The Potala Palace, located at the northwest of Lhasa, Tibet, was built in the 7th century by King Songtsan Gambo for his bride, the princess Wen Cheng of the Tang dynasty. Rising over 2 miles (3,700 meters) above the sea level, Potala Palace has 999 rooms. The huge 13 story palace, with an area of over 100 acres (410,000 square meters) was built entirely of wood and stone. The magnificent palace is the cream of ancient construction in Tibet, which is nicknamed “Sacred Palaces on the Plateau”.
The Potala Palace, the residence of the Dalai Lama for many generations, is the ruling center of the theocratic system of Tibet. The important religious and political rituals always are held here. Potala also is the holy stupa, where the mortal remains of several Dalai Lamas have been laid to rest. The unique Tang-ga, historical relics and frescoes on various themes are kept in Potala Palace which was selected as national priority cultural relic protection site in 1961.
Most part of palace was destroyed after the overthrow of the Tubo dynasty. The palace was reconstructed by ldan Phodrang dynasty, established by the 5th Dalai Lama and approved by the Qing dynasty in 1645. Then it was enlarged and renovated by the successive Dalai Lamas.
The palace is comprised of the White Palace in the east (the residence of Dalai Lama), the Red Palace in the middle (the holy stupa of the Dalai Lama) and monks’ dormitories in the west. There is a white wall in front of the Red Palace for hanging large paintings of the Buddha. There are eight holy stupas in the Red Palace, among which the first stupa belonging to the 5th Dalai Lama is the biggest. According to historical record, the gold used to overlay this stupa reached 3,656,300 grams and mortal remains the 5th Dalai is within it.
Potala Palace, is an architectural wonder, and is the symbol of Tibean nationality which was enter into the UNESCO Word Heritage List in 1994. For even more on this exquisite palace, check out our recent blog!
Admission Fee: 200RMB (high season), 100RMB (low season)
Open Time: 9:12 – 12:00, 15:30 – 16:30