Potala Palace located on the Red Hill covers an area of 41 hectares is an architectural wonder is Lhasa' cardinal landmark. It can be seen from all directions for miles around. It was set up in the seventh century AD during the reign of King Songtsen Gampo. It's Potala consists of the White and Red palaces with more than 1000 rooms. The white places were for secular use. It contained living quarters, offices, the seminary, and the printing house. The red Palace's function was religious. It contained gold stupas, which were the tombs of eight Dalai Lamas, the monks' assembly hall, numerous chapels and shrines, and libraries for Buddhist Scriptures.
A spiritual center of Tibet, the Holy of Holies, the destination of millions of Tibetan pilgrims. This Temple has intimate, human proportions, bustling with worshippers and redolent with mystery. The outer courtyard and porch of the temple are usually filled with pilgrims making full-length prostration towards the holy sanctum. Its innermost shrine contains the oldest, most precious object in Tibet - the original gold statue of Sakyamuni - the historical Buddha, which Princess Wen Cheng brought from Chang' a 1,300 years ago.
Barkhor is both a fascinating combination of the spiritual heart of the holy city and the main commercial district for Tibetans. It refers to Lhasa's pilgrimage circuit, a quadrangle of streets that surrounds the Jokhang and some of the old buildings adjoining it.
Lies 8 km west – north of Lhasa. Drepung means Rice Heap after its jumble of white monastic buildings piled up on the hillside. It is supposed to be the world's largest monastery with more than 10,000 monks. Tibetans celebrate their major festival - Shoton, the Yogurt Festival every August. The most important event of this festival - Giant Buddha Show is held at the Monastery.
About 5km north of Lhasa is along with Drepung one of Lhasa's two great Gelugpa monasteries. Sera is famous for its "Buddhism Scriptures Debating": monks can be seen preparing for the monastic exam by staging mock debates in a ritual way. Master and dignitaries sit on the raised tiers when a real exam takes place.
Norbulingka a Jewel Park, is Dalai Lama's summer palace. Norbulingka is well worth a visit at festival times and public holidays. On Shoton Festival, the park is crowded with picnickers, and traditional Tibetan opera performances are also held there.
Gandenthe first Gelugpa monastery situated at 4500m in a bowl like an amphitheater and has remained the main seat of this major Buddhist order ever since lies about 45km east of Lhasa. It was founded by Tsongkhapa, the revered reformer of the Gelugpa order. Ganden is probably the best choice for one monastery excursion outside of Lhasa, with its stupendous views of the surrounding Kyi Chu Valley.
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