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Gyantse

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At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.

Visit gyantse

Lying on a historic trade route between India and Tibet, Gyantse located at 3977 meters above sea level, has long been a crucial link for traders and pilgrims journeying across the Himalayas. It was once considered Tibet’s third city, behind Lhasa and Shigatse, but in recent decades has been eclipsed by fast-growing towns such as Bāyī and Tsetang. Perhaps that’s a good thing, as Gyantse has managed to hang onto its small-town charm and laid-back atmosphere. The streets and markets of Gyantse are full of Tibetan character.
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Gyantse has played an important role in the history of Tibet and this fact alone adds a mystic charm to this delightful Himalayan city.
Dawa Tsering
Tibet Travel Specialist

Things to See and Do in Gyantse

Gyantse-Dzong

Gyantse Dzong

Located 254 km south-west of Lhasa, Gyantse is home to an impressive fort, the Gyantse Dzong, which sits on a hilltop towering over the valley and town, offering amazing views. It was famously captured by British forces in 1904 in a rare, high-altitude battle, allowing the British to proceed to Lhasa and establish trade with Tibet. Given Gyantse Dzong's commanding location, there are a plethora of opportunities for hiking and photography. If you visit the dzong, you would probably visit the War Memorial Museum inside.
Pelkhor-Chode-Monastery

Pelkhor Chode Monastery

The high red-walled compound in the far north of Gyantse houses Pelkhor Chode Monastery, founded in 1418, which was formerly home to huge populations of Gelugpa and Sakya monks. The monastery suffered greatly during the Cultural Revolution, but is now having a revival. The main assembly hall is of greatest interest, but there are several other chapels to see. The Pelkhor also offers another opportunity to see pilgrims making their koras, spinning prayer wheels and reciting mantras as they circumnavigate the giant stupa. This experience offers a rare opportunity for unique insight into the rural life of Tibet. Have tea or dinner with a few of the pilgrims and hear from them about their powerfully spiritual journey.
Gyantse-Kumbum

Gyantse Kumbum

Gyantse’s greatest sight is Gyantse Kumbum, the largest chörten remaining in Tibet which was built around 1440 and is covered in murals and frescoes, and has sets of “Buddha eyes” looking out protectively over the surrounding countryside. This 32m-high chörten, with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and crown-like golden dome, is awe-inspiring. But the inside is no less impressive, and in what seems an endless series of tiny chapels you’ll find painting after exquisite painting (kumbum means ‘100,000 images’).
Lake-Yamdrok-Tso

Lake Yamdrok Tso

Yamdrok Tso, also known as the Scorpion Lake for its unique shape, is located some 110 km to the southwest of Lhasa. One of the three holy lakes of Tibet (the other 2 are Namtso Lake and Lake Manasarovar), this is the largest inland lake on the northern range of the Himalayas with the lake bank of 250 km long, surface of 638 square km, standing at an elevation of 4,441 meters above sea level. Rife with aquatic life, dotted with islets, and surrounded by fields of wildflowers, the Yamdrok Tso is not only naturally stunning but an important place of pilgrimage; its waters are believed to hold powers of rejuvenation and longevity, and to bless children with intelligence.

Its small islands are home to roosting birds and, during the herding season, to flocks of sheep, ferried there by herders who leave them in peace and safety until the onset of winter. Pilgrims often wander the lake's shores, making their way along kora paths, many of which take a week to complete.

Best Time to Visit Gyantse

Best time to visit Gyantse is during the months from April to October which are generally mild. Gyantse and eastern Tibet have a monsoon season with high rainfall from around July to October.
Max Temperature(ºC)
Jan
-3
Feb
-1
Mar
2
Apr
7
May
11
Jun
14
Jul
14
Aug
13
Sep
12
Oct
6
Nov
1
Dec
-2
Rainfall (mm)
Jan
0
Feb
0
Mar
2
Apr
3
May
15
Jun
60
Jul
129
Aug
146
Sep
58
Oct
7
Nov
2
Dec
0
Month
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

JAN
-3ºC
0mm

FEB
-1ºC
0mm

MAR
2ºC
2mm

APR
7ºC
3mm

MAY
11ºC
15mm

JUN
14ºC
60mm

JUL
14ºC
129mm

AUG
13ºC
146mm

SEP
12ºC
58mm

OCT
6ºC
7mm

NOV
1ºC
2mm

DEC
-2ºC
0mm

Festivals, Events and Seasonal Reasons to Visit

  • 01

    July 20th - Gyantse Horse Racing Festival: This annual event is a showcase of talent and includes more than just horse racing. Wrestling, archery, track and field and ball games are also important parts of this athletic event. Accompanying the sports is Tibetan opera, music, dancing and all kinds of other festivities, making it one of the most exciting and traveller-accessible festivals of the year. There is also usually a market and plenty of vendors selling traditional Tibetan food.

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