also known as Xigatse is the second largest city in Tibet. Situated at the
junction of the Yarlong Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) and Nyangchu River, Shigatse
literally means "fertile land". Shigatse is located around 300 km west of Lhasa,
at an altitude of 3800 meters above sea level. This 600 year old city was
earlier the capital of Tsang province and now is the capital of Shigatse
prefecture. It is an important stop between Lhasa and west Tibet for pilgrims
and tourists. The city has hit the top in the count of tourist and adventurers
that come here to witness the might and grandeur of the highest peak in the
world, Mt. Everest.
Reasons to visit
Shigatse has a lot to offer to the tourists with its high
snow capped peaks, wonderful monasteries and colorful markets that are filled
with amazing Tibetan stuff.
Tashilhunpo Monastery is located at the west part of the
Shigatse city and about 250 km away from the capital of Tibet Lhasa. Situated on
the foot of Drolmari or Tara’s mountain, it is one of the huge Monasteries of
Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in China and the biggest Tibetan Gelugpa Buddhism
monastery in back Tibet area. Standing on a whooping area of around 300,000 sq.
m it is also called the Heap of Glory. It is known as a seat of the Panchen Lama
who is considered to be the second most important religious leader of Tibet.
Founded by the first Dalai Lama in the year 1447 the monastery significantly
expanded by the fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. The Monastery covers an
area of nearly 300,000 square meters. The main structures found in the Monastery
are The Maitreya Chapel.
Built in the year 1427, the monastery has gained the
position as the Lord of Tibetan Stupas. The Palkhor monastery is a classical
example of age old Tibetan monasteries as it houses both, a temple and a Stupa.
What you would find most interesting can be the mural paintings on the wall that
depicts stories of Buddha. You will notice that the painting style in this
monastery is quite different from paintings that one seen in other monasteries.
The highest and the most celebrated peak in the world, Mt.
Everest leaves no stone unturned in overpowering your senses. The Everest, also
called as Qomolangma in Tibet, has its tip covered with snow throughout the
year. This peak is virtually worshiped by all mountaineers as climbing to the
top of this mountain is the biggest challenge and the ultimate goal in any
mountaineer's life. You as a tourist can also get the same fun, ecstasy and feel
the same rush of blood but in an easy way, just stand on the foot of this
prodigious part of earth.
Sakya Monastery is the first monastery of Sakyapa Sect.
Like other monasteries, this one is also famous for its uniqueness. The
monastery is more than 900 years old and has the collection of few of the most
valuable pieces of Tibetan history. Most important of all are the handwritten
sutras of about 3000 in number. The main attraction of the monastery is the
central hall called Lakhang Chenmo Hall. The name of the monastery means 'Grey
Soil' because of its surroundings heavily dominated by grey colour.
The traditional handicrafts representating Tibetan
culture are favorite souvenirs for visitors.
There are many festivals in Shigatse Region which can
make your trip great fun. Beautiful songs and dances will form part of most
ceremonies. Some of the famous festivals of Shigatse are Buddha unfolding Festival,
Ongkor Festival and Linka Festival.