Ganden Thangka Festival Tour

5 Days
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Tour Type:
Private Tour
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This tour is suitable for travelers who really want to know the Tibet monastery cultures. It covers all the three biggest monasteries in Tibet like Drepung monastery, Sera monastery and Ganden Monastery. Among of them, Ganden Monastery is the ancestral monastery of the Gelug Sect. During the festival, you will see the huge Thangka image hanging up. You may be very interesting in trekking Lingkor (circle). The most valuable collections are the Great Tsongkapa’s meditation cave and the 25 holiest relics. Also, you will visit the prominent historical architectures of Potala palace, mystical Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street where you can taste much Tibetan delicacy and explore some surprised goods.

1 Arrival in Lhasa (3680m)
2 Lhasa Sightseeing
3 Lhasa sightseeing
4 Lhasa-Ganden–Lhasa 140km, approx. 3hrs
5 Lhasa departure
Day 1 Arrival in Lhasa (3680m)

When you arrive in Lhasa, our staff will pick you up at Lhasa Airport/ Railway and transfer you to the hotel. From the airport, it takes about 1.5 hours. From the train station, it only takes 20 minutes. Afterward, it's best to relax and take it easy on the first day to get acclimatized to high altitude and alleviate the jet lag. You might go to the local market and wander around the city on your own but try not to overtax yourself.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Day 2 Lhasa Sightseeing

In the morning, our guide will head to you exploring the Potala Palace, which is the winter palace of the Dalai lama. The superb collections of Potala Palace are the gilded burial stupas of former Dalai Lamas and meditation cave of the 33rd great king of Tibet. It is best to explore the inside of the Potala in the morning for 2-3 hours. Afterward, you will walk the pilgrimage route around the Potala. Then, you will visit Tibetan Carpet Workshop which is just to the west of the Potala Palace.

In the afternoon, you will head to the Jokhang Temple, which is well known as the center of the Tibetan Buddhism, features Buddhist prayer wheels, reclining deer, golden sutra streamers. Also, you can see a great many of pilgrims praying in front of the temple and do kora with local pilgrims.

After visiting the Jokhang Temple, you will stroll in the old alleys of Barkhor Street where you can drink the sweet tea, chat with locals to experience the real life in Lhasa.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

The Potala Palace is the world's highest palace, castle and monastery.
Many pilgrims are worshipping and performing their devotions at the gate of Jokhang.
Day 3 Lhasa sightseeing

Today, it is an excellent idea to spend the day exploring Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery.

In the morning, you will head to the Drepung Monastery, which is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries that housed for more than 10,000 monks. It was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the Great Fifth Dalai Lama constructed the Potala. It was known for the high standards of its academic study and was called the Nalanda of Tibet. And then you also can visit biggest monastery kitchen in the monastery and enjoy Buddhist sculpture carving workshop near Drepung.

After lunch, drive to the Sera Monastery, which is another one of the ‘Great Three’ Gelug monasteries. It is famous for the Buddhism activities of "Monks Debate" for around 3 to 5 PM in the afternoon. The hot attractions are the three sand Mandalas and colorful Rock Painting of Buddha in the monastery.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

Drepung Monastery is also a Buddhist education base. It is the best place to learn and impart the Buddhism.
Sera Monastery has a rich collection of cultural relics.
Day 4 Lhasa-Ganden–Lhasa 140km, approx. 3hrs

Today you will head to Ganden Monastery, about 60km northeast of Lhasa. It is well known as being one of the “Great Three” Gelugpa monasteries of Tibet, founded by the Great Tsongkhapa in 1409. Here, you will visit the greatest Tibetan master Tsonga's tomb and chapels of Ganden monastery. If the physical condition is fine, you have a chance to trek with a guide around the Gaden along with the amazing view of Lhasa valley.

At noon, you will have lunch in the monastery restaurant with good food and friendly service. Then, you will head to visit the beautiful Tibetan farmer's village nearby. During Ganden Thangka Festival, Monks in colorful robes and headwear walked out with the 25 holiest relics, which are normally locked away.

Stay overnight in Lhasa

The feature of Ganden Monastery - yellow wall.
One of the top three Monasteries in Tibet - Ganden Monastery.
Day 5 Lhasa departure
Your Tibet tour ends today. After breakfasts, you will be free for the morning. Our staff will collect you at your hotel to transfer to Lhasa Airport/Railway Station.

Our private customized Tibet tours are ideal for families, small groups and individual travellers who desire a more thorough and intimate introduction to Tibet. Price varies with size, season, hotel rate. etc. Please fill out this form so our travel designers can start helping you plan a trip.

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Typically Asked Questions from Our Clients



Hello, I would like to visit Tibet on this 5 day tour, I am travelling alone and would like a single supplement quote for a 4 star hotel. Would you be able to also quote on the airfare return to Katmandu? Thanks



Dear Brian,

Thank you for sending us an inquiry! Based on the Tibetan calendar, although there is no exact date yet, the Ganden Thangka Festival 2018 will be possibly held during late July or early August according to our experience. Does this time fit your schedule? Please advise!

Dr B***


I am planning a tour to Lhasa to visit monasteries with my daughter Tara (dob 11.11.2000), ideally 26.3.18 or the week after in the Easter holidays. I have EDS and can walk but need a scooter fir longer journeyes and can do one slight of stairs. But lifts are preferred wherever possible. I was ordained into Triratna buddhist order in 2005 and have been a buddhist nearly 40 years. We live 1h from Stansted.


Dear Dr Bianca Prasadavajri Best, you'd better visit Tibet after the Easter holidays as the foreign tourists have been not allowing to enter Tibet in March since 2008. According to your situation, I've sent an itinerary to you by email for your reference.



To see the area of Lhasa and rural areas that specialize in Thanka or rug making.



Dear Lori Ann Fleury, I’m glad to hear that you are interested in taking our 5 Days-Ganden Thangka Festival Tour which falls on 7th Aug 2017.I will email you with detailed itinerary and cost of this tour shortly. 



I would like to visit Tibet. I will be traveling on my own. I am interested in some of the Festivals, monasteries and cultural activities. I would like to visit 7-10 days


According to your requirement, I pick up two itineraries for you, 10-day-tour and 7-day-tour. Both of the two plans contain some monasteries as the following. I need know some information definitely. When will you arrive in Tibet? Which level hotel would you like to stay overnight? It is easier to choose the best one for you.

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