Explore Tibet Announces 9-day Spiritual Tibet Tour
(PRWEB) May 06, 2012
Explore Tibet, a Lhasa-based Tibet travel agency committed to sustainable practice and Responsible Tourism, announces a new 9-day spiritual tour of Tibet featuring a trip to the Yarlung valley, the cradle of Tibetan civilization. According to Explore Tibet, “The Yarlung Valley and the ancient burial mounds are important to all Tibetan people, and travelers should know the historical and religious significance of the sites here. The high dramatic cliffs and fertile farmlands below give visitors the sense of how ancient Tibetan civilization came to flourish on the world’s highest plateau.”
Southeast of Lhasa along the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River, the Yarlung valley contains many important ancient holy sites, including burial mounds of the first kings and the remains of the oldest building in Tibet. The town of Tsetang, the capital of ancient Tibet, lies at the mouth of the valley.
The sacred mountain Gangpo Ri lies to the east of Tsetang, and travelers can explore the old Tibetan town there, and follow a trail up the mountain to Monkey Cave. This cave is the mythological birthplace of the Tibetan people, where Chenresig, Buddha of Compassion, took the form of a monkey and mated with the demoness Sinmo.
Travelers can drive or trek south into the valley where sand dunes and sparse, lonely trees give the landscape a striking appearance. Here travelers discover the Trandruk monastery, or hawk-dragon monastery, named for a battle in which the 7th century king Songtsen Gampo turned himself into a hawk to fight a local dragon. This monastery houses a famous thangka—a traditional Tibetan artistic depiction of a Buddhist deity—that contains 29,000 pearls.
Six kilometers south of the monastery travelers can visit Yumbulagang, thought to be the oldest building in Tibet. In Tibetan mythology, this site marks a spot where hundreds of Buddhist texts fell from the heavens in the 5th century. The original structure was a fortress, and its prominent tower and location on a stony ridge over the valley make it highly photogenic.
Travelers can pass south from the Yarlung valley into Chongye Valley, where the ancient kings of Tibet are buried. These tombs are some of the only remains of the ancient religion of Tibet, called Bon. This area, along with the Yarlung Valley, is one of the premiere locations in the world for spiritual trekking. The combination of stunning natural beauty and ancient plateau holy sites are a can’t-miss part of every Tibet tour.