Tibet is the biggest, highest and the youngest plateau in the world.It claims to be the "Roof of the world" and "The Third Pole". Mt. Kunlun, Mt. Himalaya, Mt. Gandis and Mt. Henduan are all scraping the sky. Tibet is full of rivers and lakes,which provides adequate hydroelectric power and aquatic products.Bushy banks of the rivers and lakes are the homes of swans and wild geese.If you do not watch your step,you might stride on their eggs. On the banks of the salt water lakes,there are great heaps of alkail which also contain nitre borax.
The Holy Snow Land
The mountais and peaks in the Tibetan Plateau are covered by silver snow,shining undr the sunlight.It would be even more beautiful looking down from airplane.
Among the 14 peaks above 8,000 meters on earth,5 are in Tibet.Besides Mt. Everst,peaks like Luozi,Makalu,Zhuoayou,Xixiabangma and Nanjiabawa are all competing to stand up higher than other peaks on earth.Huge rocks are piercing into the sky.Endless ice and snow are depicting a silver world.White ice towners,stalagmites and stalactites,the serene looking ice sheep against the ferocious looking ice are master pieces of ice carving by the great nature.What is not white?What is not pure here in Tibet?
The Gold Sand, Lancang and Nu Rivers flow down from north to the south into Yunnan Province. Accompanied by the grand sceneries of Mt. Hengduan, the 3-river area is a famous scenic spot.
The 2051 km long Yaluzangbu River tums and twists like a silver dragon from the west to the east into the valleys of South Tibet, running through Muotuo county. After a 90-degree turn, it empties into the Indian Ocean. People can have a good time on their yak hide boats or canoes at the upper level of the River with going down to the lower level, which is quite exciting and challenging.
The Potala Palace, one of the most famous architectural works of the world, the construction of the world famous Potala Palace was started in the 7th century during the time of the Tubo King Srontsan Gampo. On the top of Mt. Putup, it is looming over the whole Lhasa city. As high as 110m, the Potala Palace consists of two palaces - the Red Palace and the White Place. With over 1000 rooms, the 1 storeyed palace covers an area of 10,000 square metres. It witnessed the life of the Dalai Lamas and the important political and religious activities in the past centuries. There are grand palaces within palaces. The palace stands up so high that it resembles a magnificent castle in the heaven. It makes itself a good example of the ancient Tibetan culture and architecture. The statues of the Tubo King Srongtsan gamoi and his wife Princess Wen Cheng are being worshipped in the Palace. Among the 8 tomb pagodas of the Dalai Lamas, the 5th tomb is the most extravagant.It stands as high as 14m and used 11,000 ounces of gold in its gold plating, and the designs and decorations on them all are inlaid with diamonds, peals, turquoises, agates, corals etc. There also stored the world treasure - the gold hand-written Buddhist scriptures, valuable gifts from the Chinese emperors and a lot of priceless antiques. You will be amazed by the colorful sculptures and paintings. The top most flat glistens with golden roofs. The Potala Palace deserves the title of art gallery and museum. It is a symbol of the wisdom and power of the Tibetan people.
Situated in the centre of the old section ofLhasa, Jokhang Temple was built in the mid-7th century A.D. and later extended by successive rulers, it has now become a gigantic architectural complex.Located in the east, facing to the west, it is a four storeyed temple with splendid golden roofs. It has architectural feature of Tang Dynasty and also assimilated very much features from both Nepalese and Indian Buddhist temples. The murals in the temple mainly depict the life stories of historic characters. The temple houses many historical relics since Tang Dynasty and statues of King Songtesn Gampo, Princess Wencheng, Princess Bhrikuti Devi. "Princess Willow" (a tree), and "The Uncle-Nephew Alliance Tablet" can be seen at the front gate of the temple.
As Tibet's first museum in the modem sense, the museum of Tibet,situated at the southeastern comer of the Buddhist religious garden Norbulingka in Lhasa, was inaugurated in October 1999 on occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding the People's Republic of China and the 40th anniversary of the Democratic Reforms in Tibet as the product of one of 62 Chinese government funded projects launched in July 1994 in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the formation of the Autonomous Region of Tibet. Coveting 53,959 square metres, the museum is an enormous and magnificent building complex with a total floor area of 23,508 square metres, including exhibition halls with 10,451 square metres. In plan, strictly arranged along the axis of the com pound stand one after the other introductory hall, the main exhibition hall and the storehouse for culture relics. The architecture design, while bearing conspicuous signs of Tibetan ethnical tradition, obviously reveals the modernist emphasis on practical function and the post-modernist artistic features. It represents a harmonious application of those three distance elements. The whole treasure of cultural relics houses in the museum include a wide range of prehistoric cultural remains, statues of Buddha and Bodhisattvas made of different materials, ancient Tibetan scriptural texts written in inks of gold, silver and coral, delicate Tanghka paintings, various musical instruments and ritual articles.To these are added handicrafts characteristic of Tibet, pottery of unique styles etc. The inaugural show was exclusively dedicated to the general theme of "the history and culture of and art; and the folk culture". The museum performs the concurrent functions of preservation, academic research and social education. Furnished with air-conditional devices, multi-functional saccousto-optic equipment, sophisticated.
There is a beautiful park in the western suburbs of Lhasa. It used to be the Summer Palace for the Dalai Lamas where they handled political affairs, and practiced religious activities. The construction started in 40s of the 18th century, covering a floor space of 46ha. The whole park has more than 370 rooms of different sizes,and lawns,shaded by green trees and embrided by various flowers.With the clear water, and the flowers and trees around, it is known as the "park within the park"
It is situated 5km's distance to the western suburb of Lhasa at the foot Mt. Ganpoi Uze. Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje, a disciple of Tsongkapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect. The monastery, occupying an area of 250,000 square metres with a fixed number of 7,700 monks, is the largest monastery in Tibet. The monastery keeps plentiful historical relics ,Buddhist scriptures, arts and crafts.
Lies at the foot of a mountain in the northem outskirts of Lhasa. It was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Choje, one of the eight disciples of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect, covering an area of 114,964 square metres. The structure is imposing, picturesque in disorder, and splendid in green and gold. It is a typical Tibetan architecture. Sera Monastery, together with Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, is reputed as the Three Great Monasteries of Tibet.
Located in Taktse County, founded in 1409 by Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelugpa Sect, it is the earliest of the Three Great Monasteries of Tibet.
Yandro Yumtso Lake
The Yamdok Yumtso, one of the three largest lakes of Tibet, lies about a hundred kilometers' distance to the southwest of Lhasa, is within Langkamu county, with an area of 638 square kilometers and a coastal line of 250 kilometers. The deepest point is 60 metres. To the interior of the lake ten or so hilly islands stand independently one from the other which give homes to flocks of wild ducks. A lot of colorful ducks and geese are swimming on the surface of the lake. There is also plenty of natural fodder for the fish in the lake. The lake has a fish reserve of about 300 million kilograms.That is why it is called "the Fish Store of Tibet". The coast of the lake is an ideal pasture. All these make an intoxicating quite picture.
Kumbum Monastery and the 10,000-Buddha Pagoda
jiangba, the jamrese of a Thousand Hands and a Thousand Eyes in the monastery. There is a hall of arhat made during the Ming Dynasty. The arhats are so vivid that they look very much alive.Besides the monastery is the world famous 9-storey 100,000-Buddha Pagoda (Kumbum Pagoda). It stands 32 metres highly, has 108 doors, 77 Buddhist chambers and countless shrines. Enshrine in the Pagoda are 100,000 statues of Buddha. The Pagoda opens 8 doors, which are decorated with relief sculptures of lively flying dragons, running lions and walking elephants. It is a master-piece of the joint efforts of the Nepalese, Tibetan and Chinese.
The Tashilhunpo Monastery, the biggest Gelugpa monastery in the Tsang regions of Tibet, sprawls on the slope of Mt. Niser, south-west of Shigatse. It covers an area of about 300,000 square meters with a floor space of about 30,000 square meters. Painted in red and white' the buildings in the monastery stand closely together in terraced rows, offering a grand and majestic view. The monastery was founded in 1447 by Gendun Zhuba, one of the principal disciples of the Founder of the Yellow Sect Zongkaba, and was then enlarged consistently by different generations of Panchen Lama until it acquired its present dimensions. Gendun Zhuba was first abbot of the monastery, and in 1600 at the invitation of the monastery, the 4th Panchen Lama became the 16th abbot of it, thus made the monastery abode of the succeeding Panchen Lamas ever since. The Ngagpa College (Tantric College), one of its four monastic colleges, was the residence of the Panchen Lamas, the most amazing image in this monastery is the statue of giant Maitreya (Future Buddha) erected by the 9th Panchen Lama in 1914, and took four years for its establishment. This giant statue stands twenty-six metres in height and 275kg in weight of solid gold, great quantity of precious things such as pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers have absolved for its construction. The 4th Panchen Lama's funeral stupa was built in 1662 and it stands eleven metres high and is covered with solid gold and silver. There are many other valuable and rare historical articles in the monastery, among them are found a lot of gold and jade signets, and imperial certificates bestowed by Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties as well as a seal of"Daitu" of the Yuan Dynasty scribed in the new Mongolian language reformed by Basba. They are of great value for the study of history.
Sakya Monastery-an Art Gallery
The Sakya Monastery located in Sakya County, stands in the southem and the northern, two parts on either side of Dongchu River.This monastery is the centre of the Sakyapa Sect (White Earth Order). The construction of the monastery was started in 1073 by Kung GungQuijiepuo with the order from basba. The southern founded in 1268 by a famous abbot of Sakya named Pagpa who once had ruled the whole of Tibet under the Yuan Dynasty's supervision. So it is of typical Yuan Dynasty style resembling powder or cinnabar. It has over 10,000 volumes of tibetan books on astronomy, medicine, calligraphy, and history. Owing to its valuable and voluminous amount of Buddhist sutras and cultural remains, the Sakya Monastery is often considered as the "Dunhuang the Second".
The Shalu Monastery is situated in Rikuozuo within the Shalu village.The construction was started in 1000 by Jestun Sherab Jungne. Its architecture is of typical combination of the Tibetan and Chinese styles with the archways, carved pillars, tiled roofs and the Song and Yuan style murals, a rare and unique work of art, mixed feature of Tibetan and Han. Besides the various sorts of statues of Buddha, The monastery enshrines various relics such as religious objects,Buddhist scriptures written on "pattra" leaves, and an important decree of Pagpa, the Sakya abbot. It also has 4 treasures to be enshrined. The first is a scripture printing board carved out of sandal wood. The second is a copper jar to contain holy water. It is said that the water is changed every other 12 years, but the quantity and quality of the water do not change even ifit has been in the jar for 12 years. The third is a stone basin which is said to be used by Shaja Banzhida. The fourth is a stone Board with the 6-character principle engraved on it. On the 4 comers of the board are also engraved four clarit pagodas. It is said that when the construction first started, the board was unearthed.
Qomolangma meaning "Goddess" in Tibetan, is the highest mountain on earth with an altitude of 8, 848.13 metres. Mtl Qomolangma,known to the western world as Mt. Everest, stands at the south of Tingri county in southern Tibet, at the border of the central Himalayas, between China and Nepal, capped with accumulated eternal snow. Its snow peak sends out silver radiance year after year. Its waist is hidden in the clouds. The optimum weather to visit Mt. Everest is from April to June, a golden period for mountaineers. Each year, a great number of brave robust mountaineers come from all over the world to visit and climb Mt. Everest,hope to fulfill a life-long wish by climbing onto and looking over from the world's highest peak,
he Samye Monastery is at the foot of Mt. Haibusi, on the north bank of the Yaluzangbu River in Jialang county. Being the 1st monastery, belongs to the Nyingmapa and Sakyapa Sects., was built in 761. The 5th Tobu King Chisong Duosan sent envoys to Kashmir and India to invite famous lamars to teach Buddhism in Tibet. It is said that the monastery was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt three hundred years as the residence of the 6th Dalai Lamar.Finally it was completed by Rating Rimpoche. The monastery had been combined the Chinese, Tibetan and Indian styles, in the centre of the monastery is a big square 3-storey hall with a floor space of over 8,900 square metres. The first floor is of Tibetan style, the 2nd Chinese and the 3rd Indian. To the direction of the 4 comers of the hall, 4 towers were built respectively in red, white,green and black colours. The Sangsu Monastery is a typical Buddhist building, it deserves its place in the history of architecture.
The First Castle-Yunbulakang
Yungbulakang is the palace for the 1 st Tube King Niechi in the Yalong River Valley. It is also called "the Mosher and Song Holy Hall". Yungbulakang, built in the second century B.C.,is standing on the top of a hill on the east bank of the Yalong River in the southeast of Naidong county. The castle can be divided into front and back 2 parts. The front part is a 3-storey building, while the back part is a castle like tall building. Enshrined in the shrine are the statues ofThiesung Sangjie Buddha.King Niechi,KingSrontsan Gampo and the Tobu Kings after them. The legend goes that the "mysterious object" was on the roof of the castle, so Buddhists regard here as the holy-land.
The Changzhu Monastery on the east bank of the Yalong River in the district of Shannan. There is a legend behind the monastery. It is said that once upon a time, the site of the monastery was an extremely deep lake. In the lake there is a five-head dragon. After Srontsan Gampo got the control of Tibet, he wanted to drain the lake and build a castle there. So he invited two Masters to lure a big bird to attack the dragon. The two Masters, first of all, imitated the sound of the bird and lured the dragon out, then they imitated the sound of the dragon to lure the bird out. So the dragon and the bird started a fight. The bird at last chopped offtwo of the dragon's heads with its wings. Seven days later, the lake disappeared. Some pearls were buried as the cornerstone for the monastery. That is how the monastery got its name.
It is considered as the most sacred mountain by Buddhists and Hindus alike. Buddhists believe it to bethe axis of M1. Sumem,the central mountain amidst the tour continents of the old concept of world system. Hindus believe it to be the throne of Shiva.Kailash is very beautiful in appearance, thickly covered with snows and hovering dominatingly above its surrounding peaks though itsalti-tude is "only" 6140 meters.
Manasarova Lake-A Holy Lake
The lake is situated 30km southeast of Mt. Holy (Kailash). It has an area of 400 square kilometer. The Buddhists believe that the lake is the bestowal from the heaven. The holy water can cure all kinds of diseases, wash people clean and get rid of people's worries. After walking around the lake and taking baths at the Four Bathing Gates, the pilgrims can be free from sins and be bestowed happiness.The great monk Xuan Zhuang praised it "the Holy Lake in the West Heaven". Not far from the lake stands Mt. Holy (Kailash). It does not only attract pilgrims but also many tourists from home and abroad.
Terrestrial Heat in Tibet
Northern grasslands called "Changthang" in Tibetan bear an extremely cold climate. Eight or nine months a year, here, are freezing seasons, but boiling springs with their cloudy vapors rising into the air are found here and there. Whatsmore, hot springs lying in pools and then flowing in rivulets produce more beauty to the land. The terrestrial heat in Yangpachen, eighty-seven kilometers to the northwest of Lhasa, covers some forty kilometers in area where one can see underground steams shooting up a hundred meters into the air and can be seen from ten kilometers' distance.
With an area of 1,940 square kilometers, the Namtso Lake is the second largest salt-water lake. In the lake, there are 3 islands, which is an ideal habitat for all kinds of aquatic life. One of the islands is made of calcareous sandstone. It is characterized by the stone pillars, natural stone bridges and the stalactite caves. The beaches of the lake are a beautiful natural pasture. Wild life is having a good time there.
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