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5 Days Gaden Ngachen Chenmo Festival Tour

5 Days Buddhist Festival Tour in Lhasa & Ganden Monastery

(TFT001) Lhasa


Gaden Ngachen Chenmo Festival, also known as Tsong Khapa Butter Lamp Festival, is held on 25, Oct of Tibetan calendar to commemorate the death of Tsongkapa, the greatest founder of Tibetan Buddhism. Tourists will be amazed by the rare scene when countless lamps are burnt on the top of Jokhang Temple and Tibetans burn the incense and circle around the Barkhor street to show their worship of Tsongkapa.

Besides, you’ll pay a visit to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, like the landmark of Tibet - Potala Palace, the spiritual center of all Tibetans - Jokhang Temple, etc. In the prestigious Sera Monastery, you’ll see how Tibetan Buddhists monks study the Buddhist philosophy in their daily life.

In this five days short tour in Lhasa and its surrounding, you will learn fully about Tibetan culture and way of their lives. Because of this tour is a very flexible and spending all nights are inside Lhasa with standard/luxurious accommodation, you do not need to worry about acute mountain sickness or any other cases.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival by air or rail and transfer to hotel

Arrival to Lhasa airport or train station where you will be picked up by our local guide and driver then transfer you to hotel. Main highlights on the way to Lhasa, you will see the biggest river in Tibet called Yarlung Tsangpo or Barmaputra in Indian language, the unique architectural village houses of Tibetan farmers and the first glance of Potala Palace.

Free sightseeing or take rest in your room in late afternoon to acclimatize. Your guide will give you more detail advice on acclimatization.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Note: If your Arrival is by train, then you don’t have the chance to see the river view and Tibetan village houses because the train station is next to the city.

Day 2: Sightseeing in Lhasa the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Barkor Street/old Bazaar

In the morning your guide and driver will meet you at hotel lobby and drive you to the Potala this majestic palace, the land mark of Tibet, the first construction ever built in Lhasa by the most well known and outstanding Tibetan king Tsongtsen Gambo in seventh century as his residence and central government official. And in seventeenth century the fifth Dalailama began to extend it into current style. It is listed into the UNESCO’s World Heritage in December 1994.

More than three hours visiting outside and inside the palace, you will learn all detail history about the palace by your guide. After marvelous visiting and climbing hundreds of stairs there, your driver will pick you up at the exit of Potala and transfer you to local restaurant near by Jokhang, you will feel bit exhausted and tired but no matter you can have good relax during the lunch time and ask for your guide to order a glass of Ginger Lemon Tea+honey that will give you more energy and feel fresh again.

After lunch break, your guide will lead you to Jokhang Temple and Barkor Street by walking to explore the culture center of Tibet, the heart of Tibetan Buddhism and the main destination of the pilgrims coming from all over the Tibetan territories and the Barkor Ancient Street with local bazaar and art workshops.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 3: Sightseeing in Lhasa the Norbulinka, Chukpori Rock Paintings and Sera Monastery

Today your guide will take you to Norbulinka/Summer residence of the Dalailamas, the main attraction there is its unique architectural design, wood carves and wall of paintings that tells the general history of Tibet and ancient civilization. You will also visit the successive Dalailamas’ personal residence, guest interview room as well as meeting rooms. It’s very peaceful and very nice atmosphere there.

After visiting Norbulinka, drive to Chukpori which is not far from Norbulinka, there you will see incredible paintings carved on the rocks more than thousands of images and mani stones, you can ask for carving your own mantra or name on a small piece of stone if you like it as a memory.

After having quick lunch, drive to Sera the second largest monastery in Lhasa where you will enjoy to see a very exciting monks’ debate on Buddhist philosophy same mode practice of ancient Indian philosophers did thousand years ago, what more, you will visit sand mandalas the Buddhist Cosmology and printing house where they publish the sutras and mantras in very traditional way by stamping from wooden blocks, you can also buy small old type sutras blessed by monks.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 4: Sightseeing around Lhasa and Ganden Monastery

Today you are most luckily to have a great opportunity to participate one of the most important annual religious ceremony in Lhasa and Ganden Monastery called “Gaden Ngachoe Chenmo” which means a Great 25th Day Ritual of the tenth month according to Tibetan lunar calendar,because that is the day of anniversary when Je Tsongka’s Parinirvana one of the greatest Buddhist masters in Tibetan history who reformed Tibetan Buddhism and established Geluk tradition.

In the morning drive about 50 km away from Lhasa to Ganden Monastery the home of Tsongkapa master to attend the ceremony with local pilgrims. The main attractions there will be a huge Tangkha/scroll painting of master Tsongkapa carried by 50/60 monks with chanting and special religious instruments outside the monastery and display it on a big wall to commemorate the lord Tsongkapa’s parinirvana, thousands of devoted pilgrims pay homage and offer Kadaks/white scarfs pray for themselves, their relatives and all the sentient beings on this planet. You can also do a small hiking around Ganden Kora/cercuit with gorgeous panoramic view of upper Lhasa valley.

Drive back to Lhasa in late afternoon and have a short break in hotel or you can do your own free sightseeing in local market near your hotel.

After dinner in the evening your guide will bring you back to Jokhang Temple and Barkor Street to see how Tibetans commemorate this Holy Day. Full of Jokang temple, around Barkor including every single living quarters of Tibetans are covered by butter lamps the “light of wisdom”.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 5: Departure to airport or railway station

Departure to your next destination, your guide and driver will transfer you back to airport or railway station and help you to get the boarding pass. Say good bye Tibet!

Service Guide

Service Included:

  • Tibet travel permit and all other necessary permits to Tibet;
  • All entrance ticket fees for all tourist sites listed in the itinerary;
  • Personal knowledgeable English-speaking Tibetan local tour guide;
  • Personal comfortable, clean and safe vehicle with reliable Tibetan local driver; vehicle ranging from 4WD land cruiser to minibus depending on your group size;
  • All lodging listed in the itinerary; it’s your decision about the accommodation class: luxury 5-star international hotel, comfortable 4-star hotel, economic 3-star hotel or budget hostel, guesthouse or tent. Please tell us your accommodation preference when submitting the enquiry; we will arrange the best-value hotels for you.
  • Domestic flight/train tickets listed in the itinerary;
  • All meals listed in the above itinerary;
  • Tourist accident/casualty insurance;
  • First aid kit;

Service Excluded:

  • International flight to and out of China;
  • Chinese visa (Note: we could help you with the Chinese visa application, like providing the invitation letter, presenting the hotel or domestic flight reservation copies, etc that you may need. )
  • Domestic flight/train not listed in the itinerary. (We can provide you the domestic flight/train ticket booking service at the BEST discount price; please contact us our travel experts for the details.)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; usually it costs about USD3-15 per person for one meal in TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region).
  • Tips and gratitude to tour guide and driver;
  • Personal expenses, like laundry, phone call, snacks, soft drinks (please do the best to avoid the alcoholic beverages during your Tibet trip), optional tour activities, etc.

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