With the popularity of Tibet-Nepal tourism, more and more people begin to visit some famous Buddhist sites to experience the spirit and atmosphere of Buddhism.
The tours to Buddhist pilgrimage sites are wonderful, which can purify the mind of tourists in the process. If you also want to get away from the busy city life, you can choose some Buddhist sites to visit in your Tibet Nepal tour.
Here we will list several must-visit Buddhist sites for your Tibet and Nepal tour. Among the attractions on the way from Lhasa to Kathmandu, you may have a trip to some famous Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
The religious and cultural sites will do you much help to make your mind quiet and secure, which can play a significant role in assisting you to get rid of the bad mood.
You can take part in the Kora with other pilgrims in temples or monasteries to know much deeper about the Buddhist culture. Follow our recommendation below for a spiritual journey from Tibet to Nepal.
Must-visit Buddhist sites in Lhasa and its surroundings
In general, the first destination of your Tibet- Nepal itinerary is Lhasa of Tibet, which has a long history and many attractions for you to visit. It is also a good choice for you to stay in Lhasa for two or three days to adapt to high altitude.
Now let’s begin to have a look at some must-see Buddhist sites in Lhasa and its surroundings.
Drak Yerpa Monastery lies in a cliff, which is 16km away from Lhasa.
This holy place has quite long history, which has attracted numerous pilgrims and travellers to visit here to enjoy the natural scenery around it and its various architectures. The holy cave retreats in it also add its mystery and make it more fascinating.
Jokhang Temple is located in Lhasa as well, whose buildings are beautiful due to its mixed architectural styles.
It has one statue of Sakyamuni, which makes it more meaningful for Tibetan Buddhists. Its uniqueness also comes from spiritually minded Tibetans. This temple enables Lhasa full of spirituality.
Drepung Monastery was established in 1416, which once held 7,700 monks long time ago during its heyday.
It was once famous for its high criterions of the academic study.
The cultural relics in this monastery are numerous, which makes it more superb and wonderful, such as the statues of Manjushri Bodhisattva, statues of Tsong Khapa, amazing murals on walls, and so on.
Sera Monastery is with beautiful settings and you can have a chance to view the debates of monks inside the courtyard behind its main temple.
It is one of the gorgeous Gelukpa university monastery in Tibet.
Ganden Monastery lies beside the Lhasa River bank, which is quite historical and large among Tibet Buddhist monasteries.
This monastery holds the Buddha Painting Unfolding Festival every year, which has drawn numerous travellers and disciples to come here to have a good time.
It is known as the ancestral monastery of Gelugpa.
Potala Palace lies in the Red Hill of Lhasa, which is regarded as the landmark of Lhasa city.
This religious attraction is very awe-inspiring, and its grand buildings with devotional atmosphere are quite precious in Tibet.
The characteristic constructions of this palace have attracted many tourists and it also holds lots of cultural relics, including murals, tangkas, and etc.
Must-visit Buddhist sites from Lhasa to EBC via Gyantse
After a full visit in Lhasa, you can head to Everest Base Camp (EBC) via Gyantse. You can also enjoy the astonishing scenery and various Buddhist sites on the way. Several of them are listed below for you to check out. If you are interested in trekking the Three passes to EBC, you can check out this guide.
Sakya Monastery is located in the west of Shigatse, which is famous for its medieval Mongolian architecture and a large collection of Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, murals and Thangkas.
You can also view diverse Buddhist scriptures in this monastery, which has become precious materials for exploring the Tibetan history.
Tashilhunpo Monastery is a famed religious place, which is the seat of the Panchen Lama.
Its gorgeous buildings are covered with golden roofs. The walls of it are white and you can also see extraordinary Tangka wall, which shows the images of Buddha in the history.
The specific wall paintings of this monastery are quite precious and invaluable.
Rongbuk Monastery is in the north side of Mt. Everest, which has become an ideal place to have a good view of Mt. Everest.
Many mountaineers also choose this location as their base camp.
If travellers want to get to the highest peak of Mt. Qomolangma, they have to pass through this monastery from the north slope.
The views around it are dramatic and have attracted a large number of tourists come here to enjoy the peak panorama of several mountains. It has long been the location for special Buddhist pilgrimages, and its religious atmosphere is quite strong.
Samye Monastery is well-known for the sacred mandala design, which lies in Dranang.
Its layout is unique and its buildings are great, which represents the continents and other characters of the Buddhist world.
Pelkor Chode Monastery
Pelkor Chode Monastery is located at the foot of Dzong Hill, which is composed by 4 main parts.
In it, there are many cultural relics that have been preserved well till now.
It keeps 1,049 sets of aged Tibetan sutra that are quite useful for learning the religion of Tibetan and the culture in Tibet.
The Tibetan-Nepali style Kumbum stupa is the highlights of the tour.
Must-visit Buddhist sites from EBC to Gyirong border
After you have a good sight at EBC, you need to head to the Gyirong border to get to Nepal. There are also some must-visit Buddhist sites on the road for you to appreciate.
Sakya Monastery lies in the west of Shigatse, which was built in 1073.
Its architectures area in the style of Mongolian, which is fairly different from those temple architectures in Lhasa.
It has several most amazing surviving artwork, which is preserved well since ancient times.
Stunning scenery around it and its characteristics make it stand out among all monasteries in Tibet.
Shalu Monastery is not large, but it is also famous for its scholarly studying and psychic training.
The murals in this monastery are regarded as the oldest and the most lifelike in Tibet. It was once a significant centre for the tradition of Sakya.
Narthang Monastery is in the west of Shigatse as well, which is the 4th dramatic monastery of Tsang.
It once became well-known for its teaching of scripture and the discipline of monks. Until now, only parts of the high-fortress walls with the Mongolian style are left and you can also view some mud-brick foundations.
Must-visit Buddhist sites in Kathmandu Valley
When you get through the Gyirong border, you will be in the land of Nepal. You can have the chance to see some great Buddhist sites in Kathmandu Valley. You should not miss five of them shown below.
Pashupatinath Temple lies in the east of Kathmandu and is well-known for its stunning architecture.
It is regarded as one of the most significant Hindu temples in Nepal and the most essential Shaivite temple.
It is also used most as the cremation spot in this valley.
Bodhnath Stupa has been included in the Unesco World Heritage Sites, which is one of the biggest stupas on earth.
The white structure in it houses one bone of the Buddha according to the legend. Pilgrims come here to kora around the stupa to show their piety.
Swayambhunath Temple can be identified immediately, for it has golden spires that are painted by ominous-looking eyes.
It also has become the habitats of lots of resident monkeys, which offers travellers stunning panoramas of the city that is located in the valley.
Budhanilkantha Temple is seen as the holiest Hindu temples in Nepal, which attracts lots of local devotees come here to do kora.
Visitors can also have the chance to have a look at the day-to-day worship in this temple at busy periods.
Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple
If you go to visit this temple in Nepal on a full moon evening, you may be lucky to enjoy the free classical music concert that employs traditional instruments to amuse audiences.
The happy atmosphere and the great moment will leave you a deep impression.
You couldn’t afford to miss these great religious and cultural attractions in your itinerary. Read on if you are looking for more reasons to visit Nepal.
Although it is hard for you to visit all of them in one trip, you can choose some of your favourite ones to have a good view.
Join a tour group to have the opportunity to get a perfect culture and natural travel experience in Tibet Nepal trip.
A guest post and images by Stephanie Lee