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Tibet "Roof of the World"
The Land of Snows, the roof of the world. For centuries this mysterious Buddhist kingdom, locked away in its mountain fastness of the Himalaya, has exercised a unique hold on the imagination of the West. For explorers, imperialists and traders it was a forbidden land of treasure and riches. Dreamers on a spiritual quest have long whispered of a lost Shangri-la, steeped in magic and mystery. When the doors were finally flung open in the mid-1980s, Tibet lay in ruins. Between 1950 and 1970, the Chinese wrested control of the plateau, drove the Tibetans’ spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and some 100, 000 of Tibet’s finest into exile and systematically dismantled most of the Tibetan cultural and historical heritage, all in the name of revolution. For a while images of the Buddha were replaced by icons of Chairman Mao. Today, Tibetan pilgrims across the country are once again mumbling mantras and swinging their prayer wheels in temples that are heavy with the thick intoxicating aroma of juniper incense and yak butter. Monasteries have been restored across the country, along with limited religious freedoms. A walk around Lhasa’s lively Barkhor pilgrimage circuit is proof enough that the efforts of the communist Chinese to build a brave new (roof of the) world have foundered on the remarkable and inspiring faith of the Tibetan people.

For travellers, Tibet is without doubt one of the most remarkable places to visit in Asia. It offers fabulous monastery sights, breathtaking high-altitude treks, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains and one of the most likeable peoples you will ever meet. There's Gyantse, in the Nyang-chu Valley, famed for the largest chörten (stupa) in Tibet, and hiking in Yarlung Valley, widely considered the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Base yourself in Tsetang and marvel at the monkey cave in Gangpo Ri or walk the monastery kora (pilgrim path). Your trip will take you past glittering mountain turquoise lakes and over high passes draped with prayer flags. Find a quiet spot in a prayer hall full of chanting monks, hike past the ruins of remote hermitages or make an epic overland trip along some of the world’s wildest roads. The scope for adventure is limitless.

How to Access?
Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa:
Air China, the only Airline operates the flight between Kathmandu and Lhasa 3 days in a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). The flight operates from April through end of the October. The rest of the months the Air China withhold the flights because of the low flow of passengers/travelers. This trans Himalayan flight takes 1 hour & 10 minutes to reach Lhasa from Kathmandu.

Tibet from mainland China:
Lhasa is also connected with Beijing, Xian, Chengdu and Shanghai by air. There are every day Flights operating from Lhasa to these cities. Gongar is the only Airport in Lhasa. So, now days, travelers who are interested visiting Tibet via mainland China can commence their journey from one of these cities. The journey from the mainland China is hassle-free than the journey via Kathmandu.

Overland connection from Kathmandu Nepal:
There are five major road routes to Lhasa but foreigners are only supposed to use the Nepal (Friendship Highway) and Qinghai (via Golmud) routes.

The journey from Kathmandu should be viewed as an adventure, not just a sightseeing. The road itself was poorly constructed and is prone to closure by landslides, particularly from June through September. It can be very dusty and some kind of facemask is a good idea to take along. As you drive to altitudes of over 17000 feet at some points, altitude sickness becomes a real possibility and most will feel some symptoms. You must make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help you acclimatize. The choice of hotels en route (except in Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse) is extremely limited. From Kathmandu it takes 5 days to reach Lhasa. This rout opens round the year for travelers.

Flora & Fauna :
A variety of large mammals can be found including the elusive Snow leopard, bears, wolves, blue sheep. Other animals include musk deer, yaks and Tibetan antelope.

People & Culture:
Tibetans share their region with Menpa, Luopa, Han Chinese, Hui, Sherpa, and a few Deng people. They are however the main inhabitants on the plateau.Tibetans in general are optimistic and happy people.They were Initially, farmers who settled in small villages with barley as their main crop, these roaming nomads earned their living by herding yaks and sheep .As larger settlements developed many Tibetans made a living as craftsmen. Nowadays more and more people are migrating into businesses.The Tibetan language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan phylum. People in U, Tsang, Kham, and Chamdo.

Most Tibetans are devout Buddhists while a few believe in the old Bon religion (which predates Buddhism). Islam and Catholicism also have a few followers in Lhasa and Yanjing respectively. The population is increasing fairly rapidly. According to the census conducted in 2000, there are 2,616,300 people in Tibet, with Tibetans totaling 2,411,100 or 92.2% of the current regional population. The census also revealed that the average life span has increased to 68 due to the improving standard of living and access to medical services. Illiteracy has decreased to 850,700.
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