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China Day 6 - Monasteries of Lhasa

Added: August 18, 2009

Tags: Tibet animals monastery mountains photos
On Saturday 11th of July I finally started to feel completely well. And it is about time because we are heading to Ganden Monastery with altitude even higher than Lhasa is at and we will have some walk with nice views today. I am looking forward for that!


I know I am not very creative with these titles, but it is even harder today, because I am going to break time succession in order to better balance 2 pages.

Ganden Monastery is 36km away from Lhasa if you can believe Wikipedia (somehow I cannot, because they claim it is at altitude of 4,750m while we were told something else. Also mountain it is on does not seem like being 1000m above road).

On the road to Ganden Monastery

We had 3 stops on the way to monastery, the first 2 would be better if we had better weather, because both places were rather gloomy. We stopped in some village where we had a short walk off the main road with nice repaired buildings just to see how "real Tibet" looks like.

The 2nd stop was at nice bridge with many prayer flags attached to it. They went quite high, I am not sure how they were applied there. If only we did not stop in the morning, but during our return. My photos would be so much better with blue sky!



Guess what Tibetans are using for heating and cooking.

Another monastery or temple. I am not sure we were told about it, but I did not know until selecting photos for my blog when I read it at the photo. It is pity I could not find anything about it on web. The name is Sang A Si.


Finally, our 3rd stop was completely satisfying. Not thanks to weather, but because we stopped at village bellow Ganden Monastery with picturesque stupa and surroundings. Presence of local people made it even better. We were a bit shy in the beginning, but then Rich told us "You can go closer, local people will not bite you" so we did and nobody got hurt :-)

Then, there were also animals there. Couple of calves (of unknown variety) directly there and small black dots representing yaks far away up to hill. Our first yaks! We have seen their dungs already, and tasted their meat, but we had not seen the real thing yet!




Our first encounter with yaks.

The 2nd one, but through bus windows...

Kora at Ganden Monastery

While Ganden Monastery looks wonderful it was not the biggest highlight for me. The most fantastic thing what we have done there was to walk around Ganden Monastery on kora. As I mentioned last time it is sacred path that every pilgrim has to absolve 3 times. Speciality of this one is that they have to hop on one leg at one section :-) That does not mean we did or have seen somebody doing it...

For me, it was more about landscape. Wonderful mountains and blue sky with nice clouds. It is about 1h walk, some pilgrims can do it in 20min, but it took us about 2 hours. We went quite slowly, keeping in mind that some problems with altitude could occur. Fortunately they did not. Catching breath more often than back home is not a big problem :-)



Local people on their kora. Indiana Jones in red is our tour leader Rich.


People are building houses for their soul so that it have a place to live at. Everybody needs their own, no sharing or renting.








When we got close to Ganden Monastery again we could see following "party" for monks below us. One group was sitting, then they stood up and joined others. BTW the fire truck is there to provide water, not because Health & Safety asked for one.

And I start to understand why some people in our group called me paparazzi :-(