Ganden samye trek

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Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lhasa (3650 m/11972ft) – 90 km / 45 min

The adventure begins in Lhasa. There are two ways to arrive—via Nepal and via mainland China. The flight from Nepal to Lhasa is considered one of the most beautiful air routes in the world, as it provides sweeping views of Everest (8848m), Kanchenjunga (8536m) and other Himalayan peaks. If traveling via mainland China, there are a wide variety of flights in addition to the world’s highest train route to reach Lhasa. Upon arrival, you will be received by our Tibetan guide at the airport/train station. After approximately 1 hours of driving, you will reach Lhasa from Airport. It's advisable to rest and take it easy for the remainder of the day due to Lhasa's altitude. Overnight in Lhasa.
The journey begins with a visit to Potala palace – a UNESCO World Heritage celebrated for its priceless treasury of Buddhist artifacts and bejeweled tombs of past Dalai Lamas. The Potala was also the tallest building in the world for 200 years following its construction in 1645. Equally breathtaking are the gardens and sacred spaces of the Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama’s summer residence. We will also visit the Jokhang Temple followed by Barkhor Markets – a bustling road lined with vendors where you can sample the smells and sounds of Tibet, or browse through the Thankas, masks, prayer beads and countless other treasures inherent to Tibetan custom and tradition. Overnight in Lhasa.
Today we have another highlight trip in Lhasa follow by Sera Monastery, accompanied by an experienced tour guide (who is also a translator). Sera is an exceptional space; its white-washed walls and golden roofs speak of Tibetan Buddhism’s ancient wisdom and tranquility. The group will then move to Drepung Monastery, which was built in 14th century and was home to over 10,000 monks. Drepung was also the educational center for the lineage of Dalai Lamas, and is famed for attracting tens of thousands of pilgrims for its Thanka festival. Drepung has a poignant presence in the spiritual life of Tibetans, and is the most cherished of all Tibet’s monasteries. And finally visit Tibet Museum to explore more knowledge on history, culture, arts & architecture of Tibet. Overnight in Lhasa.
Today, you will wake up little early and take breakfast then we head to Ganden Monastery to visit one of significant Geugpa sect monastery situated in Ganden. Ganden denotes the paradise of Tushita and the abode of Jampa, the future Buddha. The monastery, one of Gelugpa’s great six was built on a ridge called Gokpo RI, the site where Tsong khapa first meditated in order to choose a place for the main monastery of the sect. Its foundation was laid 1409. In 1417, Ganden’s main chapel, the Tsokchen, was established. It is also the most devastated on among all the great six monasteries (Ganden, sera, Drepung, Tashilhunpo, Labrang, Kumbum) of the Yellow sect. Ganden’s abbotship unlike other monasteries is transmitted neither by heredity nor incarnation. It was always chosen from among worthy learned monks; usually from the major monastery of Lhasa. The drive will takes about 1.5 hrs with wonderful landscape view and fine highway. After visiting Ganden Monastery, we begin our trek from here. The trail gradually ascends for 1.5 hrs before reaching a saddle marked by a cairn with views of Kyichu valley to Lhasa. Traversing the west side of the ridge from the saddle, the trail reaches a spur surmounted by a cairn, a spring and then the village of Hepu in 2 hrs. 1 hr from Hepu reach Ani Pangong, a small nunnery. The trail climbs steadily for 1 hour through marshy meadows to Yama Do.
In 2 hrs past Yama Do we ascend Shug-la pass (5250 m). It takes atleast 1.5 hrs from the basin negotiating boulders and lumpy ground along the final steep climb to the pass. The route continues over the Shug-la pass following the cairned trail descending gradually and reaching the valley in 1.5 hrs from the pass. Cross the Tsotup Chu. Nomad herders with their herd of yaks, goat and sheep can be found here.
From the Tsotup Chu valley, follow a small tributary entering from the south-west. The route follows steeply upwards for 30 mins until you reach a large basin. The terrain is not particularly difficult to reach Chitu-la pass (5100 m) which is marked by several cairns. A short steep descent will bring you into a basin with three small lakes. The trail at many points is not clearly marked and goes past several seasonal camping sites before it reaches the valley floor.
The trail is now wide and easy to follow and goes through forest of shrubs and rhododendrons for 3 hrs. The trail winds through a series of meadows before reaching Gen Do, a place with a ruined stone structure. The forest thins rapidly and we reach the first permanent village of Chantan (4020 m) after leaving Hebu.. In 30-40 mins we arrive at the turn off at Yamalung Valley. Yamalung Hermitage is another 1 hour steep climb from the valley floor.
From Yamalung Valley it 3.5 - 4 hrs to Samye. We go past the villages of Nyango, Wango and Pisha. From Pisha the entire lower valley of Samye and the golden spires of Samye Monastery can be seen. En route there are several nice meadows for camping.
Today, we will visit Samye Monastery in the morning. Samye was, the first Monastery in Tibet, built by King Trisong Detsen. The Monastery put the foundation of Buddhist religion in Tibet. The Monastery is uniquely designed architectural showpiece of Tibet on the plan of the Odantapuri temple in India (Bihar), and mirrors the structure of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology. After Samye visit, we drive to Tsedang, located in the Yarlung Valley, the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Here we visit Yambulakhang, the first Palace of Tibet, standing on the top of a hill on the east bank of the Yarlung River in the southeast of Naidong county. The castle is divided into two parts; the front part is a three-storey building, while the back part is a castle like tall building. Enshrined in the shrine are the statues of Thiesung Sangjie Buddha, King Niechi, King Srontsan Gampo and the Tobu Kings after them. The legend goes that the "mysterious object" was on the foot of the castle, so Buddhists regard here as the holy land. This fine, tapering finger of a structure the sprouts from a craggy ridge overlooking the patchwork fields of the Yarlung valley is reputed to be the oldest building in Tibet. Overnight at Hotel.
According to your flight schedule, we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Kathmandu / Mainland China OR transfer to the train station for your onward journey to Mainland China.


  • Tibet special permits
  • Monuments entrance fees
  • Transportation in Tibet by comfortable Hiace Van or Jeep
  • Hotel accommodation on twin sharing room with breakfast in Tibet
  • Tibetan Guide (English speaking)
  • Oxygen bottle (portable) available in transport for emergency use
  • Tibet group visa fee
  • Tented camp accommodation during trekking
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) during trekking
  • Support staffs (cook, helpers) for trekking arrangements
  • Camping equipments like sleeping tents, mattresses, kitchen tents, kitchen utensils, food etc
  • Yaks & Yakmen for carrying luggage & camping equipments
  • Support truck for carrying luggage & staffs
  • Taxes & service charges


  • Lunch & dinner during your hotel stay in Tibet (except during trekking)
  • Hotel accommodation & transportation in Kathmandu (on request we can arrange)
  • Flight ticket for Kathmandu to Lhasa & return (on request we can arrange)
  • Alcohol & bottled drinks
  • Tips for guide, driver & staffs
  • Any expenses of personal nature
  • Your travel insurance
  • Nepal visa
  • Emergency & Evacuation costs
  • Any extra cost due to unforeseen circumstances like natural calamities, political reason. Government rules etc

Fixed Departure Dates

We will easily organize this trip on the dates requested by you. Please contact us for your customized departure date

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Trip Overview

  • Duration: 10 Days
  • Trip Grade: Difficult
  • Trip Start & End Point: Lhasa
  • Group Size: 2 Person Or Above
  • Tour Type: Private
  • Transportation & Drive Hours: Private Vehicle (Approx. 2-3 Hrs)
  • Trip Grade: Moderate Difficult
  • Highlighted Places: Lhasa- Ganden-Samye-Tsedang