Potala Palace Travel Guide
Potala Palace is located on the Red Hill of Lhasa, Tibet. It was built in the seventh century and rebuilt by the Fifth Dalai Lama in 1645.
The Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century by King Songtsan Gambo, unifier of Tibet, for his bride, the Han nationality Princess Wen Cheng, who was sent to him by the Tang dynasty emperor.
Potala Palace, which is of stone and wood structure, occupies an area of 41 hectares, with the 13-storied main building rising 115 meters high. The complex is built on the Red Mountain in the center of the Lhasa valley, at an altitude of 3,700 M. It comprising the White and the Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, the Red Palace in the center, used for religious functions and the White Palace on both side, used as the living quarters of Dalai Lama. The Arya Lokeshvara, the Potala´s most venerated statue, is stated inside the Phapka Lhakhang, and it draws thousands of Tibetan pilgrims each day.
On entering the East Portal, you will come into the Deyang Shar courtyard where Dalai Lamas watched Tibetan opera. West of the courtyard is the White Palace. In the middle of the Potala Palace the Red Palace exists. Dharma Cave and the Saint´s Chapel in the middle of the Red Palace are the only two constructions preserved since the seventh century. There are also many other constructions in Potala Palace which include: the School of Buddist Logic, the seminary, the printing House, gardens, courtyards and even the jail. For more than 300 years, Potala Palace has treasured many culture relics such as murals, stupas, statues, thangkas, and rare sutras. Potala Palace is indeed a must-see for both visitors and researchers.
Potala Palace symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration in Tibet.
The beauty and originality of the architecture, the ornamentation and harmonious integration in a striking landscape, add to its historic and religious interest.
Potala Palace is located in the center of Lhasa,so the tourists can walk there from East of Beijing Road,or by taxi and tricycle.
According to the local custom, you have to tour clockwise around; don´t step on the doorsill; don´t smoke in the halls; don´t take photos without permission!
It is not easy for visitors to climb to the top building because of its height, so you´d better slow down. Because the halls are always chilly; you´d better take a coat while visiting!