Drigung Til Monastery Trek – 8 Days

Lhasa, which means ‘the land of the gods’ is the heart and soul of Tibet. It is a city of wonders, the capital of Tibet and an autonomous region of China. For centuries this holy city has attracted travellers from all over the world with its beautiful scenery, cultural heritage and its mysticism.

This itinerary takes you through an array of monasteries to remote villages and beautiful pastures, coming across nomadic life and eventually leading you to the wondrous Drigung Til monastery with gold capped roofs that give you an exhilarating view of the entire valley. This is a trail definitely worthy of a voyage.

Skeleton Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lhasa

Upon arrival at Lhasa airport, you will be greeted by our local guide and driver, transferred to hotel in Lhasa, check in at the hotel and rest for the day as we need to acclimatize. We may take a short walk around the Barkhor old town area.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 2: Lhasa sightseeing

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, explore the massive Potala Palace, the former home of the Dalai Lama. Then visit the revered Jokhang Temple, the oldest religious structure in Tibet, where you join monks as they circumambulate the temple, visit Norbulingka & stop at the lively Barkhor bazaar.

Potala Palace has been the focus of the travellers for centuries. It is the cardinal landmark and a structure of massive proportion. This symbol of Tibet, an architectural gem built in the colossal monastic style of central Tibet by Gyelwa Ngapa the fifth Dalai Lama, in the 17th century, stands 300m above the valley atop the hill called Marpo Ri.

Jokhang Temple: The oldest and the most revered religious structure in Tibet, it dates back to 639 to 647, initiated by King Songtsen Gampo to house a Buddha image Akshobhya brought to Tibet by his Nepalese wife. Pilgrims from all over Tibet come to worship here and prostrate themselves in full length in front of the main doors of the temple. It is truly a moving and unrivalled experience to witness such a sight and more so to actually join them in their pilgrimage around the temple.

Norbulingka is the summer palace of His Holiness Dalai Lama. The 8th Dalai Lama designated it as a summer retreat but the majority of the buildings were not erected until the reigns of 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas. Every year as the chill air warmed, the Dalai Lama would leave Potala in a grand procession for six months residence in the Norbulingkha. It is worth a visit and the park is a great place to be at festival times and public holidays. During the seventh lunar month every year the Norbulingkha is crowded with picnickers for the Shotun festival.

Barkhor Market: The word Barkhor refers to the middle of the three concentric holy circuits around the Jokhang. The Barkhor Circuit runs through the heart of the old city where life has changed little down the centuries and it gives you a curious sensation of having slipped through time into a medieval carnival.  This is both the spiritual heart of the holy city and the main commercial districts being the center of Tibetan capital’s trade for centuries.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 3: In Lhasa

Today start your sightseeing with Tibet’s two great monasteries Drepung & Sera both built in 1400’s.

Drepung Monastery: About 8km to the west of central Lhasa, Drepung, one of the world’s largest monastery was built in 1416 by Jamyang Choje a pupil of Tshong Khapa, the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. Drepung literally means “heaps of rice” and the fertility of its fields supported a monastic community that before 1959, ranked as Tibet’s largest monastery with 7,770 monks. For over 500 years Drepung served as the major pillar of the theocratic state, serving as the main political headquarters for the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It also served as the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the Potala Palace was constructed in 1645. Suffering only minor damage during the Cultural Revolution, Drepung has plenty of historical relics, Buddhist scriptures and arts.

Sera Monastery: 5 km north of Lhasa, its setting is one of the prettiest, hugging the ridge that forms the Northern wall of the Kyi Chu valley. Founded in 1419 by Sakya Yeshe, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, belonging to the Gelugpa sect, this is one of the three great monasteries of Tibet, the other two being Drepung & Ganden. In its heyday, Sera hosted a huge monastic population and five colleges. Like Drepung, the colleges in Sera specialised in Sera Me in fundamental precepts of Buddhism, Sera Je in instruction of itinerant monks and Sera Ngagpa in Tantric studies.

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/-]

Day 4: Drive Lhasa- Tridum

Distance/ Drive time: 145 Kms/ 3 Hours Approx.

We leave Lhasa, drive though Kyi Chu valley to Tridum Nunnery. Upon arrival in Tridum, we set up our camp and prepare for the trek; you can also enjoy the hot-springs there.

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 5: Trek Tridum - Zari Pastures

Distance/ Trek time: 10 Kms/ 5 Hours Approx.

On this exciting morning at the camp, have breakfast and then start our trek. Our main-bags and the camping gears will go on the back of yaks & porters. We trek for about 10kms to Drong Nge monastery (Nyingma Pa monastery ), ( wild Yak crying monastery ), en route, we trek past grasslands, with beautiful views of mountain cliffs and a bit of forests, crossing running streams as well as nomadic camp. We trek for about 4 to 5 hours and camp overnight in the vicinity of the monastery near a beautiful pure running stream with nomadic camps in the area. We can also visit the monastery before dinner.

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 6: In the Zari Pastures (Nomadic Area)

Distance/ Trek time: 11 Kms/ 5 Hours Approx.

We have an easy and relaxed morning at the camp. After breakfast, we start our trek again for the day; it is more in the nomadic area, passing grazing yaks, sheep and nomadic camps. We could also visit some local nomadic families en route as well. We cross the highest pass on this trek Tso la pass which is about 5000m and eventually trek through a bit of forest. We trek for about 4 to 5 hrs this day and enjoy dinner at our next camp.

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 7: Trek to Drigung Til Monastery

Distance/ Trek time: 10 Kms/ 4 Hours Approx.
Distance/ Drive time: 195 Kms/ 3 Hours Approx.

After breakfast at camp, we trek for about 3 to 4 hrs through the forest passing by huge mountain cliffs and running streams.  We reach Ngul Tso village above Drigung Til monastery where we will be met by our driver and drive to visit Drigung Til monastery and the surrounding area. This monastery provides stupendous views of the entire valley especially through the gold crowned roofs that offer better vistas. After taking in the beautiful view, drive back to Lhasa.

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/-]

Day 8: Final Departure

Transfer to airport for the flight to your next destination.

Trip Ends

Destination Tibet
Trip Duration 8 Days
Arrival In Lhasa
Departure From Lhasa
Meals Bed & breakfast basis, Full Board basis while camping
Best Season February – May/ September – November
Activity Tour
Grade Easy
Includes •    Meet and greet and airport transfers
•    4 nights’ accommodation in Lhasa on bed and breakfast basis
•    3 nights’ camping trek as per the itinerary on full board basis with necessary trekking equipment and supporting staffs
•    Sightseeing tour in Tibet will be provided as per the itinerary with local English speaking Tibetan guide by private vehicle
•    International/domestic arrival / departure transfers
•    Tibet Travel Permit
•    All surface transfers as per the itinerary by private vehicle
•    All entrance and monuments fees as indicated in the program
Excludes •    Chinese Visa Fee
•    International & domestic airfare
•    Lunches and dinners in Lhasa
•    Refreshments, bottled drinks
•    Tipping to guides and drivers
•    Insurance and rescue of any form
•    Cost arising out of flight cancellation/road blockades/landslides/riots and events beyond our control
•    Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost
•    Photography charges in the monasteries and monuments