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Lhasa ~ Place of the Gods

Lhasa Travel Blog

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Potala Palace

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).

At the entrance to Potala Palace
The White Palace was used as the winter palace for Dalai Lamas and the walls were painted white to convey peace and quietness. The Red Palace located in the middle of the Palace is renowned for its religious status, gorgeous stupas and precious culture relics. The walls were painted red to represent stateliness and power.

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.

The Potala Palace with its imposing presence
Three pilgrimage circuits exist in Lhasa – the Lingkhor (which encircles the city’s sacred district), the Bakhor (which encloses the Jokhang temple) and the Nangkhor (a ritual corridor inside the Jokhang),

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.

Upwards view of Potala Palace
Not for the fact that it is a luxurious five star hotel but for the experience of "staying inside a museum"! 

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.

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anupa_rk says:
Beautiful! It is one of the first few places I want to visit when I go back to India.
Posted on: Jun 12, 2016
simsing says:
I want to go there one day!
Posted on: Oct 05, 2011
KarinaKalinka says:
My dream destination! :-)
Posted on: Sep 14, 2011
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Potala Palace
Potala Palace
At the entrance to Potala Palace
At the entrance to Potala Palace
The Potala Palace with its imposin…
The Potala Palace with its imposi…
Upwards view of Potala Palace
Upwards view of Potala Palace
Up the many steps to Potala Palace
Up the many steps to Potala Palace
The White Palace
The White Palace
At the side of Potala Palace on th…
At the side of Potala Palace on t…
A long climb up to the Palace
A long climb up to the Palace
Some of the many chambers of the P…
Some of the many chambers of the …
Some of the many chambers of the P…
Some of the many chambers of the …
View from the Potala Palace with t…
View from the Potala Palace with …
Prayer flags on the way down from …
Prayer flags on the way down from…
Panoramic view of Potala Palace
Panoramic view of Potala Palace
At the square in front of Potala P…
At the square in front of Potala …
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
Potala Palace
Having a tea in a small local eate…
Having a tea in a small local eat…
Tibetian boy performer inside the …
Tibetian boy performer inside the…
Busy Bakhor Street
Busy Bakhor Street
Bakhor Street, the oldest street i…
Bakhor Street, the oldest street …
Brahmaputra Grand Hotel
Brahmaputra Grand Hotel
Brahmaputra Grand Hotel
Brahmaputra Grand Hotel
Friendly staff in their beautiful …
Friendly staff in their beautiful…
Staff of the hotel in traditional …
Staff of the hotel in traditional…
Tibetan artifacts along the corrid…
Tibetan artifacts along the corri…
One of the many displays along the…
One of the many displays along th…
The living room of the suite
The living room of the suite
The living room of the suite
The living room of the suite
The hallway with two tiny goldfish…
The hallway with two tiny goldfis…
The dining area
The dining area
The rooms
The rooms
My room .... what a luxury!!
My room .... what a luxury!!
Dinner at Potala View Restaurant
Dinner at Potala View Restaurant
Lhasa
photo by: mountaingirl