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Tibet

Tibet

Tibet has long been known as, ‘The Roof of the World’. Standing at an average elevation of 16,000ft above sea level, Tibet is known as the ‘roof of the world’. It is in the southwestern part of China, bordering India, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal. The region is full of spectacular skylines of majestic mountain peaks, breath-taking canyons, scattered highland lakes, rolling pastures, farmland and pristine forests. Tibet is also home to Mount Kailash a holy site for both Hindus and Tibetans (Hindus consider the mountain to be the home of Lord Shiva).Whether you are in search of spiritual enlightenment or a close-up look at the unique and fascinating landscape with its simple, religious people, your visit to Tibet will be a rewarding and pleasant experience. The country has a rich cultural heritage, incredibly dramatic scenery and a fascinating history.

Lhasa, Tibet’s traditional capital and the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, contains two world heritage sites: the PotalaPalace and Norbulingka, the former residences of the Dalai Lama. Lhasa also contains a number of significant temples and monasteries, including Jokhang and RamocheTemple.

People of Tibet

Tibet is mainly populated by Tibetans, one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Tibet serves as a home to many communities like Menpa, Han, Chinese, Sherpa, Dengs and Luopa. The area is quite thinly populated with only 1.68 persons per sq. km on an average. The overall population of Tibet is around 260, 0000. The ancestors of the present Tibetans lived on both sides of TsangpoRiver and mainly earned their livelihood from cultivation of barely, wheat and peas. There is also nomadic population in Tibet that keeps moving from one place to other herding their yaks and sheep. But slowly more and more people are moving towards cities for better education and job.

You will witness a number of religions practice prevailing in the region as the majority of the population is the firm follower of Buddhism. People who follow Islam and Catholicism are present in large numbers, especially in Lhasa and Yanjing. Tibet has the largest number of monks in the world with almost 1/3 of the population being a monk. They are considered to be the ultimate followers of Buddhism. Tibetan is the main language that is spoken here. Although the accent and pronunciation varies from region to region but most of them belong to the Sino- Tibetan phylum.

Religion in Tibet

Bon is the oldest religion in Tibet. It is later on absorbed into Buddhism introduced from India in the 8th century, thus giving Tibetan Buddhism much of its distinctive character. With the rapid advent of Tibetan Buddhism, the religion has exerted extensive and profound influence on the Tibetan people, Tibet’s history, politics, economics, culture, exchanges and habits and customs and become the most extensively worshipped religion of Tibetans.

On the other hand, Tibet has become a suitable destination for studying the bon religion and traditions. A fundamental belief of the followers of Bon was that in their heaven, to which they referred as ‘Sridpa Yesang’, there were three deities who controlled the world were Dagpa, salba and shepa one of whom controlled the past, another the present and the third controlled the future.

Custom & Culture of Tibet

Buddhism has exerted a particularly strong influence on Tibetan culture since its introduction in the 7th Century. Art, literature, and music all contain elements of Buddhist religion, and Buddhism itself has adopted a unique form in Tibet, influenced by the Bön tradition and other local beliefs. Tibet’s specific geographic and climactic conditions- its altitude, short growing season, and cold weather- have encouraged reliance on pastoralism, as well as the development of a different cuisine from surrounding regions. In Tibet there are many interesting customs and cultures which have been followed by the Tibetan people since the time of their civilization.