This fabulous two-day extension trip takes you to the beautiful and sacred Namtso Lake, about 200 kilometres north of Lhasa. Set in a remote and rugged area, you can see something of the traditional nomad way of life on the way and, on the way back to Lhasa, visit the ancient Tsurphu Monastery, the principal seat of the Karma Kagyü School of Tibetan Buddhism.
This is trip extension package and you may add visiting to Namtso Lake to your Tibet trip packages.
Drive to Namtso Lake (4718m, 6 hrs).
Namtso or ’Heavenly Lake’ is the second largest saltwater lake in China. This vast, brilliant blue lake is 1920km2 and is surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Nyenchen Thangla range and open grassland dotted with yak herds. Numerous migratory birds visit the lake, both in summer and winter. Five islands in the lake are used for long spiritual retreats over summer. You will visit the rocky Tashidor Peninsula, jutting out from the south side of the lake where the limestone hill is pockmarked with caves, still occasionally used by hermits. It is an incredibly beautiful photographic site.
After spending time at the lake return to overnight at Damxung – it is no longer permitted to stay at the lake.
Visit Tsurphu Monastery and drive back to Lhasa.
Tsurphu Monastery stands in the centre of a south-facing valley, surrounded by high mountains with a kora, circumambulation path, that takes 2-3 hours to walk. Tsurphu is the principal seat of the Karma Kagyü School of Tibetan Buddhism and was founded in 1189 by the first Karmapa, who came from Kham in Eastern Tibet. The monastery is sited where he received a vision of the Chakrasambhava mandala. He is also credited with the development of the philosophy of tulku (conscious, identifiable reincarnation) which came to dominate Tibet’s spiritual and political life.