About Tibet

Tibet facts

  • Government: Tibet Autonomous region
  • Capital:Lhasa
  • Population (2010): 3,002,166
  • Area:1,228,400 km²  (474,288 mi²)
  • Major languages:Classical Tibetan called Bod, Lhasa dialect called Pö; and Mandarin Chinese
  • Major religions: Buddhism
  • Average Altitude: Over 4,000 meters (13,123 feet)
  • Location: 26°50′ to 36°53′ N, 78°25′ to 99°06′ E
  • Currency:Chinese Renminbi

The mention of Tibet brings in the illusion of Buddhist monks in red robes, highlander yak rearing nomads, tribes living in extreme Himalayan cold weather and a lifestyle that is different from a modern life in the city. Well! That illusion is not wrong. But Tibet is much more than that simplistic depiction of simple people living beyond the snowlines in the Himalayas.

It is a world in itself.

Tibet has been described as ‘The Roof of the World’ and it is an apt description of a land that is mostly beyond 4,000m. Tibet is also a land with a rich Buddhist culture with district and unique traditions. It is a land where the gods and the humans live together in harmony. It is a land where the kids relate to the dragons and the mythical yeti as their ownplaymates. It is no wonder that most depictions of the Shangri-La have been in the Himalayas and, in particular, in Tibet.

Apart from the snow-laden Himalaya peaks, Tibet has a very rich and diverse landscape. It is known for its crystal clear lakes and boasts of the beautiful Tibetan Plateau, which is the source of the popular Yangtze River and the Yellow River.

Tibetan history can be traced back up to 4,000 years and since then Buddhism has always played a pivotal role in shaping up the Tibetan culture, tradition and the way of life. Buddhism is much more than a religion in Tibet. It has shaped their culture and helped define most of the value system. The Tibetan people have a strong practice of pilgrimage and are known to visit religious places and head towards it all the way by prostrating.  They also practice several different kinds of burial including sky burial and water burial where are dead are fed to the birds and the fishes.

There are numerous religious monasteries and temples with a strong tradition of worship and reincarnate lamas heading most such monasteries. The Tibetans have a very primordial and ancient system of recognizing such reincarnate beings, which would sound silly to the outside world. But such practices define the culture of the Tibetan people.

Today, most people speak the Tibetan language and Mandarin and they live pastoral lives rearing yaks and sheep. They practice agriculture and they livenomadic lives drinking salt butter tea. The Tibetan people have several festivals most of which are religious in nature and they observe such festivals with grandeur and objectivity hardly seen in any place else in the world.

For tourists travelling to Tibet, the Chinese government has imposed restrictions and tourists are required to travel in organized groups operated by authorized travel companies. Raven Tours have authorized local travel companies and we organized all kinds of tours to Tibet.

Please contact us at inquiry@ravenbhutan.com for more details. We would like to ascertain that travel to Tibet is always a better experience when it is customized and planned with prior consultations.