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Lhasa Tibet

Despite modern China’s sovereignty over Tibet, Lhasa, most famously known as the home of the Dalai Lamas and frequented by pilgrims from all over the world, is a city that holds many wondrous surprises. One of the highest cities in the world, Lhasa also happens to be the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in the People's Republic of China.

This prefecture-level Tibetan city is studded with numerous cultural and historic attractions, including the magnificent fortress of Potala, which was the former chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama went into exile in India in 1959. It is believed that Potala’s namesake, Mt. Potala, is the mystical dwelling place of Chenresigor or Avalokitesvara`, one of the bodhisattvas, who stand for eternal compassion in Buddhism. So, if you are a devout pilgrim at heart and wish to discover a whole new side of Buddhism, then, do not miss out on a trip to Lhasa, while you are still enrolled in one of our study abroad programs and learning Mandarin with us.

While Potala is one of the major attractions for thousands of pilgrims, who flock to Lhasa every year, Jokhang, a couple of kilometers to the east, serves as the main spiritual hub of the Holy City. As you enter Jokhang, one of the most revered and sacred temples of Tibet, you will be greeted by an overpowering smell of incense, flickering butter-lamps and devout pilgrims, praying hard and bowing before God. The old Tibetan quarter occupies an extremely small area of Lhasa and is dwarfed by the more modernized Lhasa, a brand new Chinese boomtown and recent home to a train line that has helped tourism flourish by leaps and bounds.  Many new shops and supermarkets that have recently sprouted in Lhasa have breathed a new life into this prefecture-level city, changing its face altogether. Older constructions and buildings are being razed to the ground and replaced by newer buildings, every now and then, in the city. Lhasa has undergone a complete face-lift; thanks to the modernizing impact of China over Tibet. But beyond its modern exterior, lingers a lot of culture and history. Its streets always throng with a curious medley of people from all walks of life. Lhasa will definitely help you catch a glimpse of the “real” Tibet but for that, you have to take a trip to its beautiful countryside and explore is backstreets.


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