A virtual trip to Tibet

Lhasa... the "place of Gods"... Too different from the magic town described by ancient travellers, Lhasa deceived me a lot the first time I entered into the town through a wide avenue among dreary buildings in modern Chinese style. Fortunately the small old part of the town and some religious centers in the outskirts retain their Tibetan character and there you can see the ancient culture still living.
I was fascinated by walking in the small streets of the old town, going along the prayer circuits around monasteries with pilgrims and monks, penetrating into the coloured darkness of the temples, in the silent shrines where also the most determined atheist, such as me, is overwhelmed by the presence of supernatural entities.

The Jokhang temple - the spiritual center of the town

The Potala palace - old residence of the Dalai Lama

Chagpo Ri - the sacred hill with ancient rock carvings

Sera and Drepung monasteries
After the 2008 uprise the political situation in Tibet is more and more difficult.
This video, taken in November 2009 in Lhasa, shows the pilgrims prostrating in front of the Jokhang temple, while the chinese soldiers patrol the square and the surrounding streets.
Rural life

In the small villages far from the major routes, on the slopes of majestic mountains, where the "modernization" imposed by the Chinese government is less visible, you can still see the traditional Tibetan life.
These pictures have been taken in the valley of Yangpachen, a village about one hundred kilometers north of Lhasa, at the foot of the Nyenchen Tangla, a mountain range reaching more then 7000 meters of altitude.

Life in a village

Life in the country

The best of Tibet: Tibetans
To see all my Tibet pictures click here