Shigatse Attractions
Home: City Guide: Shigatse: Attractions
Font Size:     Print

Shigatse Attractions

Golden roof of Tashilhunpo Monastery, Shigatse If you crave culture and art, you will surely like Shigatse Region. Hire a jeep or 4WD in Lhasa and drive south arriving in Gyangtse County after several hours. As a county full of history, Gyangtse is famous for the magnificent cultural relics preserved in the ancient Palkhor Monastery. The Bodhi Stupa in the monastery is regarded as its highlight, because of the hundreds of thousands of figures of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Vajras, Dharma Kings, and Arhats on the walls. All the murals and sculptures in the Palkhor Monastery are vivid and elegant, showing the admirable skills of ancient craftsmen. Gyangtse is also called 'Hero County' for the fierce fight against British invaders in 1904. Dzong Fortress situated at the center of the county still tells the story of the brave Tibetans.

Leaving Gyangtse behind and heading to beautiful Shigatse City, you'll arrive after 2 or 3 hours. Shigatse City is located in the valley where the Yarlung Tsangpo River and the Nyangchu River meet. As the seat of Panchen Lamas as well as the political and religious center of Tsang, the city boasts splendid art works in many monasteries and beautiful landscapes.

Although Shigatse City is Tibet's second largest city, it's not a metropolis. The city can be divided into two parts, the Old City and the New, by the street Qingdao Lu. Traditional Tibetan houses, narrow streets, craftworks markets, devotional people and the grand Tashilhunpo Monastery can be found in the Old City. Since Tsang is the spiritual home of the Panchen Lamas, the magnificent Tashilhunpo Monastery founded in 1477 by the first Dalai Lama is a must-see for everyone. The copper statue of Maitreya Buddha enshrined in the Maitreya Chapel is the tallest sitting figure of Buddha in the world. Stupa tombs of Panchen Lamas decorated by countless jewels, gold and silver are also impressive. Vivid murals and numerous cultural relics that can be found in the monastery are beyond imagination. Besides of the Tashilhunpo Monastery, the Narthang Monastery, which is an outstanding monastery of the Gelugpa Sect will give you another impression.

Another seat of Panchen Lamas is the New Palace of Panchen situated to the south of the Tashilhunpo Monastery. The imposing and elegant palace is the best place for Panchen Lamas to stay out of the summer heat. The grassy plot nearby is a most interesting and busy place during holidays. About 20 km (12 miles) south of Shigatse City, you can find the simple and unsophisticated Shalu Monastery . This monastery, built in 1084, is a mix of Tibetan and Han styles. The ancient murals well preserved inside are also deeply appreciated.

Yarlung Tsangpo River, Tibet After a visit to Shigatse City, drive on to Sakya County to explore the renowned Sakya Monastery . As the cradle of the Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Sakya Monastery is also called the Second Dunhuang of China because of its long history, the well-preserved murals and splendid cultural relics. If you want to explore majestic Mt. Everest, drive to Tingri County. Rest up and buy some necessities there because it's hard and expensive to find food and accommodation in the Everest Base Camp. You can camp in the Everest Base Camp or stay at Rongbuk Monastery, which is the highest monastery in the world.
Leave the awesome 'Goddess the Third' and drive to Nyalam County. As the last county before the border of China and Nepal, many visitors prefer to stay here for a night. You can also drive another hour and stay in Zhangmu Town, the most beautiful borderland of Tibet. Booming tourism and business between China and Nepal make the small town a busy trading post. What's more, green trees, red flowers, fresh air and friendly people make the town a great place to relax. Many visitors will stay here for a break and then head to Nepal through the Sino-Nepal Friendship Bridge for further travel.

Apart from them, the Karuola Glacier, Mt. Shisha Pangma and its nearby Lake Paiku will show you more astonishing natural beauties of Shigatse. The well preserved Pala Manor will let you know what a Tibetan slaveholder family is. Shigatse Region, where culture and nature have been shining for centuries, is truly a great place waiting for you to explore!
Comments and Questions