A digital approach to protect Tibetan temples

As one tours Tibet, one of the most impressive impressions of Tibet would be its numerous Tibetan monasteries and temples. In fact, it’s estimated that there are approximately 1700 Tibetan monasteries and temples across Tibet and most of them are built on the lofty mountaintop or in surrounding mountains.

However, nearly all of these were ransacked and destroyed by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. Most of the major monasteries have been at least partially re-established, while many others remain in ruins.

Tibet is one of the centers for Buddhist pilgrimage and worship in Asia. To understand Tibet, a land of mystery, the first step is to know how to appreciate its myriad monasteries.

“In Jokhang Temple, more than 6,000 cultural relics such as thangka, Buddha statues, and pagodas all have their own databases, complete with exhaustive details including each relic’s era, material, shape, size, and weight,” said Lhagpa, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee and the executive deputy director of the administrative committee of Jokhang Temple.

Databases are very important for the protection of temples in Tibet. When statues, thangka paintings and murals are damaged, restoration can be difficult if no one knows for sure of its original look. Lhagpa, therefore, put forth a proposal for cultural heritage authorities to set up relic databases for each temple. The proposal is being carried out step by step, Chinadaily reports.

According to Tibet Travel Policy, international tourists can’t spend the night inside a Tibetan monastery or live with Tibetan monks. However, you can stay in the guesthouse of the monastery if there is one for the visitors.

How to Get to Tibet from Nepal and Mainland China

Located on the northern side of the Himalayas, Tibet seems to be unreachable and mysterious for many tourists from afar. But it is now possible to travel to Tibet from all over the world via Nepal or mainland China, the only gateways access to Tibet.

Get to Tibet from Mainland China

Mainland China offers the most kinds of access to Tibet. You can get to Tibet from different gateway cities via Tibet train, Tibet flights, or overland driving.


Get to Tibet from Mainland China by Train

Traveling to Lhasa by Tibet trains is the recommended way to reach Tibet from mainland China, for its cost-effectiveness, great window view, and punctuality, and gradual ascent to Tibet Plateau.

The train journey from Xining to Lhasa is a wonderful trip full of countless scenic wonders in Tibet Plateau, such as snow-capped mountains, boundless grassland, beautiful lakes, and vast gobi, where no human lives but the paradise for various wildlife.

Thanks to the developed railway network in China, now, you can take a Tibet train from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Xining, Chongqing, and Lanzhou directly. The shortest train journey takes around 23 hours from Xining to Lhasa, while the longest journey takes over 53 hours from Guangzhou to Lhasa.

Get to Tibet from Mainland China by Flight

Nothing is more convenient than taking a flight to Tibet. At present, there are direct flights to Lhasa from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xining, Xi’an, Shangri-La, and Kunming. There are also several daily flights to Shigatse and Nyingchi in Tibet from some nearby cities, like Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an, etc.

Other flights from Shanghai, Guangzhou, and some other cities far from Tibet are almost connecting flights or stopover flights within 7 hours or more.

Best Time to Visit Tibet

The best seasons to visit Tibet are spring and autumn, during which you can appreciate the most pleasant weather in Tibet with less rainfall.

Spring comes late in Tibet, starting in early April and ends in May, while autumn in Tibet is also particularly short from September to October.

During these months, you will have a better chance to enjoy the grand summit of Mount Everest, as well as other mountains in Tibet without rainy and foggy weather during the summer.

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