Ganden – Samye is one of the most popular treks in Central Tibet. Both these places are situated 45 km east of Lhasa to the south bank of the Kyi Chu to Medro Gongkar. This trek is a most pleasant for nature, culture and adventure enthusiasts. The trail passes through lakes, high snowy passes, and mountains, lush alpine meadows, nomads’ tents, Tibetan settlements, sacred sites, in the end culminating at the barren, desert-like surroundings near the Samye Monastery (3540m). Samye is Tibet’s first monastery founded in Tibet during the reign of King Trison Deutsen.
The Ganden Monastery is perched on a ridge-Gokyo Ri, which was chosen by Tsong Khapa for his meditation. This monastery is considered one of the greatest amongst the other six monasteries which belong to Gelukpa Sect. Ganden to Samye trek links two of the most important monasteries in Central Tibet and the trail crosses the Yatro Drak range of mountains that divide the Tsangpo basin and the Lhasa Valley. The trek provides superb and pristine scenery along with access to Tibet’s first monastery. The best time for this trek is from May to Mid of Oct. Trek Himalayan highly recommends Ganden – Samye trek only for those who have experience in hiking and camping in higher-elevation wildernesses.
Arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening when you will enjoy a welcome drinks with your guide and introduce each other. Overnight in Kathmandu
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning to begin your city tour of Kathmandu. You willvisit the Boudhanath temple, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath, a Hindu pilgrimage site, and possibly view cremation ceremonies along the banks of the Bagmati River. Continue drive to Patan Durbar Square to see the ancient Nepalese architecture and end your tour after lunch.Then, you will visit the Patan museum. Overnight in Kathmandu
Transfer to the airport for the hour-long flight across the main Himalayan range. Afternoon at rest to acclimatise to Lhasa’s high altitude
Today you will start much-awaited sightseeing tour in Lhasa. Accompanying on your tour there will be aTibetan/Chinese guide and interpreter. First you will visit the Sera Monastery; approximately 5km north
of central Lhasa. It used to be one of Lhasa’s two great Gelugpa monasteries second only to Drepung. The monastery is interesting to visit particularly in the morning when the monastery is at its most active. The whitewashed walls and golden roofs along with several hundred monks, all make a fascinating visit. We will find time to have lunch in between tours and continue our sightseeing. Next attraction will be the Norbulingka Palace; the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. The park of the palace is most interesting tovisit during festivals.
Jokhang Temple is next in our touring list. It is the most revered religious site in Tibet Thick with the
smell of yak butter, echoing with the murmur of mantras and bustling with awed pilgrims, the Jokhang is
an unrivalled Tibetan experience..
Barkhor Market is an area unrivalled in Tibet for its fascinating combination of sacred significance and
push-and-shove market economics. This is both the spiritual heart of the Holy City and the main
commercial district for Tibetans. Overnight in hotel
On this day you will visit the Potala Palace – Lhasa’s cardinal landmark. It is one of the great wonders of world architecture. As has been the case with centuries of pilgrims before you, the first sight of the fortress-like structure will be a magical moment that you will remember for a long time. It’s hard to peel eyes away from the palace. The Potala is a strucutre of massive proportions, an awe-inspiring place to visit. This used to be the palace of the Dalai Lama. An old palace used to be in this place since 5th or 6th century. The present palace, however, was constructed in the 17th century.
Drepung Monastery which we visit next is another fascinating place. It was founded in the 14th century and once used to be the largest monastery in the world where a population of over 10,000 monks used to live. In recent times, the number is reduced to some hundreds. The place is still very interesting as it still preserves the originality. The remaining time will be free to explore Lhasa on your own. Overnight in
Today we drive about 90 minutes from Lhasa to Ganden Monastery and visit the earliest built Monastery of Gelugpa sect. The monastery showcases extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures and its thangkas similar to embroidery of south China. The most important and valuable arts left are the paintings of Buddha and Jataka stories drawn by the First Panchen Lama. With a kora around the Monastery, you will see very good view of Lhasa river valley After visiting kora, we stay overnight in guesthouse
In the morning we leave Ganden and drive an hour to the village of Dupshi. One hour of moderate hiking takes us to Ani Pangong — the site of a former nunnery. Another hour of steady trekking through pristine meadows we reach the first camp at Yama Do.
Two hours of steep walking leads us to Shug-La Pass. Negotiating boulders and rough trails we overcome the final steep ascent to the pass (17,220 feet). The route continues across the Shug-La Pass following the cairn-lined trail.We descends gradually and reach the valley in ninety minutes from the pass. We cross the Tsotup Chu, a long stream winding along the valley floor. Nomad herders with their herd of yaks, goat and sheep are seen around the landscape. We camp tonight near a stream crossing.
From the Tsotup Chu Valley, we follow a small tributary entering from the southwest. The route follows steeply upwards for 30 minutes, reaching a large basin. The terrain is not particularly difficult to reachChitu-La Pass (16,728 feet), marked by several cairns. A short steep descent leads us into a basin holding three small lakes. The trail is often not clearly marked and passes seasonal campsites before finally
reaching the valley floor.
Our trail is now wide and easy to follow — meandering through forest of shrubs and rhododendrons for three hours. We walk through a series of meadows before reaching Gen Do, a stone structure in ruins.The forest gets thin rapidly and we reach the first permanent village of Chantan (13,776 feet) after leaving Hebu. In 30-40 minutes walking we make U turn for Yamalung Valley. The Yamalung Hermitage is another one hour steep climb from the valley floor.
From Yamalung Herder’s Camp, we trek through.beautiful streams and lush forests for about 5-6 hrs to reach Samye Monastery. We pass the villages of Nyango, Wango and Pisha en route. From Pisha, the entire lower valley of Samye and the golden spires of Samye Monastery are revealed to our view. Before we reach Samye, we pass by lush meadows for tonight’s camp.
After breakfast we drive for 30 minutes to Tsedang. In the afternoon we visit Tibet’s oldest building — Yumbulakhang Palace and Trandruk Monastery near the town. Overnight at hotel
It’s time to say goodbye and depart Tibet. After breakfast, we will drive one and a half hour to Gongar Airport to catch the return flight to Kathmandu.
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