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Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot


Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot is located in Tunba Township, Nimu County, Lhasa City, close to National Highway 318. It is about 120 kilometers away from Lhasa and 200 kilometers away from Shigatse.?

Reasons to visit

A good place to learn Tibetan culture and experience the natural beauty?

Our Ratings

Opening Hours

  • From 9:00 am to 6:00 pm every day.?

Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot is a small village in Nimu County, Lhasa City, that is famous for being the birthplace of Tibetan incense and the hometown of Thonmi Sambhota, the creator of Tibetan script. It is one of the important cultural landscapes on the Lari Line, a tourist route that connects Lhasa and Shigatse, the two largest cities in Tibet. Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot offers visitors a chance to experience the rich and diverse heritage of Tibetan culture, from its ancient history to its traditional crafts.

nimu tunba scenic spot

What to see in Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot

The main attractions of Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot are related to the life and legacy of Thonmi Sambhota, who was born in the village in the 7th century. He was sent to India by King Songtsen Gampo to learn Sanskrit and create a writing system for the Tibetan language. He succeeded in inventing the Tibetan alphabet and translated many Buddhist scriptures into Tibetan. He also wrote eight books on grammar, phonetics, and orthography, which are still used as the basis of Tibetan education today. He is regarded as one of the greatest scholars and translators in Tibetan history.

Thunba Manor

Thunba Manor belonged to the Thunba family, one of the most noble and powerful families in old Tibet. The Thunba family claimed to be the descendants of Thonmi Sambhota, and was the first literary family in Tibet. The Thunba family owned a large amount of land and serfs, and actively participated in the local politics of Tibet. Especially in 1751, when Siju Dorje became the Kalon, the head of the Tibetan local government, the Thunba family reached the peak of its glory. The manor is a traditional Tibetan house that showcases the local lifestyle and customs.

tunba manor

Thonmi Sambhota Tibetan Characters Museum

The Tibetan Characters Museum is the first museum in China that focuses on the theme of Tibetan script. The museum is built in the style of a thangka mandala, using traditional Tibetan construction techniques. The museum displays the works of contemporary Tibetan calligraphers, such as Gama Chila, as well as ancient Tibetan writing tools, and copies of ancient Tibetan texts from Dunhuang, both from the British and French collections. The museum also narrates the life story of Thonmi Sambhota through mural paintings, and exhibits a wax statue of him teaching King Songtsen Gampo Tibetan script at Maru Palace.

Thonmi Sambhota's Former Residence

Thonmi Sambhota's former residence was built about 1300 years ago, during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo. It is a two-story building made of wood and earth, covering an area of about 600 square meters. Thonmi Sambhota grew up here, and received a good aristocratic education. He spent his happy childhood here. The first floor of the house was used as a cattle and sheep pen, a serf room, and a roasted barley flour kitchen. The second floor had a steward room, a master room, a granary, and a scripture hall. The house has survived for a thousand years, and has a high value from both architectural and historical perspectives.

Thonmi Sambhota's Scripture Hall

The scripture hall used to have a water-powered prayer wheel, and was decorated with exquisite murals of King Songtsen Gampo, Thonmi Sambhota, the twelve links of dependent origination, the twenty-one Taras, Avalokiteshvara, the various protector deities of Tibetan Buddhism, and Shakyamuni Buddha. These murals have a high historical and artistic value, and are precious relics left by the ancestors. The scripture hall also has many valuable statues, such as the four-armed Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, and Vajradhara, as well as the Tibetan Buddhist scriptures Kangyur and Tengyur, which are a rich treasure trove of Tibetan Buddhism.

nimu tunba scenic spot

Thonmi Square

Thonmi Square covers an area of about 250 square meters, and is paved with slate stones in the most traditional Tibetan way. It used to be part of the Thunba Manor, but now it has been transformed into a tourist and leisure square. To commemorate the founder of Tibetan script, Thonmi Sambhota, a statue of him was erected in the center of the square, and the square was named after his surname.

Water Mill Corridor

The water mill corridor is the only place in Tibet that uses water mills to make incense by hand, and it is also the birthplace of Tibetan incense. The water mill corridor has ancient water mills, where visitors can watch the most original process of making water mill incense, from mining raw materials, grinding, drying bricks, mixing ingredients, to finished products. The whole process is done by traditional handcraft, which is amazing. Moreover, the water mill corridor is surrounded by villages, trees, fields, and other natural and cultural landscapes, forming a perfect combination.

Incense Brick Drying Field

Drying incense bricks is an important process of making water mill incense. The ground cedarwood mud is filled into wooden molds, pressed, flattened, and shaped. The shaped incense bricks are neatly placed on the grass to dry. The rows of incense bricks on the grass are spectacular.

Couple Poplars

Also known as the marriage trees, they are two poplars that grow together. The locals believe that they are a male and a female, symbolizing the harmony of husband and wife. These two poplars are considered auspicious trees in the area. Whenever there are newlyweds or lovers in Thunba Village, they will come to touch the trees and make wishes, hang prayer flags and hada, and pray for a long and happy marriage.

nimu tunba scenic spot

Travel tips

Recommended Tour Route

  1. Start from the entrance of the scenic area and follow the signs to the former residence of Thonmi Sambhota.
  2. Visit the Scripture Hall and the Museum of Tibetan Characters, which are located next to the former residence.
  3. Walk along the Cultural Corridor and admire the various artworks on display.
  4. Cross the bridge and enter the Tibetan incense workshop, where you can learn about the history and production of Tibetan incense and make your own incense.
  5. Continue along the Perfume Mill Corridor and observe the water mills that are used to grind the incense materials.
  6. Reach the intangible cultural gathering place
  7. Proceed to the Thunba Manor and explore the traditional Tibetan house and its furnishings.
  8. End the tour at the Thunba Square

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot is from May to October, when the weather is mild and pleasant, and the flowers are in full bloom. The scenic area is open all year round, but the winter months can be very cold and snowy.

How to get there

Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot is easily accessible by road from Lhasa. You can drive along the National Highway 318 for about two hours and reach Nimu County. Then follow the signposts and you will find the entrance of Nimu Tunba Scenic Spot. You can also join our Tibet tour group or contact us to plan your Tibet trip. We will provide you with professional and customized service to make your journey unforgettable.

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