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If there is one color which matches Lhoka best, it must be yellow. Yellow is the color of earth and it is the birth place for everything originally. In Tibetan Buddhism, yellow is the specific color for religion and it’s also a color symbolizing prosperity. Yellow is a color in which the Tibetans’ belief lies. Lhoka is the cradle of Tibetan nationality and it is in it the Tibetan culture grows. Lhoka feeds its people and breeds the Tibetan history. Now there are still signs of the life of the ancient princess, Princess Wencheng. The people in Lhoka still remember Princess Wencheng and tell their later generations that the crops are grown from the seeds brought by the princess and the salt and tea they use were also brought by the princess. Lhoka, with a long history, is somewhat in decorous yellow. Then, how to travel Lhoka?
There are four ways to travel the decorous Lhoka:
Way 1: Listen to the mountain spring with your beloved one
Itinerary: Tsedang- Yumbulakang
Attractions: when the sunshine throws its very first light onto the golden roof of Yumbulakang, the land below it is all in bright yellow. In the morning, walking on the steps leading to Yumbulakang thinking that those same steps were once stepped by Princess Wencheng, your imagination shall fly. It was said that 1300 years ago, Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng had their wedding ceremony here and they had spent many summers here together.
Yumbulakang had witnessed the beloved couple and their happy time here. Being in Yumbulakang , you may hear the mountain spring called “Ga Spring”. It is 400 meters away from Yumbulakang. The spring never goes dry and it is said that drinking the water of it shall make you healthy and go out of any illness. You can imagine that the Princess Wencheng dressed in yellow leaned close to Songtsen Gampo enjoying the morning sunshine while listening to the singing of the mountain spring. What a harmonious picture! Yumbulakang consists of two parts: watchtowers and palaces, and in the palaces there are the images of Songtsen Gampo, Princess Wencheng and some other people.
Way 2: Melancholy memory on Dragu Grassland
Itinerary: Tsedang- Chagza- Dragu Grassland
Attractions:Dragu Grassland is behind a mountain. On the grassland, there are lovely Himalayan blue sheep, Tibetan wild asses and the mirror-like Dragu Lake. Near the lake there is a place called Chagza and the local people has the habit of wearing the opposite side of pulu (pulu is a kind of woolen tweed cloth), which is also the unique characteristic of Chagza costumes (Chagza costumes have already been a kind of intangible cultural heritage successfully).
There are two stories about the origin of the clothing habit and both of them are connected with Princess Wencheng. One is said that Princess Wencheng loved the Chagza food so much, so she went to enjoy the food in Chagza and she was warmly welcomed by the local people. And during the party, her clothes were wet by the wine because there were so many people toasted to her. Then, she wore the pulu inside outside and just at that time, the king Songtsen Gampo came. Wencheng was so delighted and she rushed out to welcome her husband without changing her clothes. She was like a little happy bird and was pretty charming, and then the local women began to wear pulu like Wencheng.
This is the happy one, and there is also a sad saying about this. It was said that Wencheng was very lonely and sad after Songtsen Gampo died. And she was somewhat insane because of the death of Songtsen Gampo, so she forgot how to dress pulu and dressed the outside inside wandering in the grassland. Of course, now it’s hard to say which was true. However, there is one thing for sure: Princess Wencheng did live in Lhoka alone for 30 years. And Dragu Grassland, no matter it’s prosperous yellow or bleak yellow, its desolation seems to be the reflection of the bleak destiny of the princess.
Way 3: look for the signs of Wencheng in the Trundruk Monastery
Itinerary: Tsedang –Trundruk Monastery
Attractions: Trundruk Monastery was the first monastery in Tibet and there would not be Trundruk Monastery without Princess Wencheng. It was said that according to Princess Wencheng, monasteries should be built to better develop Tibet and Trundruk Monastery was one of those monasteries which had to be built. The monastery was also the winter palace of Songtsen Gampo and Wencheng and there are still many things belonging to them in the monastery. And the most famous one is the cookstove used by Wencheng. There is also a saying about the cookstove. People say that anyone, no matter man or woman, shall be good at cooking from the moment touching the cookstove. There are never-end-turning yellow prayer tubes in the monastery.
Way 4: the tombs of Tibetan kings
Itinerary: Tsedang –Qiongjie County –Tombs of Tibetan kings
Attractions: there is a piece of land with several mounds in Qiongjie County and it seems to be nothing special. But, in fact, they are the tombs of Tibetan kings. And Princess Wencheng was also buried here. This is so far the largest scale kings’ tombs in Tibet (since the Buddhism was brought to Tibet, there are rarely any burials in the ground). With the back being hills and the front being the Qiongjie River, the tombs of the Tibetan kings are almost being part of the hill. And there are nearly 9 tombs here facing to the southwest to show their religiosity towards Buddha.