CulturePilgrimage
   
     
  Country name: Tibet Autonomous Region
  Capital: Lhasa
  Government type: Democratic Government
  Population: 2.3 million
  Currency: Renminbi (RMB)
 
 

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  Tibet is a word that referred real Shangri-La, the forbidden land and the holy land of your innermost desire. When people refer Tibet, they will describe this land as the roof of the world. Due to the high altitude, Tibet is a land of snows as well as a mysterious place to explore. Snow mountains and grasslands, scattered herds of yak and nomads on the plateau, spectacular monasteries and unsophisticated smiles, tranquil lake and transparent blue sky, all can be seen on this magic land. Tibet is a province of natural wonder, a treasury of cultural relics and a destination of attractive adventure.

   
  Area
  Total: 1.2 million sq km
   
  Land boundaries
  The geographical boundaries of Tibet have added to its isolation, with the Kunlun and Altun ranges to the north, the Himalayas to the south, the Pakirs or Karakoram Ranges to the west, and the high mountains of Szechwan to the east. Roads were bad, and the only means of travel in the interior were on foot or by horse or yak. Until recently, there was no wheeled transport, and the story is told of how the King of Nepal, on a visit to Tibet, had to have his car completely dismantled and carried piece by piece across the Himalayas by Sherpas.
   
  Elevation extremes
  Tibet, averaging more than 4,000 meters above sea level, forms the main part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and is well known as the "roof of the world." The Himalayas, ranging from east to west on the southern edge of the Tibet Plateau, run for 2,400 kilometers with an elevation of more than 6,000 meters. Mount Qomolangma is the world's highest peak with an elevation of 8848.13 meters. The Yarlungzangbo Gorge, at a depth of 5,382 meters, is the world's deepest gorge.
   
 
Geography note   Geographic coordinates
Tibet can be divided into three major parts, the east, north and south. The eastern part is forest region, occupying approximately one-fourth of the land. Virgin forests run the entire breadth and length of this part of Tibet. The northern part is open grassland, where nomads and yak and sheep dwell here. This part occupies approximately half of Tibet. The southern and central part is agricultural region, occupying about one-fourth of Tibet's land area.
With all major Tibetan cities and towns such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and Tsetang located in this area, it is considered the cultural center of Tibet. The total area of the Tibet Autonomous Region is 1,200,000 square kilometers and its population is 1,890,000. The region is administratively divided into one municipality and six prefectures. The municipality is Lhasa, while the six prefectures are Shigatse, Ngari, Shannan, Chamdo, Nagchu and Nyingchi.
  The beautiful land of Tibet is located on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, southwest frontier of China. Because of its elevation, which rises over 4,000 meters above sea level, Tibet is known to be the highest section in the world and was aptly named "Roof of the World". The fascinating geography of Tibet boasts the majestic mountain ranges of the Himalayas, where one can find the world's highest summit. The northern area of Tibet is bounded by China, on the western part is bordered by the Kashmir regions of India and the south the Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan
   
  Terrain
  The Tibetan Plateau is a huge region of southwestern China consistently above 4000 meters. This region that was a thriving independent kingdom that began in the eighth century and developed into an independent country in the twentieth century is now under the firm control of China. Persecution of the Tibetan people and their practice of Buddhism is widely reported.
   
  Languages
  Tibetan
   
  Religions
  Also known as the Lamaism, the Tibetan Buddhism was introduced to Tibet from the mainland and India in the seventh century. The Tibetan Buddhism consists of four major sects, the Ge-lug-pa(Yellow) Sect, the Nying-ma-pa(Red)Sec, the Saturday-kya-pa(Variegated) Sect, and the Ka-gyu-pa(White) Sect.

The immediate motivations of pilgrimage are many, but for the ordinary Tibetan it amounts to a means of accumulating merit or good luck. The lay practitioner might go on pilgrimage in the hope of winning a better rebirth, cure an illness, end a spate of bad luck or simply because of a vow to take a pilgrimage if a bodhisattva granted a wish. In Tibet there are countless sacred destinations, ranging from lakes and mountains to monasteries and caves that once served as meditation retreats for important yogin. Specific pilgrimages are often proscribed for specific ills; certain mountains for example expiate certain sins. A circumambulation of Mt. Kailash offers the possibility of liberation within three lifetimes, while a circuit of Lake Manasarovar can result in spontaneous Buddhahood
   
  Society/Culture
  There is no prohibition on still & video cameras, tape recorders or any other electronic equipment for personal use as long as they are declared in the customs declaration form at the point of entry. Export of art objects dating back prior to 1959 are prohibited & may be seized.
   
  Economy
  The economy of Tibet is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Due to limited arable land, livestock raising is the primary occupation mainly on the Tibetan Plateau, among them are sheep, cattle, goats, camels, yaks, donkeys and horses. The main crops grown are barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, oats, rapeseeds, cotton and assorted fruits and vegetables. In recent years the economy has begun evolving into a multiple structure with agriculture and tertiary industry developing side by side.
   
  Brief History of Tibet
  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 Lassa'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.
   
  Climate and weather
  Temperature and rainfall at Lhasa
 
 
CELSIUS
FAHRENHEIT
RAINFALL
 MONTH
Max
Min
 Max
Min
(Inch)
  January
6
-10
42
14
Nil  
  February
8
-8
46
18
Nil 
  March
12
-3
54
26
Nil  
  April
15
 00
59
32
0.4  
  May
18
 05
64
41
1.4  
  June
23
 09
73
48
2.8  
  July
22
 09
71
48
6.7  
  August
22
 08
71
47
4.7  
  September
21
 07
70
44
4.7  
  October
17
 02
62
35
0.4  
  November
12
-4
53
25
Nil  
  December
8
-10
46
14
Nil  
   
  More info on Tibet >
 
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