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About Tibet

Tibet also called Xizang is the highest region in the world with an average elevation of 4,300 meters. It is commonly referred to as the "Roof of the World." Surrounded by vast mountain ranges in the north, south and the west, it is a homeland of six million Tibetan people. Tibet derives its name from the Sanskrit word Trivistapa which means "heaven” and it is undoubtedly a heaven with its unparallel scenic beauty and unmatched cultural extravagance. Tibet has vast tourist attractions including Mt.Everest, the highest peak in the world. It contains varied natural, cultural, historical and religious places that offer unmatched beauty and adventure as well. Tibet is also a pilgrimage centre for Budhhists as it houses some of the most sacred places of the religion. Every year large number of tourists visit Tibet for adventurous traveling, Mt. Everest’s expedition, or the pilgrimage.  The winding Yarlang Tsangpo river, the turquoise Yamdrok Tso Lake and other holy lakes, unique flora and fauna, ancient ruins, majestic palaces and monasteries, folkloric activities and religious ceremonies, Tibet is full of adventure, gratification, natural and cultural opulence. The popular tourist places in Tibet include Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, Shigatse, Gyantse, Tingri, Tsedang, Xegar, Zangmu, etc.


Tibet is located in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, the world's highest region, in the area of about 2.5 million sq. km. The Tibetan geography includes high snow peaked mountains, lakes, rivers, tropical forests, grassland and dry arid land as well. Most of the Himalaya mountain range, one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world at only 4 million years old, lies within Tibet. It comprises table-lands averaging over 4,950 metres above the sea with peaks at 6,000 to 7,500 m, including Mount Everest, the highest one in the world. The average altitude in Tibet is about 3,000 m in the south and 4,500 m in the north.

Tibet shares its boundaries on the north and east by China, on the west by the Kashmir Region of India and on the south by Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Geographically, Tibet can be divided into three main parts, the east, north and south. The eastern part is forest region, the northern part is open grassland and the southern and central part is agricultural region. Most of the major Tibetan cities and towns like Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and Tsetang are located in the southern region. Administratively the region is divided into one municipality and six prefectures. The municipality is Lhasa, while the six prefectures are Shigatse, Ngari, Lhaoka, Chamdo, Nakchu and Nyingtri(kongpo). The People's Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region exercises the highest administrative authority in Tibet.

Tibet History

Tibetan history can be traced back to thousands of years. However, the written history dates back to the seventh century from the reign of Emperor Songtsän Gampo who combined many areas and tribes of the region and formed his empire. He sent his minister Sambhota to India to study Sanskrit who on his return invented the present Tibetan script based on Sanskrit and inscribtion of history started.  From the early 1600s the Dalai Lamas, known as spiritual leaders of the region and believed to be the emanations of Avalokiteśvara, hold the power. Between the 17th century and 1959, the Dalai Lama and his regents were the principal political power controlling religious and administrative authority over Tibet from the traditional capital Lhasa, which was regarded as the most sacred city of Tibet.
                                                                                           More Information on History of Tibet

Climate of Tibet

The climatic conditions in Tibet greatly vary from region to region and temperature distinctly waves within a single day. In the southeastern region of Tibet which includes, Nyingchi, the climate is gentle and temperate with the average temperature of eight degrees. In western Tibet like, in Nakqu, the average temperature is below zero degree. While in Lhasa and the central part of Tibet, the climate is usually normal and pleasant for traveling. It is neither ice-cold in winters nor too hot in summer. The months from March to October are considered best for traveling activities. In general, Tibet is a dry land with not much rain and snow fall. An average snowfall is only 18 inches.  Most of the annual rainfall comes in the rainy season that starts from May to September. Usually it rains at night in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo area. The coldest months are from December to February and are not advisable for traveling.  

Places of Interest

Tibet has vast tourist attractions including Mt.Everest, the highest peak in the world. It contains varied natural, cultural, historical and religious places that offer unmatched beauty and adventure as well. Tibet is also a pilgrimage centre for Budhhists as it houses some of the most sacred places of the religion. One can visit Tibet for adventurous activities, Mt. Everest’s expedition, cultural exploration, and the pilgrimage etc. The main places for visit include capital city Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse, New Tingri, Tsedang, Xegar, Zhangmu, Yamdrok Tso Lake, Nyalam etc .                

More Information on Places in Tibet

Monasteries of Tibet

There were thousands of monasteries in Tibet. Due to spread of Buddhism, large number of monasteries were constructed and they became the main body of Tibeten culture and architecture. Every family was expected to send at least one boy to a monastery. Girls were also sent to monasteries as the monastery life used to be the only access to education and improved social status. People went to monasteries to get educated, to merit their family and to pursue religious fulfillment. Monasteries are still major centre of religion, education and cultural restoration. A monastery acts like a university. In addition to studying Buddhist scriptures, monasteries provided teachings on language, poetry, medicine, astronomy and calendric calculation. Many monasteries act like an administrative organ also, in old Tibetan society the monasteries enjoyed the administrative powers and ruled the land. Due to the expenditure of a large quantity of financial resources as well as a large amount of material resources, the monasteries emerged as the best embodiments of architectural achievements in Tibet. There are many mammoth Monasteries with its colossal structures and large area, like Drepang and Sera monasteries in Lhasa, Palkhor monastery in Gyantse, Tashilhunpo monastery in Shigatse, Rongbuk monastery, etc.

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Fair & Festival in Tibet

Tibet has various festivals which commonly are performed to worship the Buddha throughout the year. Festivals are time when people painted their homes, dressed in new clothes, resolve quarrels, enjoy good food and wines, visit their frends and relatives, visit monasteries and offer prayers and  indulge themselves in never ending enjoyment and happiness. The popular Tibetan festivals are, The Butter Lamp Festival, Losar Festival, Shoton Festival, Saga Dawa Festival, Onkhor Festival and The Bathing Festival.

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People of Tibet

Tibetan people are optimistic, happy, warm and hospitable. Guests are always welcomed in Tibetan families. However, Tibetans are the main inhabitants on the plateau, Menpa, Luopa, Han Chinese, Hui, Sherpa, and a few Deng people also shared the population. According to the census conducted in 2000, there are 2.62 million people in Tibet, with 92.2% of the Tibetan population. Traditionally the people in small villages earned their livelihood from farming, the barely is the main crop here. The roaming nomads earned their living by herding yaks and sheep. In urban areas, most Tibetans made a living as craftsmen. However, nowadays more and more people are migrating into businesses. The official language of Tibet is Chinese but Tibetan is more widely spoken with its different dialects. Most Tibetans are devoted Buddhists and follow Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is known as “Buddhism” with the local Tibetans and as Lamaism elsewhere in the outside world. There are also a few followers of old Bon, Islam and Catholicism in Tibet.  


Though the official language of Tibet is Chinese Tibetans use their own language, the Tibetan language, known as bod-yig in Tibet inhabited areas. It is spoken in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and in parts of northern India such as Sikkim. It belongs to the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Spoken Tibetan includes numerous regional dialects which, in many cases, are not mutually intelligible. According to geographical divisions, there are three major local dialects: Weizang, Kang and Amdo. The first two dialects have their own tones in pronunciation while the latter do not. The commonly called greater Tibetans language is spoken by approximately 6 million people across the Tibetan Plateau and another 150,000 exile speakers who have fled from modern-day Tibet to India and other countries. The writing script of Tibetan language was formed in early 7th century and is based on the ancient Sanskrit language of India.

Tibetan language consists of thirty consonant, four vowels, five inverted letters (for the renting of foreign words) and the punctuations. Sentences are written from right to the left. With two major written scripts namely the regular script and the cursive hand, Tibetan language is widely used in all areas inhabited by Tibetans.


The Cuisine of Tibet mirrors the rich heritage of the region and people's adaptation to high altitude and religious culinary restrictions. The most important crop in Tibet is barley and the staple food of Tibet is tsampa which is dough made from barley. Tsampa is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings known as  momos. Meat dishes are likely to be yak, goat, or mutton, often dried, or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Mustard seed is also cultivated in Tibet, and therefore is an important ingredient of Tibetan cuisine. Yak yoghurt, butter and cheese are commonly eaten, and well-prepared yoghurt is considered something of a prestige item. The most favorite beverage of Tibetan is butter tea.

Tibetan Medicine

Tibetan medicine system is one of the oldest medicine forms in the world. It utilizes up to two thousand types of plants, forty animal species, and fifty minerals. One of the key figures in development of Tibetan medicine was the renowned eighth century physician Yutok Yonten Gonpo. He created the Four Medical Tantras assimilating material from the medical traditions of Persia, India and China. The tantras contained a total of 156 chapters in the form of Thangkas, which contain information about the archaic Tibetan medicine and the essences of medicines in other places. Yuthok Sarma Yonten Gonpo, the descendant of Yutok Yonten Gonpo, further strengthened the tradition by adding eighteen medical works. One of his books includes paintings depicting the resetting of a broken bone. In addition, he compiled a set of anatomical pictures of internal organs.           More Information on Tibetan Medicine

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