A monastery is said to be a complex building that has domestic workplaces and quarters for monks and nuns, either living alone or in communities. It has a reserved place for prayers. There are variations in sizes of monasteries. Some have small dwellings having accommodation for a hermit, or can be a single house having a senior and a few junior nuns or monks. There are many buildings in a monastery like an infirmary, balneary, library, refectory, cloister, dormitory and a church.
History of Pakba Monastery
Pakba Monastery was built to protect border towns. Songtsan Gampo, the king of Nepal built it for Bhrkuti, the princess from Nepal. The monastery has beautiful architectures like that of other Nepali temples. It is situated about 30 meters to the east of government town of Gyirong. It located 2850 meters high.
Unique Architectural Features of Pakba Monastery
Its shape resembles with a stone pagoda with stairs going up towards the middle of the tower. 4 floors are there. At each floor, there are cornices which with an increase in height get smaller. At every floor, there are corrugated tiles, fling angles, rafters, overhanging eaves, little windows, pot doors etc.
Cronics at first two floors are shaped like flames made in Brass, while at the next two floors, they are like upturned eaves leaned outwards. At the top, there is a tower spire made of brass connected through circular lights along with a pearl studded lotus canopy and an upward facing moon. Red copper is sprayed all over the roof. The area of porch is equal to the 4 columns.
There is a pair of sculpted lions made of wood, situated the lintel, which interlinks the two chambers lying at each side. The hall is in the shape of a square, having 14 columns (4 in round shape, 10 in square shape) and 3-room wide and deep. Dgelugspa, the founder has his image built among the Dharampalas lions which are 5 in number situated at the lintel. The Calligraphy Master also has his image painted at the first column lying towards the south. This column also contains monastery records written in the Tibetan language.
Highlights and Frescoes in Pakba Monastery
At the wall in the south, there are windows for lighting the south, middle and east sides. There is a Buddha Sakyamuni’s sandalwood statue at the wall situated on the northern side of the hall. Also, there are eight statues of Buddha on the western and eastern walls of the hall. There is a clay sculpture of Dalai Lama on the western side of the eastern wall which 10 meters in height. On the western wall, there is Padmasambhava’s clay sculpture which it 8-10 meters in height.
There are two silver and two golden lamps provided before the worship area, 30-40 meters in height, made of brass butter barrels. The hall columns are brocade wrapped with victory flags made of satin in five colors hung all around the hall. Buddhist texts are written at each of the western and eastern walls. At the end of each text, copy of Tengyur and Kanjur is deposited. All the frescoes are well preserved which are considered as the treasures of the monastery. All of them have great artistic and historical values.
Note: Since there is limited amount of online information introducing Pakba Monastery in Gyirong County, much of the information of this article came from the Gyirong Travel Guide on www.gyirong.com If there is copyright infringement issue, please contact us for deleting.
How to Get to Gyirong
Pakba monastery is located in Gyirong. You have to reach at the Gyirong Port first. It is situated at the southwest corner in the autonomous region of Tibet. Gyirong is located at the southern side of Himalayas, nearly 831 km from Lhasa and 175 km from Kathmandu.
In historic times, this port was the biggest trading port from Nepal to Tibet. It was one of the most important business and cultural exchange hub between South Asian countries and the China. Many historical events took place at Gyirong port like master Padmasambhava came to Tibet for spreading Buddism; Princess Bhrikuti traveled along this path to get married to Songtsen Gampo.
It is a useful medium for travel for the Kathmandu and Lhasa tourists. Gyirong can be called as a gateway for entering into Tibet from Nepal. Gyirong is located on the southern side of Himalayan Mountains. It is quite close to Kathmandu, i.e. just 85km distance by road.
Best Time to Visit Gyirong Valley
You will experience a mild climate at Gyirong which will not be seen in other areas in Tibet. Gyirong has two parts, the southernmost part comprise of deep-cut alpines and George region and the northernmost part has wonderful lakes like lake Ling, Yarlung river, Paiku Lake etc. Himalayas are considered as natural guards to Gyirong against the hot air flowing towards north rising up from The Indian Ocean.
Northern side of Gyirong experience semi-arid type of monsoon climate. Under this type of climate, atmosphere is like that of middle of summers and winters. During day time, the temperature varies from 10-18 degrees in centigrade scale. The rainfall ranges between 300-600mm which causes the climate to be humid.
If you go towards the south of Gyirong, you will experience sub tropical climate followed by monsoon type of climate. Here the temperature fluctuates between 10-13 degrees in centigrade. The highest rainfall is recorded up to 1000mm. The winters are accompanied by drizzles and are short lived.
So to conclude we can say that Gyirong has humid weather with short winter span. So June to September can be regarded as the best months to visit Gyirong.
Classical Itinerary of Tibet Nepal Overland Tour
When going from Tibet to Nepal you will come across the classical itinerary of this tour. This tour is known as one of the most popular and exciting Himalayan tours. You will see wonderful landmark sites in Tibet such as Monasteries, High Passes and Lakes. You may also see the unique nomadic culture and people there. You will actually experience the rural Tibet. And then you will switch to Bouddhanath Stupa, Swoyambhunathstupa, and the Durbar Square at Kathmandu. This overland tour is operational from the beginning of April till October end. You have ample time to finalize the tour.
From the Lhasa airport, you will be driven to your hotel. On the way, you can have a nice view of the local streets of Lhasa. The tour will cover amazing sights like the traditional street of Bharkhor, Jokhang – the holiest Tibetan temple, Potala palace – the place of Dalai Lamas. Also, you will visit, Drepung and Sera, which are among the greatest of Gelugpa monasteries.
While traveling to Gyantse through road, you will have the majestic views of the Nazin Kang Sa and the Yamdrok-Tso lake which are at an altitude of 7252m. After seeing Pelkhor temple and Kumbum stupa at Gyantse, we will head towards Shigaste. There you can see Panchen Lama’s seat and the Tashihunpo monastery. After Shigatse, you will move to Shegar which is at a distance of nearly 244 km. Through the journey, you will come across many nomadic camps and monasteries.
Switching away to Gyirong you will have the closest and the breathtaking view of Mt. Everest. The spectacular peaks of Himalayas like Gauri Shankar, Manlungtse, cho oyu and Shishapangma are worth praising. Finally, we will move to Kathmandu. There at first complete your immigration formalities and then continue your trip to Nepal with lots of fun and unforgettable experiences.
Tibet Nepal Travel Documents Needed:
Tibet officially is China’s province. So you need valid travel documents to enter Tibet from mainland China and Nepal. Along with Tibet Travel Permit, you need some more documents as well. Here is a list of four things needed to travel Tibet:
1. Chinese Visa
If you travel from of other Chinese cities to Tibet, international travelers should have a Chinese visa from Chinese embassies to enter China first and then after you get your Tibet Permit, you can either take Tibet train or flight to Tibet.
2. Group Tourist Visa
While entering via Nepal a Tibet Group visa is needed to be obtained from Chinese embassy at Kathmandu. It is a piece of paper which includes details like name, occupation, nationality, sex, DOB, passport number. The entry and exit dates are also mentioned. For Tibet group visa you will get an invitation letter for visa from Tibet Tourism.
3. Tibet Travel Permit
TTP is the permit for entering the Tibet. We can help you get Tibet Permit if you book our Tibet and Nepal tour. For any foreign tourist, it is not possible to flight or board in train for Tibet without TTP. The permit will specify you the every attraction and destination which you are going to visit during your tour to Tibet. Therefore it has become mandatory for you to finalize your destinations with your agent before you apply for TTP.
4. Aliens’ Travel Permission
For traveling to any restricted place in Tibet, you need ATP which your guide will apply in your name to the security bureau in Tibet.
5. Military Permit (for EBC tour)
Also, you need a military permit from the military authority of Tibet to enter sensitive areas from political point of view.
While it all seems very complicated, we have made it easier for you by taking care of many of the documentary requirements for you, allowing you to better enjoy planning your trip without the stress and worry. Apply for Tibet Travel Permits Online Today!