In pictures: Tibet – Images from the roof of the world

THE roof of the world has long held a magical pull for travellers, even before the time of Heinrich Harrer. And for those that have been, the allure is no less strong to return.

From rugged snowy mountains to alpine lakes and verdant green pastures teeming with yak, wild geese and cranes, the natural beauties of Tibet are astounding. The towns and monasteries seem to c0-exist both in the past and present with age old practices and traditional dress as much a part of life as mobile phones and e-mail.

While much of Tibet remains remote and inaccessible, these images should bring you a little closer.

Monks during the debating hour at Sera Monastery, Lhasa


Dawn beyond the prayer flags, Ganden Monastery.

“When you’re climbing your mind is clear and free from all confusions. You have focus. And suddenly the light becomes sharper, the sounds are richer and you’re filled with the deep, powerful presence of life.”
~ Seven Years in Tibet

Tibetan women in Lhasa wearing their chubas (traditional dress).


Colourful jewellery adorns the head of a woman. Turqoise and red coral are popular adornments.


Money offerings accompany the remnants of butter lamps in a Tibetan monastery.

“In this place where time stands still it seems like everything is moving. Including me.”
~ Seven Years in Tibet

A monk throwing windhorses at Ganden monastery.


A pile of monk's shoes outside the Ganden monastery door.


A monk and his dog complete their circumambulation around the Jokhang.


The Potala reflected in the waters of a lake, Lhasa.

“A place rich with all the strange beauty of your nighttime dreams.”
Seven Years in Tibet

Young girls in Lhasa wearing their chubas and jewellery.


Yaks at Lake Namtso, a high altitude lake some 5000m above sea level.


A young girl prostrates before the Potala next to her father, Lhasa.

“There is another great difference between our civilization and yours.  You admire the man who pushes his way to the top in any walk of life, while we admire the man who abandons his ego.”
~ Seven Years in Tibet

Burning candles at the Jokhang, Lhasa.


The incredible Beijing-Lhasa train heading across country..

Smoke rising from Ganden Monastery.

All images here are taken by Joanne Lane,