Gyantse is 3950 metres above sea level. It is located 254 kms southwest of Lhasa.
Gyantse is often referred to as the "Hero City" because during the British Younghusband expedition of 1904, the brave Tibetan forces kept the British at bay for about two months in spite of having only primiteve weapons.
The town is strategically located in the Nyang River Valley on the ancient trade route between China and India. This is the main reason why people built a town there.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF GYANTSE:
Gyantse is known because of its fortress, the Dzong, built on a hill. The Dzong (constructed in 1390) guarded the southern approaches to the Tsangpo Valley and Lhasa. At that time, the town was surrounded by a wall of 3 kms long.
At the foot of the Dzong Hill, lies Palkhor Chode, a Tibetan Buddhism monastery built in 1418. The most remarkable feature of this monastery is that it is the only monastery that houses monks from different orders. The monks from the Gelugpa, Sakyapa and Kahdampa orders stay in this monastery with noticeable harmony. The roof of the monastery also holds chapels which preserve a collection of 15 "mandala" murals whiche are three meters in diameter.
In the Palkhor Chode is the Kumbum Stupa, one of the most distinctive temples in the world. It is an unusual architectural masterpiece with its nine levels rise in the manner of a step pyramid, 35 meters high. Inside you can find a thousand of statues.