FORBIDDEN LHASA &
GANDEN - SAMYE TREK
Explore the Holy City of Lhasa and Trek for
Departure - Kathmandu/Chengdu/Beijing
Best Season : May - October
This trip explores Central and
south Tibet including the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley,
the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Additionally
it includes a short 5 days trek.
Ganden-Samye trek is a 5 days
trek that connects two of Tibet's most important
monasteries of Ganden and Samye. It offers fantastic
walking, superb scenery, and interaction with
Tibetan villagers and highland nomads. It is
a fairly demanding trek and crosses two passes
over 5000 meters. Participants must be physically
strong and in good health.
Day 01 : KTM-LHASA
Arrive in Lhasa Gonggar Airport. Meet and transfer
to hotel in Lhasa.
DAY 02 : LHASA
We will have two full days in Lhasa to make
excursions to the following places: The Jokhang
- The Jokhang is the principal and holiest Buddhist
temple in Lhasa, as well as all of Tibet. It
is the focus of devotion of hundreds of Tibetans
from near and far who circle it to gain spiritual
merit. The Jokhang was first constructed in
the 7th century and has a large gold image of
Sakyamuni Buddha or Jowo Rinpoche.
The Norbulingka, a richly decorated complex
located in a beautiful garden setting, is the
traditional summer palace of the Dalai Lamas.
Drepung and Nechung Monastery
- Drepung is the biggest monastic university
of Tibet housing 7-8000 monks prior to the Cultural
Revolution. Adjoining to Drepung Monastery is
the Nechung Monastery, residence of Tibet's
- Potala is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama
and is believed to contain 1,000 rooms. Potala
was rated as one of the wonders of the world
in the early 14th century.
We will also visit the Barkor
bazaar in Lhasa, a colorful congregating place
for Tibetan merchants.
DAY 4: GANDEN-HEPU - (5.5
Early morning drive to Ganden, one of the 3
monastic universities of Tibet. Our trek begins
from Ganden. The trail gradually ascends for
1.5 hrs before reaching a saddle marked by a
cairn with views of Kyichu valley to Lhasa.
Traversing the west side of the ridge from the
saddle, the trail reaches a spur surmounted
by a cairn, a spring and then the village of
Hepu in 2 hrs. 1 hr from Hepu reach Ani Pangong,
a small nunnery. The trail climbs steadily for
1 hour through marshy meadows to Yama Do.
DAY 5: YAMA DO- TSOTUP
CHU VALLEY (4-5 HRS)
In 2 hrs past Yama Do we ascend Shug-la pass
(5250 m). It takes atleast 1.5 hrs from the
basin negotiating boulders and lumpy ground
along the final steep climb to the pass. The
route continues over the Shug-la pass following
the cairned trail descending gradually and reaching
the valley in 1.5 hrs from the pass. Cross the
Tsotup Chu. Nomad herders with their herd of
yaks, goat and sheep can be found here.
DAY 6: TSOTUP CHU-HERDERS'S
CAMP (5 HRS)
From the Tsotup Chu valley, follow a small tributary
entering from the south-west. The route follows
steeply upwards for 30 mins until you reach
a large basin. The terrain is not particularly
difficult to reach Chitu-la pass (5100 m) which
is marked by several cairns. A short steep descent
will bring you into a basin with three small
lakes. The trail at many points is not clearly
marked and goes past several seasonal camping
sites before it reaches the valley floor.
DAY 7: HERDER'S CAMP-YAMALUNG
The trail is now wide and easy to follow and
goes through forest of shrubs and rhododendrons
for 3 hrs. The trail winds through a series
of meadows before reaching Gen Do, a place with
a ruined stone structure. The forest thins rapidly
and we reach the first permanent village of
Chantan (4020 m) after leaving Hebu.. In 30-40
mins we arrive at the turn off at Yamalung Valley.
Yamalung Hermitage is another 1 hour steep climb
from the valley floor.
DAY 8: YAMLUNG-SAMYE (4
From Yamalung Valley it 3.5 - 4 hrs to Samye.
We go past the villages of Nyango, Wango and
Pisha. From Pisha the entire lower valley of
Samye and the golden spires of Samye Monastery
can be seen. En route there are several nice
meadows for camping.
Day 09: Visit Samye Monastery
T he first monastic institute built by King
Trisong Detsen under the spiritual guidance
of Padma Sambawa in early 8th century, and Yumbulakhang,
the first castle built for Tibet's first recorded
king Nyatri Tsenpo. O/N Snowpigeon Hotel.
Day 10 : TSEDANG-GYANGTSE
(3990 M), 350 KMS
Drive via Yamdrok, the Turquoise Lake to Gyangtse
across Kampa la pass 5050 m and Karo la (5045
m)passes. Visit Kubum stupa and Pelkor Chode
Day 11 : GYANGTSE-SHALU-SHIGATSE
(3860 M), 90 KMS
Drive to Shigatse. En route visit Shalu Monastery.Visit
Tashilhunpo Monastery, the seat of Panchen Lama
who is the 2nd in the Buddhist religious hierachy
and Shigatse Market.
Day 12 : SHIGATSE-SAKYA-SHEGAR/DINGRI
Drive to Shegar across Tsoula pass (4500 M)
and Gyatso la pass (5220 M). En route visit
Day 13: NYLAM
After watching sunrise over Everest, we drive
on to Nylam. Nylam Guest House.
Day 14 : NYLAM-ZHANGMU-KATHMANDU
Drive to Zhangmu and on to Kathmandu. En route
visit Milarepa Cave. We descend from the high
arid Tibetan plateau into the lush greenery