akbar between 1570 and 1585 and is constructed primarily out of red sandstone. The Emperor moved his capital from Agra to this city and then abandoned it, returning back to Agra. Visit the tallest gateway in the world, the towering Bulund Darwaza (The Gate of Victory). In the northern part of the courtyard is the superb white marble tomb of Shaik Salim Chishti, built in 1570. Continue on with your drive to Jaipur. Arrive at Jaipur and you are assisted with your check in at your hotel. Jaipur is famous for its carpets, jewelry, & handicrafts.
Day 5JaipurStart your day with an excursion to Amber Fort & Palace, located 12 kilometers from the center of the City. Just like the Emperors of a few centuries ago, enjoy the ascent up to the ramparts of the fort on top of a colorfully caparisoned elephant (if you so desire, jeeps are available instead of the elephants). The massive Fort complex was originally built by Raja Mansingh and is one of India’s finest examples of Rajput architecture. Explore the chambers and hallways of the Palace which are famous for their exquisite designs and handcrafted embellishments. Return to the valley beneath the Fort on your elephant or jeep and proceed back to the Pink City.
Afternoon – Proceed for a city tour of the walled city of Jaipur, including the magnificent City Palace. Visit the unique Jantar Mantar magnificent stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. View the ‘Hawa Mahal’ (Palace of the Wind), the intriguing facade built in 1799 to allow the ladies of the court to view the city and bazaar from the windows without being seen themselves. Continue the tour to visit the City Palace, the former royal residence (a part of it is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public), built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that offer a large and impressive collection of miniature paintings, costumes, and armory.
Evening – You are driven to a nearby venue where an Easy Tours facilitator is your host at a cultural show and dinner. An alternative to this is that there is usually a cultural performance at your hotel in the evenings. You can choose to watch this instead (if available) and then drive to the home of a Rajasthani family where you can enjoy a traditional dinner with them. This selection needs to be made when you reserve your tour.
Day 6Jaipur – DelhiOvernight stay at Hotel in Delhi.
Day 7Fly to paro and drive to ThimpuAfter immigration and custom formalities, meet with representative of Pink Mountain Treks and Expedition then transferred to Paro, where you can eat lunch in a local tourist restaurant. Visit the National Musuem of Paro, before driving to Thimphu, which takes about 1.5hrs. Take rest in the hotel.
Overnight in Thimpu.
Day 8Thimphu sightseeing. Thimphu sightseeing includes – visit to National Library, the priceless collection of Buddhist manuscripts and few English version books; Folk and Heritage Museum, which displays day to day livelihood of typical Bhutanese farmers in medieval period and their accessories; Late King’s Memorial Stupa, built for the world peace and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory; Painting School, which preserves our traditional paintings, sculpturing and wood curving; Majestic Tashichhodzong, which houses office for the king and the ministers and National Handicraft Emporium, the best place to look for souvenir from Bhutan. Evening free walk in Thimphu City.
Overnight in Thimpu
Day 9Thimphu – Punakha-Thimpu.After breakfast proceeds to Punakha across Dochula pass (3,100m). The pass offers the most spectacular view over the greater eastern Himalayas including highest peak of Bhutan. Enroute make short excursion about an hour to the temple of divine madman, also well known as the temple of fertility. It is fascinating to walk through villages and the rice fields. Arrive Punakha the capital city of Bhutan till 1955 and still the Je Khenpo, the Chief of Abbot resides there during the winter season. After lunch visit Punakha Dzong built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1638 and situated at the junction of Pho Chu and Mo Chu Rivers.
Evening drive back to Thimpu. Overnight in Thimpu.
Day 10Thimphu – ParoDrive to Paro and Transfer to trail-head and begin your trek to Takstang (Tiger’s Lair) monastery, Bhuitan’s most famous sight. Your guide can arrange pony/horse for ride uphill till the Cafeteria, but one must be able to walk after that. A proper trekking boot or good walking shoes is necessary for this hike those who choose not to hike can stay back with the driver and tour around Paro.
Overnight in Paro
Taktshang – Tiger’s Nest: Taktshang or ‘Tiger’s Nest’ as it is often referred to for Taktshang Pelphung monastery, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan’s monasteries. It is located on the face of a 900m sheer cliff. An impressive and un-miss able site, but accessible only by walk or to ride mules/pony. Taktshang was rebuilt by population of Tsento village. Again in April of 1998, a major fire destroyed the main structure of the building and its contents (some believe it to be arson). Reconstruction began in 2000 and was completed and consecrated after extensive efforts and financial support of Governments as well as donors.
Day 11Paro- departure to Kathmandu NepalEarly morning after breakfast drive to Paro Airport then flight to Kathmandu.
This is the day of your arrival in Kathmandu airport (TIA). At the airport, your tour guide welcomes you and then transfers you to your hotel. After refreshment, we will go to visit Kathmandu Durbar Square.
Kathmandu Durbar Square: Situated in the heart of the city, Kathmandu Durbar Square is one of the attractive monuments you visit during your trip in Nepal. This complex of temples and old royal palace (Durbar) of the city represents Nepalese art and architecture linking the old with the new ones. This site has played central role in political, cultural and artistic life of the country. The oldest monument dates back to 12th century where Durbar square flourished in the 17th – 19th century during the reign if Malla and Shah Monarchs. In this tour in Nepal, you will get an opportunity to see Kumari, the living goddess. ‘Kumari Chhen’, a building with beautifully carved doors and windows, houses a little girl whom people worship as living goddess of power. People consider that will bring good luck if they get chance to look at her. Get ‘Darshan’ (glimpse) of her and be blessed for your onward trip in Nepal.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 12The main highlights of today’s tours are Swayambhunath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square, Pashupatinath temple and Bouddhanath Stupa.Swayambhunath Stupa aka the Monkey Temple: Swayambhunath (the self-existent) is a widely known Buddhist monument on a hillock, to west of central Kathmandu. The shrine is approximately 2600 years old and is still a glorious and eye-catchy for the visitors. Because of the presence of holy and tricky monkeys in the premises of the monument, the stupa is also known as the Monkey Temple. Due to the visit to this site by the famous Indian emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BC, this monument is a historical pilgrimage since ancient time. A common temple for both Hindus and Buddhists in the complex of stupa symbolizes religious tolerance in Nepal.
Patan Durbar Square: Located in 7 Km south east of Kathmandu and founded in the 3rd century AD, Patan is the oldest among the 3 cities in the valley. Patan, historically known as Lalitpur (city of fine arts), has fascinating Hindu and Buddhist monuments with finest craft since time immemorial. The royal palace square, surrounding shrines and courtyards are praiseworthy monuments during your trip in Nepal. The palace, a number of pagodas, Shikhara style Krishna temple made of stone, classic craftsmanship, nearby five– storied Kumbheshwar temple and the golden temple are some of the main highlights of Patan. Though we can see ancient temples, Stupas and monasteries in the city, Durbar square consists of monuments from 16th and 17th century in general.
Pashupatinath Temple: Being a Mecca for Hindus of the world, the temple seemed to have its origin away back to the early Kirant period. However, the present structure dates back to early 18th century. The main Shiva temple is most noted for its gold-painted roof and silver coated doors in each four directions. This holy site is also famous for open public crematorium. See the devotion of people to Pashupatinath, dedicated Sadhus- the holy men, post death rituals and the strange monkeys in the premises of the shrine.
Bouddhnath Stupa: Bouddhanath, one of the largest stupas in the world, is set in the octagonal Mandala design. It is the must visit site for the Tibetan Buddhists since the legend of the Stupa is related to the Tibetans. It’s almost Tibetan settlement area with dozens of monasteries in its surroundings. This ancient Stupa has 108 images of deities and 147 insets of prayer wheels adorning the base of the huge dome.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 13KathmanduEarly in the morning, you could enjoy optional mountain flight tours to mount Everest. In the afternoon, we will tour to Bhaktapur Durbar Square. In the dusk, you will be capturing sunset view from Nagarkot.
Optional Mountain flight to the Everest: Using a modern jet-stream aircraft, enjoy glorious Himalayas from the height of approximately 25,000 feet. This breathtaking journey takes you close to the highest point of the world – Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga (3rd highest peak), Makalu, Cho-Yu, Lhoste, as well as Tibetan plateau. During your flight above the clouds, you will get lifetime approach to the glaciers, lakes, rivers and gorges from your individual window. Enjoy aerial photography capturing magnificent landscapes of Nepal. As an alternative of this one-hour flight, you can have helicopter flight as well.
nyatpola temple bhaktapurBhaktapur Durbar Square: This Square is an open museum holding exciting palace, courtyards, royal bath, sculptures, pagodas, Shikhara style temples and Buddhist monastery along with exclusive architecture. In other words, this is the most beautiful Durbar you visit in your Nepal tours. Though 1934 earthquake brought bad luck to its structure, still the remaining monuments are the finest examples of the medieval excellence. Just near the square, you will visit the traditional painting School, the dying art of Nepal which is the best souvenir from Nepal. Besides palace complex, five storied temple with most appreciated architecture, the Pottery Square, Dattatraya Square and Peacock window are some other things to see in Bhaktapur.
Nagarkot: Nagarkot tour offers countryside drive after your couple of days in Nepal. Nagarkot, literally known as ‘the fort of the town’, was army training centre in the past. In the recent years, it is developed as resort village. Located 15 Km far from the Bhaktapur main city and 30 Km east of Kathmandu, it is an ideal place to enjoy hide and seek with the sun. Besides sunrise and sunset view, this is also one of the best places to enjoy the glimpse of mountain range if the weather is clear.
Overnight in resort.
Day 14Ngarkot to ChitwanThis morning, you will enjoy sunrise view from your hotel at Nagarkot. After breakfast, we will drive to Chitwan. It’s 180 Km south-west of Kathmandu; 5-6 hours in driving distance. Alternatively, you can fly to Chitwan from Kathmandu airport which takes just 25 minutes.
Village tour in Chitwan: In the afternoon, we will go to visit local village. As our Nepal tour package offers various chances to feel Nepalese culture and lifestyle, today you will be with Tharus, the indigenous people of southern lowland of Nepal. After observing their daily life and museum, we will be back to our resort where you will enjoy cultural Stick Dance of Tharus.
Overnight in resort.
Day 15This is the day of jungle Safari in Chitwan National Park.It includes elephant back safari, nature walk, a visit to elephant breeding camp and canoeing along Rapti River which offers an opportunity to watch various flora and fauna including baby elephants, rhino, crocodiles and a number of bird species.
Chitwan National Park: Established in 1973, this park is UNESCO heritage site since 1984. The core area of the park is 932 Km2 where buffer zone is 750 Km2. Being one of the best national parks in south Asia, it is sweet home of 600 plant species, 539 birds, 56 mammals and 49 amphibians and reptiles. One – Horned Rhinos, Royal Bengal Tigers, monkeys, leopards, wild boar, wild dogs, wild cats, python, gharial, and marsh crocodile are found in Chitwan National Park. Moreover, hornbills, peacock/hen, red-headed trogon, woodpeckers are some of the local bird species here. Paradise flycatcher, parakeets and Indian pitta are the summer migrants. On the other hand, Siberian birds like pintails, waterfowl and bar-headed geese can be seen in winter.
Overnight in resort.
Day 16Chitwan to PokharaToday we drive to Pokhara (240 Km, 08 hrs.) which is another beautiful town you visit during your outing in Nepal. On the way, you will enjoy landscape photography along with the beautiful views of countryside.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 17Pokhara ToursEarly in the morning, we will have sunrise tour. After breakfast and in the afternoon, we will visit cave, waterfall, river gorge, temple and the coast of the lake.
Pokhara: The term ‘Pokara’ is the deviated form of ‘Pokharee’ which means ‘Lake’. So, simply speaking, Pokhara is the city of lakes. However, this second largest town of Nepal is equally famous for natural caves which are older than 5000 years. David Fall is one of the natural wonders where water goes in the earth that can be seen from the lower part of Gupteshwar – the Cave of Hidden God. Sarankot is an ideal hillock to enjoy paragliding and breathtaking scene of sunrise above the Himalayas. The town has most famous Fewa Lake with a shrine on its island. Pokhara, the most visited town by the outsiders and native tourists, is also the choice of those who are fond of boating.
Overnight in hotel (Bpokhara sarangkot sunrise
Day 18: In order to complete your round tour in Nepal, today we are leaving Pokhara for Kathmandu.
It’s 6 hours’ scenic drive (200 Km). If you are thinking of optional flight with extra cost , it takes just 30 minutes to arrive in Kathmandu airport. Today you have free afternoon for additional exploration/relaxation or for the preparation for your tibet tour.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 18Fly to Lhasa.Fly to lhasa and enjoy the views of Himalayas including Mount Everest. Upon arrival in Lhasa airport, Meet with Pink Mountain Treks and Expedition's Tibetan Guide then transferred to hotel in the city. Today, you just take easy to cope with the effects of the altitude. This is free afternoon for complete rest / to acclimatize to altitude. Overnight in Lhasa
Lhasa: Located at the foot of Mount Gephel, Lhasa is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, and is a city that has captivated the fascination of the west for centuries. Lhasa is basically famous for it is the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama and is a place that is revered by every Tibetan. In the 7th century, a powerful and visionary king called Songtsen Gampo conquered many tribes, united Tibet and moved the capital from Yarlung to Lhasa. Apart from the amazing monasteries that surrounds the city as well as the bustling tourist friendly Barkhor Street, it is the Potala palace that captivates the mind, the eye and the soul. The Potala palace is perched on the top of the Red Hill and dominates the skyline. It was built by Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. Later on, the palace became the residence of the Dalai Lamas. It still holds items like murals, Holy Scriptures and sutras that are invaluable to Buddhism. The city has about 2, 55,000 inhabitants and stands at an altitude of approximately 3,650 m. Some of the aesthetically as well as historically important sites in Lhasa are the Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Norbulingka Palaces.
Day 19Lhasa sightseeingAt Lhasa Today, you will visit Drepung Monastery, Jorkhang Temple and the Barkhor Street.
Barkhor Street : Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the Tibetan people are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, this street is also a must-see place for the tourists. It’s said that in 647, the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617 – 650) built the Jokhang Temple. Due to its magnificence, it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. As a result, a trodden path appeared. That is the origin of Barkhor Street. Today even still many pilgrims hold the prayer wheels to walk clockwise there from dawn to dark. Also you can see some pilgrims walking or progressing body-lengths by body-lengths along the street. Even some of them are teenagers or have experienced thousands of miles’ walk to reach this sacred place. The way they express their piety could make you understand the holiness of religion.
Drepung Monastery: The Drepung Monastery is the largest in Tibet. Its foundations were laid in 1416 by Jamyang Chojey, a direct disciple of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelukpa Schools. This beautiful monastery is atop the Gambo Utse Mountain, 5 kilometers from the western suburb of Lhasa. Before the Cultural Revolution of 1959, the monastery housed about 15,000 monks. The ground floor of the monastery is organized on the caves and temples of Jamyang Chojey. There are also two white pagodas on which the buildings of this monastery rests. In the southwest corner, there is the Ganden Potrang which is a building which was constructed by the second Dalai Lama in 1530. At the centre, there is the Coqen Hall with a large square before it. A wide series of stone stairs will lead to the Entrance Hall. Once you enter through, you can see the Sutra Hall which is supported by 183 pillars. Inside the monastery there are statues of Sage Manjushri Tsong Khapa and Kwan-yin Bodhisattva. The Coqen hall has the conch of Jamyang Chojey.
Jokhang Temple: The Jokhang Temple, a revered Buddhist temple located in the Barkhor Square of Lhasa was built by King Songtsen Gampo in about 642 AD. This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was originally called, Rasa Tulnang Tsuklakang (House of Mysteries). In the 11th century a learned Buddhist monk named Atisha, taught here and it was after that, that the Jokhang temple got recognition. Today the temple covers an area of about 25,000 sq. ft. The Jokhang temple is a four-storeyed structure. The style is basically Indian in its approach but has been well blended with Nepalese and well as Tibetan influences. The roofs of the temple are gilded with bronze. The rooftop has statues of two golden deer surrounding a Dharma wheel. This is one of the most revered images in entire Tibet and for the practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. As you enter the Jokhang temple complex, you can see many shrines and rooms that are well decorated. The primary chamber is a hall which houses the Jowo Shakyamuni Buddha statue, one of the most venerated objects in Tibetan Buddhism. There are also other statues of Guru Rimpoche (Saint Padmasambhava), King Songtsen Gampo, his wives, Wen Cheng of China and Bhrikuti of Nepal.
Day 20Lhasa SightseeingAt Lhasa, Today, in the morning you will visit the Potala Palace and in the afternoon, Sera Monastery and Norbulingkha Palace.
Potala Palace: The Potala palace is perched on the top of the Red Hill and dominates the skyline of Lhasa. The palace can be divided into two sections, the White Palace and the Red Palace. It was built by Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and used it as his centre of meditation. It was however in 1645 under the fifth Dalai Lama, Lozang Gyatso, that the palace took a massive shape as the white palace became complete. The construction of the Red Palace began in 1690 and was completed within a span of 4 years. It was the residence of the Dalai Lamas, until the 14th Dalai Lama escaped to India in 1959. Today the palace serves as a state museum of China. The palace has vast inward-sloping walls and has many windows and its roofs are flat at various levels. The central part of this group of buildings is quadrangular. This towering central portion of Potala is called the Red palace. It contains the principal halls and chapels and shrines of past Dalai Lamas.It still holds items like murals, Holy Scriptures and sutras that are invaluable to Buddhism. Today the Potala Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the most visited structures in the world.
Sera Monastery: In 1419 Jamchen Chojey also popularly known as Sakya Yeshe, one of the two principal disciple of Tsongkhapa, founded of a Gelukpa University, which later came to known as the Sera Monastery, and became one of the Great Three Gelukpa Monasteries of Tibet. The Sera university monastery had three basic schools. The first is the Sera Mey Dratsang which was built in 1419 for the purpose of providing basic information on the doctrines of Buddhism and for the orientation of the monks. The second was the Sera Jey Dratsang, built in 1435, which was the largest, and was reserved for itinerant monks. The third one known as Ngagpa Dratsang which was built in 1559 was a school for the teaching of the Gelukpa dogmas. Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa’s other famous monasteries.
Norbulingkha Palaces: In 1755, the seventh Dalai Lama built a park and a modest palace as his summer residence. Later on other structures were added but the most important contribution was made by the present and the 14th Dalai Lama, who added chapels, gardens, fountains and pools to the east of what the Seventh Dalai Lama has built. This collection of palaces also known as the Norbulingka palaces are located three kilometers west of the Potala Palace which was the winter palace. Norbulingka when translated literally means the Jeweled Park. Among others, the most visited one is the palace of the 14th Dalai Lama which was built in a fusion style of both Tibetan and Western from 1954-1956.The living quarters have a modern touch and included a lot of furniture and a european style bathroom. There is also a zoo at Norbulingka, which was built to keep the animals which were given to the Dalai Lama. The Austrian Mountaineer Heinrich Harrer helped the 14th Dalai Lama build a small movie theatre here in the 1950s. In 2001, UNESCO inscribed Norbulingka on its World Heritage List as part of the “Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace”. The Norbulingka garden opens for general public everyday at 9 in the morning till 12 noon.
Day 21Fly from Lhasa to your next destination or home via kathamndu or Beijing