Lhasa ~ Place of the Gods
Lhasa Travel Blog› entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
A trip to Lhasa ("Place of the Gods") is never complete without a visit to the magnificent Potala Palace - famous for its grand buildings, complicated constructions, devotional atmosphere and splendid artworks. Perched upon the Marpo Ri Hill 130 meters above the Lhasa valley, it is the greatest monumental structure in Tibet.
On the list of Chinese national key protected cultural relics, it is the most valuable treasure house in Tibet. It is widely known for its huge collection of precious treasures of artistic and cultural values including sculptures, murals, scriptures, Buddha figures, antiques and religious jewelry.
The Potala Palace comprises of the White Palace (administration building) and the Red Palace (religious building).
The view from the top of the Palace was amazing with the beautiful snow capped mountains on the horizon and the neat rows of buildings in the Lhasa city below.
We visited next the Jokhang Temple located in the centre of old Lhasa city. This temple is the holiest site in the Tibetan Buddhism and is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for all Tibetan pilgrims. Because the temple is not controlled by any particular sects of the Tibetan Buddhism, it attracts adherents of all sects.
Everyday throughout the year, pilgrims come from all corners of Tibet, usually on foot, to circumambulate each of these three circuits. The most devout pilgrims would cover the last several miles by crawling on their hands and knees or throwing flat with their face down on their bellies. They would hum prayers while spinning the prayer wheels. More prostrations were undertaken in the plaza in front of the temple. It was ctually very moving to see the piousness and devotions of the pilgrims.
I must rave about the hotel that we stayed in Lhasa and would highly recommend a stay in the Brahamaputra Grand Hotel.
The entire hotel, from the lobby, restaurants and along the corridors to the rooms is decorated and filled with Tibetan artefacts which are available for sale. All hotel staff wears Tibetan costumes including interesting Tibetan headgears for ladies and leather hats for guys. Tibetan music is played live in the lobby almost throughout the day. It was certainly an interesting stay!
Either the gods must have liked us or our lucky stars were shining upon us, we were given a luxurious two bedroom suite complete with a huge living room and dining area. That had made our stay an even more pleasant one.