Tibet is located at the main part of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, south-West frontier of China. Tibet borders with Sichuan, Yuannan, Qinghai and Xinjiang; to the south contiguous to India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Burma, and bounded by Kashmir on the west.
Geographically, Tibet can be divided into three major parts, the east, north and south. The eastern part is forest region, occupying approximately one-fourth of the land. Virgin forests run the entire breadth and length of this part of Tibet. The northern part is open grassland, where nomads, yaks and sheep dwell here. This part occupies approximately half of Tibet. The southern and central part is agricultural region, occupying about one-fourth of Tibet's land area with all major Tibetan cities and towns such as Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and Tsetang, it is also considered the cultural center of Tibet.
Tibet has some of the world's tallest mountains, with several of them making the top ten list. Mount Everest located on the border with Nepal, is, at 8,848 meters (29,029 ft), the highest mountain on earth.
Climat of Tibet
The atmosphere is severely dry nine months of the year, and it snows only once or twice in a year, owing to the perpetuity of bright sunshine.
The temperature is not that cold during the daytime even in the coldest of the winter. Western passes receive small amounts of fresh snow each year but remain traversable all year round. Low temperatures are prevalent throughout these western regions, where bleak desolation is unrelieved by any vegetation bigger than a low bush, and where wind sweeps unchecked across vast expanses of arid plain. The Indian monsoon exerts some influence on eastern Tibet. Northern Tibet is subject to high temperatures in the summer and intense cold in the winter.
The best time of year to be in Tibet is from April to the beginning of November.
History and People of Tibet
Tibetan history can be traced thousands of years back. However, the written history only dates back to the 7th century when Songtsan Gampo, the 33rd Tibetan king, sent his minister Sambhota to India to study Sanskrit who on his return invented the present Tibetan script based on Sanskrit.
Tibetan cultural influences extend to the neighboring states of Bhutan, Nepal, regions of India such as Sikkim, Ladakh, Lahaul and Spiti, in addition to designated Tibetan autonomous areas in adjacent Chinese provinces.
The majority of Tibet's population are Tibetans. Tibet is very thinly populated. The majority of the people live on farming and husbandry. The great northern grassland which occupies a good half of Tibet is the home of nomads, yaks and sheep. The remaining population live in towns earning their living mainly on business and handicraft, and many are factory workers and government officials.
For the majority of the Tibetans, religion seems almost everything. Many live principally for the next life, rather than for the present. They accumulate deeds of virtue and pray for the final liberation-enlightenment. Lips and hands of the elders are never at still, either busied in murmuring of the six syllable mantra (prayer) Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum or in rotation of their prayer wheels. Pious pilgrims from every corner of Tibet day to day gather at Jokhang Temple and Bharkor Street offering donations and praying heart and soul for their own Selves, for their friends, and for their friends' friends.
There exist variety of Tibetan dialects and costumes depending on the origin of the regions.
The most important crop in Tibet is barley, and dough made from barley flour—called tsampa—is the staple food of Tibet. This is either rolled into noodles or made into steamed dumplings called momos. Meat dishes are likely to be yak, goat, or mutton, often dried, or cooked into a spicy stew with potatoes. Mustard seed is cultivated in Tibet, and therefore features heavily in its cuisine. Yak yogurt, butter and cheese are frequently eaten, and well-prepared yogurt is considered something of a prestige item. Butter tea is very popular to drink.