Exploring Tourism in Tibet
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Xigatse City

Xigatse City, Tibet

Located about 300 Km away from Lhasa Xigatse City is the second largest city in Tibet. The word Xigatse means ‘fertile land’. Situated at the height of 3500 m above the sea level Xigatse city receives the largest number of tourist and adventurers every year in Tibet. This is probably because where the city is located and what it offers to its visitors. History of the grand city dates back 600 years back. The meeting point of the holy rivers Bramhaputra and Nyangchu, this ancient city is very important religiously and this is the centre of tradition and culture in Tibet. Considered as the seat of Panchen Lama who is considered the second most important leader in Tibet, Xigatse city is a very religious place. With the flow of time this city has seen many changes and now is one of the most advanced cities in Tibet. Shopping is another attraction of this city. Locally made handicraft and carpets are the items most sold. Locally made knife is one thing you might don’t want to miss in your visit to Xigatse.

The city is situated at slightly high altitude, but the summers are pleasant and bit wet. The winters in the Xigatse city are pretty harsh. The winds are cold and dry and you will need a bit of preparation to visit in this city in winter. Visiting the Xigatse city is important from monetary point of view too. There are very few banks in Tibet that except foreign checks, but the Bank of Xigatse converts travelers’ check, which allows you to collect some local currency before you hi other part of Tibet. If you can arrange your visit to Xigatse city in the month of July we will get to witness the spectacular Buddha Unfolding Festival, which will be one of the things you will love most in Tibet.

What to do and where to visit in Xigatse:

This city has some of the most important monasteries in Tibet like Tashilhunpo monastery and Sakya monastery. Apart from this you can get to visit Mt. Everest from here. This city has its face full of different water resources; the greatest lakes, rivers, streams and glaciers, you can enjoy anything you want to.

Mt. Everest: the most famous peak in the world, this is the centre of attraction in whole Tibet and Nepal. Also called Qomolongma in Tibet, this peak rises up to 8848 m and is covered with snow all around the year. Worshipped by all the mountaineers around the world, this mountain is the ultimate goal to climb, for every climbers and mountaineers in the world. As a tourist you can also have the same fun, joy and feel the same rush of blood but in an easy way, just stand on the foot of this exceptional part of earth. It is suggested that you choose a time when the rains are away to visit Mt. Everest, possibly in April to July.  

Palkhor monastery:

Also called “The Baiju Monastery” by the Chinese, this monastery is situated in Xigatse city which is about 230 Km away from capital Lhasa. Implausible combination of temples and Stupas will attract anyone. The architecture you will see in this place, are form the 14th and 15th century which make this place a Hotpoint for ancient archeological researchers. This place has more than 3000 statues from the statues of Buddha to famous King Songtsen Gampo. Number of tourist visiting this place has been increasing every year.

Sakya Monastery:

Can magic be carved in Stones? If your answer is a “NO” then you must visit this place. You will find the perfect answer there.  Considered as “the second Danhuang”, Sakya monastery must be the most treasured part in Tibetan land. Build around in 1073 this monastery houses 3000 pieces of sutras and fantastic work of art that are over thousand years old. Covering an area of 5500 sq. m and with 40 huge pillars the Lakhang Chenmo happens to be the main attraction of this place. Visit to the Sakya Monastrery is going to be a real treat for antique and art craft lovers. Not only the people who visit this place but also the governments of other countries should take this place as an example and learn how old time classics should be preserved. Thanks to the Tibetan people and its government for preserving such marvelous beauty for us and the future generations.

Tashilhunpo Monastery:

Located in Shigatse 250 Km away from the capital city Tashilhunpo monastery was built by the 1st Dalai Lama in 1447. Among the six hugest monasteries in Tibet this monastery stands on massive area of 300,000 Sq. m and known as the “Seat of Panchen Lama”. Panchen Lama is considered as the second most important religious leader after Dalai Lama in Tibet.

The leged goes like:

Tashilhunpo monastery was found by Gendun Drub who was later named as the first Dalai Lama. The fourth Panchen Lama started massive reconstruction and renovation of the monastery and the successive lamas continued it. In 1791 this monastery was attacked by Nepalese Gurkha warriors who later retrieved when Chinese marched to the monastery. In 1960, in absence of Panchen lama Chinese took control over the monasteries. Later in 1972 Dalai Lama the 14th ordered re-establishment of this monastery in Karnataka, India. Entry of general public has been allowed from the late 1980’s but not all the part of monastery is permitted to explore. Still this temple is able to attract a huge number of tourists.

Getting and staying in Xigatse is not a problem at all. The city has many star rated hotels and numerous budget hotels too. You can find any kind of hotels as per your budget. You can find the cheapest hotels with basic services and if you are willing to raise your budget you will get the grand luxurious services too. The most reputed hotels in Xigatse are Shigatse Shangdong building, Gyantse Hotel, Zhannglin Hotel and Zhangmu Hotel.  

Travelling in and out of Xigatse heavily depends upon road travel. The road connections of this city with other cities are very good and almost all highways to major cities pass through Xigatse city. Local transportation is very good; apart from public buses you can also hire taxies. One can also stroll through narrow lanes of the city but you are advised to be extra careful about this. The temperature of the city is low and you might get sick.

The best to time to visit the city of Xigatse is from May to July. During this time the temperature is mild and many festivals falls in this period. Shopping is the hugest attraction among the Tourist visiting Xigatse. Local handicrafts are hit among the tourist and women are known to dig the silk items found in the markets of Xigatse. With the mighty Mt. Everest standing on its periphery Xigatse is no doubt the most favorite spot for the tourist. Darchen to Mt. Everest is the most favored trek route to Mt. Everest. Apart from Shopping and Trekking routes Xigatse offers a completely different taste of music i.e. Tibetan Opera. This performance gets a huge number of audiences and is getting more popular among the tourist every day. You will need 3-4 days to explore this city to the full extent, so please separate 3-4 days for this city in your tour to the mighty Tibet.

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