Tibet: the Land of Snows, the roof of the world. For centuries this mysterious Buddhist kingdom, locked away in its mountain fastness of the Himalaya, has exercised a unique hold on the imagination of the West. For explorers, imperialists and traders it was a forbidden land of treasure and riches. Dreamers on a spiritual quest have long whispered of a lost Shangri-la, steeped in magic and mystery. When the doors were finally flung open in the mid-1980s, Tibet lay in ruins. Between 1950 and 1970, the Chinese wrested control of the plateau, drove the Tibetans’ spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and some 100, 000 of Tibet’s finest into exile and systematically dismantled most of the Tibetan cultural and historical heritage, all in the name of revolution. For a while images of the Buddha were replaced by icons of Chairman Mao. Today, Tibetan pilgrims across the country are once again mumbling mantras and swinging their prayer wheels in temples that are heavy with the thick intoxicating aroma of juniper incense and yak butter. Monasteries have been restored across the country, along with limited religious freedoms. A walk around Lhasa’s lively Barkhor pilgrimage circuit is proof enough that the efforts of the communist Chinese to build a brave new (roof of the) world have foundered on the remarkable and inspiring faith of the Tibetan people.
Official Name: Xizang Zizhiqu
Int’l short form: Tibet
Location: Asia, north of India, located on the Tibetan Plateau, the world’s highest region.
Area: 1.2m sq km (471 700 sq miles)
Bod: 2.5 million sq. km, approximately the size of Western Europe.
Average temperture: 28 degrees Celsius (Summer) -15 degrees Celsius (in Winter), extremely dry except during rainy season (July-August).
Population: 2.62 million
Ethnic Groups: primarily ethnic Tibetans; Menba, Lhoba, Mongols, Hui and a growing number of Han Chinese.
Religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Animism.
Culture: Wedding, Funeral
Languages: Tibetan, Chinese.
Festivals: Tibetan New Year, Shoton Festival, Bathing Festival.. Click to see more Fesitivals celebrated in Tibet.
Currency: Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY)
Local Time = UTC +8h
Actual Time: Thu-Aug-25 15:35