Norbulingka is regarded as ‘Summer Palace’ in Lhasa. Norbulingka, meaning ‘treasured park’ in Tibetan, is located in the west suburb of Lhasa City, at the bank of Kyichu River and about 1 kilometer to the southwest of Potala Palace. On every March 18th of Tibetan calendar, Dalai Lama move here to spent his summer, so that it is the summer palace. During the summer and autumn months, the Norbulingka becomes hub of recreation with dance , singing, music and festivities.
Before 1740s, the site of Norbelingka is an desolate land where weeds grew and wild animals lived. The history of the Norbulingka can be traced back to the 7th Dalai Lama who used a spring here to cure his health problem. So government of Qing Dynasty decided to build a pavilion for him. In 1751, the 7th Dalai Lama gave an order to construct a three-storied palace named Kelsang Place after his name Kelsang Gyatso. Then the sequence Dalai lamas also moved here for their study and as a summer resort.
The 8th Dalai Lama enlarged the Norbulingka on its former base and the pool was digged into a lake. According to the architectural style from the inland areas of China, the Dragon King temple and palace were built in the midst of the lake, which were connected with other places by stone bridge. In 1922, Golden Phodron and a cluster of buildings were built in the southwest during 13th Dalai Lama’s times and lots of flowers and trees were planted around. In 1954, the Takten Migyur Phodrong was built by 14th Dalai Lama and is the most elegant palace in the Norbulingka.
Norbulingka takes an area of approximately 36 hectares and is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. A two-storied pavilion facing west is the first spot seen by tourists after entering the garden, which is the place to perform Tibetan Opera for Dalai Lama. The front area is the stage of Tibetan Opera and the second story is for watching the performance. During the Shoton Festival, the Tibetan Opera is performed here. In the northwest area lie the Tsokyil Phodrong and Chensil Phodrong. On the west side stands the Golden Phodron and other buildings include the large red doors to the palace. In the north area, you can see delicate murals which tell the history of Tibet.
Norbulingka houses a large collections of Tibetan carpets, Italian chandeliers, Ajanta frescoes and many other precious artifacts. In 2001, it was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site and was added as an extension of the Historical Ensemble.
Admission Fee: 60RMB
Open Time: 9:30-18:30