During the 5 hours’ driving from Lhasa to Gyantse, you will pass the magnificent Karola glacier at an altitude of 5,039 m, where you can have a break for benefitting the splendid view of this glacier and the Noijin Kangsang snow mountain (7,191m).
The main attraction of Gyantse is Pelkor Chode Monastery which houses the Kumbum (literally, 100,000 images), the largest pagoda in Tibet. Built-in 1447 by a prince of Gyantse, it was an important center of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism.
This stepped building contains 77 chapels spread over 6 floors and is decorated with more than 10,000 murals, many of which show a strong Nepal influence. On its four sides, the eyes of the four Buddhas testify that the Kumbum is the work of Newar artists from Nepal.
If you stroll in the city, you will also find the Gyantse Dzong, or fortress on Mount Dzongri in the southern part of the city. Inside it, there is a small temple dedicated to Buddha Sakyamuni and decorated with frescoes in poor condition, including a painting representing Avalokiteshvara. There is also an “Anti-British Imperialism Museum” which recounts the battle between Tibetan troops and those of Francis Younghusband during the British Military Expedition to Tibet (1903–1904).
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