Potala Palace

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Tibet, China

Potala Palace Reviews

crystalevans crystale…
24 reviews
The Sacred Potala Palace in Tibet Jan 10, 2010
Named as one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’ by the American television show, the Potala Palace is considered a model of Tibetan architecture, whose massive, beautiful yet forbidding structure is a gigantic undertaking.

Located in Lhasa, The Potala Palace is 3,756.5 meters above sea level, covering an area of over 360,000 square meters (about 32 acres), measuring 360 meters from east to west and 270 meters from south to north. It has 13 stories, and is 117 meters high. The walls of the Palace are over one meter in thickness, the thickest sections being five meters. They are painted with huge colorful murals, which make it beautiful and lively.It considered as the greatest monumental structure in all of Tibet.

The magnificent Potala Palace is made of wood and stone. All the walls are of granite, and all the roofs and windows are of wood. The overhanging eaves, the upturned roof corners, and the gilded brass tiles and gilded pillars inscribed with Buddhist scriptures, bottles, and makara fish as well as the gold-winged birds decorating the roof ridges contribute much to the beauty of the hip-and-gable roofs.

The stone-and-wood-structured Potala Palace consists of over 1000 rooms, seminary, chanting hall, temples, various chambers for worshipping Buddha and chambers housing the stupas of several Dalai Lamas, which are covered with gold 1eaf and studded with jewels. In the rooms, there are tens of thousands of Buddha figures. Different in sizes and complex in designs, the figures look vivid and lovely.

The Potala Palace contains over a 1000 rooms, mainly consisted of two parts, namely the “White Palace” and the “Red Palace”. The lower and outer portions of the palace are known as the “White Palace” and served as the administrative and government offices. Rising above the center of the White Palace is the area known as the “Red Palace,” which once served as the religious areas of the palace.

The Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet.The Potala Palace was built in the seventh century and it has already had a long history of over 1300 years. In 641, Songtsan Gambo, ruler of the Tubo Kingdom, had the Potala Palace built for Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty, whom he was soon to marry. This structure was later burned to the ground during a war and was rebuilt in the 17th century by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Repeated repairs and expansions until 1645 finally brought the palace to its present scale. Over the past three centuries, the palace gradually became a place where the Dalai Lama lived and worked and a place for keeping the remains of successive Dalai Lama until 1959, when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala after a failed uprising.

This name, “Potala” probably derives from Mt. Potala, the mythological mountain abode of the Bodhisattva Chenresi (Avilokiteshvara / Kuan Yin) in southern India. The Emperor Songtsen Gampo had been regarded as an incarnation of Chenresi. Given that he founded the Potala, it seems likely that the hilltop palace of Lhasa took on the name of the Indian sacred mountain.

Fulfilling numerous functions, the Potala was first and foremost the residence of the Dalai Lama and his large staff. In addition, it was the seat of Tibetan government, where all ceremonies of state were held; it housed a school for religious training of monks and administrators; and it was one of Tibet’s major pilgrimage destinations because of the tombs of past Dalai Lamas.

The Potala Palace, which is now on the list of Chinese national key protected cultural relics, is the most valuable storehouse in Tibet. Potala Palace is famous for its grand buildings, complicated constructions, devotional atmosphere and splendid artworks. It was listed as the world cultural heritage in 1994.
UNESCO World Heritage Site - the a…
Potala Palace was listed in the Wo…
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trishtapara trishtap…
2 reviews
Potala Palace - Lhasa Apr 28, 2010
You can't go to Lhasa and not go to the Potala Palace. It dominates the landscape and the culture. Amazing and spiritual, felt as though taken back in time. Great to walk the perimeter with locals. Join the crowds walking up the steep steps (need to be fit) and weave slowly through the maze of rooms to see the tombs of the Dalai Lama from centuries ago.
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