About Overland from Lhasa to Kathmandu
Tibet holds an enchanting allure to curious travellers interested in exploring new dimensions of cultural, spiritual and natural extremes.The Tibetan plateau is aptly called 'the roof of the world' as it is the largest plateau on earth with an average elevation of over 4000 meters. The vast rugged plains are starkly contrasted by more than 50 snowy peaks over 7000 meters and massive glaciers that form the head-waters of Asia's greatest rivers. Mount Everest's famous north face is accessed from Tibet.
The friendly Tibetan people are deeply devoted to their ancient Buddhist religion, which dates back to the 8th century. Brightlypainted monasteries with golden roofs, monks in deep crimson robes, religious art and primitive houses of solid stone are symbols of spiritual devotion and human survival that offer a glimpse into the history, culture and religion. In Lhasa, the 7th century Potala Palace where the Dalai Lama once spent the winters is an architectural masterpiece. Its central situation atop the Red Mountain symbolizes the central role Tibetan-Buddhism once played in the administration of Tibet.The ancient Jokhang Monastery, also 7th century, is encircled by Barkhor Street which functions both as a place for pilgrims to walk clockwise chanting and turning prayer-wheels, and as an exotic commercial market.
Just outside of Lhasa, the historical towns of Gyantse, Shegar and Shigatse with their monasteries and forts, provide glimpses into life in old Tibet. In western Tibet, 1900km from Lhasa, are the crumbled remains of the 10th century Kingdom of Guge. Endless caves, secret paths, burial places, ruins of palaces, pagodas and a surrounding fortress wall tell the story of a long lost dynasty. Mount Kailash is a sacred destination for Buddhist, Hindu and Jain pilgrims as well as trekkers. No one is allowed to climb this holy mountain. The Kailash Kora refers to the 52 km trek around the mountain, which pilgrims believe takes away sin and brings good fortune. Finally, a bath in the clear cold waters of nearby Lake Mansarovar promises salvation.
Visitors will need to acclimatize to the thin air and should be prepared for the high altitude with sunglasses, sunscreen and warm clothes.