The Potala Palace is a World Heritage SiteThe Potala Palace, located in Lhasa, Tibet, was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India after a failed uprising in 1959. Today the Potala Palace is a state museum of China. It is now a popular tourist attraction and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Potala Palace travel, XiZang Tourist Attractions
In 641, after marrying Princess Wencheng, Songtsen Gampo decided to build a grand palace to accommodate her and let his descendants remember the event. However, the original palace was destroyed due to a lightening strike and succeeding warfare during Landama's reign. In seventeenth century under the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Potala was rebuilt. The Thirteenth
Dalai Lama expanded it to today's scale. The monastery-like palace, reclining against and capping Red Hill, was the religious and political center of old Tibet and the winter palace of Dalai Lamas. The palace is more than 117 meters (384 feet) in height and 360 (1180 feet) in width, occupying a building space of 90 thousand square meters. Potala is composed of White Palace and Red Palace. The Potala Palace attractions former is for secular use while the later is for religious.New York
The White Palace consists of offices, dormitories, a Buddhist official seminary and a printing house. From the east entrance of the palace, painted with images of Four Heavenly Kings, a broad corridor upwards leads to Deyang Shar courtyard, which used to be where Dalai Lamas watched operas. Around the large and open courtyard, there used to be a seminary and dormitories. West of the courtyard is the White Palace. There are three ladder stairs reaching inside of it, however, the central one was reserved for only Dalai Lamas and central government magistrates dispatched to Tibet. In the first hallway, there are huge murals describing the construction of Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple and the procession of Princess Wencheng reaching Tibet. On the Potala Palace tourism south wall, visitors will see an edict signed with the Great Fifth's handprint. The White Palace mainly serves as the political headquarter and Dalai Lamas' living quarters. The West Chamber of Sunshine and the East Chamber of Sunshine lie as the roof of the White Palace. They belonged to the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and the Fourteenth Dalai Lama respectively. Beneath the East Chamber of Sunshine is the largest hall in the White Palace, where Dalai Lamas ascended throne and ruled Tibet.
The Red Palace was constructed after the death of the Fifth Dalai Lama. The center of the complicated Red Palace is the Great West Hall, which records the Great Fifth Dalai Lama's life by its fine murals. The scene of his visit to Emperor Shunzhi in Beijing in 1652 is extraordinarily vivid. It also has finely carved columns and brackets. The hall has four additional chapels. The West Chapel houses three gold stupas of the Fifth, Tenth and Twelfth Dalai Lamas'. Their mummified and perfumed bodies are well kept in those stupas. Among the three, the Fifth Dalai Lama's stupa is the biggest, which is made of sandalwood, wrapped in gold foil and decorated with thousands of diamonds, pearls, agates and others gems. The stupa, with a height of 14.86 meters (49 feet), spends more than 3,700 kilograms of gold. The North Chapel contains statues of Sakyamuni, Dalai Lamas and Medicine Buddha, and stupas of the Eighth, Ninth and Eleventh Dalai Lamas. Against the wall is Tanjur (Beijing edition), a most important Tibetan Buddhist sutra sent to the Seventh Dalai Lama by Emperor Yongzheng. In the East Chapel a two meters
(6.5 feet) high statue of Tsong Khapa, the founder of Gelugpa which is Dalai Lama's lineage, is enshrined and worshipped. In addition, about 70 famous adepts in Tibetan Buddhism surround him. The South Chapel is where a silver statue of Padmasambhava and 8 bronze statues of his reincarnations are enshrined. On the floor above, there is a gallery which has a collection of 698 murals, portraying Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dalai Lamas and great adepts and narrating jataka stories and Potala Palace travel significant Tibetan historic events. West of the Great West Hall locates the Thirteenth Dalai Lama's stupa hall. Since he was regarded as great as the Great Fifth, people started to build his stupa after his death in the fall of 1933. Taking three years, the stupa is comparable with the Great Fifth's stupa. It is 14 meters (46 feet) in height, coated with a ton (2200 pounds) of gold foils. In front of it is a mandala made of more than 200,000 pearls and other gems. Murals in the hall tell important events in his life, including his visit with Emperor Guangxu. The highest hall of Potala was built in 1690. It used to be the holy shrine of Chinese Emperors. Dalai Lamas would come here with his officials and high lamas to show their respects to the central government annually before.
Dharma Cave and the Saint's Chapel are the only structures left which were built in seventh century. They both lie central of the Red Palace. Dharma Cave is said to be the place where King Songtsen Gampo proceeded his religious cultivation. Inside the cave, statues of Songtsen Gampo, Princess Wencheng, Princess Tritsun and his chief ministers are enshrined. In the Saint's Chapel above Dharma Cave, Chenrezi, Tsong Khapa, Padmasambhava, the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Dalai Lamas are enshrined and worshipped. Potala Palace attractions Visitors may find a stone with a footprint that was believed left by the infant Twelfth Dalai Lama.
Built at an altitude of 3,700 m, on the side of Marpo Ri hill, the Red Mountain in the center of Lhasa Valley, Potala Palace, with its vast inward-sloping walls broken only in the upper parts by straight rows of many windows, and its flat roofs at various levels, is not unlike a fortress in appearance. At the south base of the rock is a large space enclosed by walls and gates, with great porticos on the inner side. A series of tolerably easy staircases, broken by intervals of gentle ascent, leads to the summit of the rock. The whole width of this is occupied by the palace.
The central part of this group of buildings rises in a vast quadrangular mass above its satellites to a great height, terminating in gilt canopies similar to those on the Jokhang. This central member of Potala is called the "red palace" from its crimson colour, which distinguishes it from the rest. It contains the principal halls and XiZang Tourist Attractions chapels and shrines of past Dalai Lamas. There is in these much rich decorative painting, with jewelled work, carving and other ornament.
The Potala Palace was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 2000 and 2001, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka were added to the list as extensions to the sites.
The Tomb of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama
The tomb of the XIIIth Dalai Lama is located west of the Great West Hall and it can only be reached from an upper floor and with the company of a monk or a guide of the Potala. Built in 1933, the giant stupa contains priceless jewels and one ton of solid gold. It is 14 metres [46 feet] in height. Devotional offerings include elephant tusks from India, porcelain lions and vases and a pagoda made from over 200,000 pearls. Elaborate murals in traditional Tibetan styles depict many events of the life of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama during the early 20th century.
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama
The current Dalai Lama was His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, who was forced to abandon the Potala and his nation of Tibet after the invasion of the Army of the People's Republic of China in 1959. HH Dalai Lama currently resides with his Potala Palace tourism Government in Exile in India, where he awaits the political freedoms which would allow his return to Lhasa