Shigatse is the Tibet’s second city and important place in Tibetan history. Shigatse, also named Xigatse, means ‘the fertile land’. Shigatse covered an area of over 3875 square kilometers (about 1496 square miles) and has a population of nearly 100,000.
Located at an average elevation in range of 3840 meters to 4464 meters, Shigatse is one of the world’s highest cities & has the most comprehensive natural landscapes in Tibet, from vast plateau pasture and beautiful cultivated fields to subtropic forest & grand snow-covered mountains, most famed one of which is the world’s highest mount, Mt. Everest.Shigatse has a history back to more than 600 years and it is this ancient holy city that is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama. So Shigatse is also rich in historical sites, such as the 600 year-old majestic Tashilhunpo Monastery.
The main centre of attraction in Shigatse is the massive Tashi Lhunpo Monastery།. The monastery was founded in 1447 and is the seat of the Panchen Rinpoche་, who throughout the history of the Gelukpa tradition, has been the second highest incarnation lineage after the Dalai Lama . At its peak, the monastery had several thousand monks with aroung of 600 monks. As one of the most famous and important monasteries in all of Tibet, it sees hundreds of religious pilgrims each day.