The Potala Palace, Lhasa, China
The Potala Palace, Lhasa, China
Potala’s Palace is the fortress on the Hilltop. The Potala Palace endures being the symbol of Tibet’s and China’s legacy of history, art, culture, and religion. It prevailed from being a palace, then a monastery, a prison of one time to an eternity of being the state museum.
The Potala Palace, on the roof of the Jokhang, is Tibet’s largest building and one of the most spectacular structures in the world.
The Potala Palace has been converted into a state museum by the Chinese government after the invasion in 1959. Before that, it was the winter house for Tibet’s Dalai Lama.
Recently it got declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the world by the television show Good Morning America and the Newspaper USA Today.
Also a popular Tourist attraction it was pronounced and inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage in 1994.
Dalai Lama V (17th century.) made the Potala around the fortress of King Songsten Gampo on Mount Maori. Avalokiteshvara (chenerisk) is Tibet’s patron deity and “Potala” is the mountain in south India where this deity has been said to be resided as per the mythology. According to history, all the ancient kings and Dalai Lamas are manifestations of Bodhisattva for they followed the religion and practiced Buddhism.
At the center of the beautiful Lhasa, Valley stands at an altitude of 3700m, is the Potala palace symbolizes the Tibetan practice of Buddhism and its traditional practices of administration.
Potala Palace has a rich chronicle for its construction and henceforth.
The Potala Palace
The Potala Palace
King Songsten Gampo 637 to welcome his bride Princess Wencheng builds this palace and then it was a meditation retreat.
Great Fifth i.e. Lobsang Gyatso who was the fifth Dalai Lama an important figurehead in the annals of Tibetan Story. He constructed the present palace in 1645; marking on its eve the unification of Tibet and making the Yellow sect the state religion. By 1648 the white palace got completed and it thus started now being used as a winter palace.
The Red palace was under construction when the great fifth died, though his death was not pronounced and was kept in secret till the completion of The Red palace was done. He was kept to be alive here for ten years even after the death of the monks who feared that its construction might not get completed. A monk who was his look-alike impersonated him till then.
The year 1959 marked a change when the riots happened in Tibet and due to China’s aggression, the current Dalai Lama fled and remains to be exiled in India. In the years between 1966 and 1977, the Cultural Revolution took place, in which the remaining monks were made to flee or expelled and thus palace was abandoned, thereafter it was looted and damaged by Chinese soldiers. Now the Palace is under strict supervision and renovated and restored by the Chinese government and is one of the highlights of china’s tourist places.
The Magnetism and alluring Potala Palace also known as Winter Palace is charming with numerous edifices.
It has thirteen Stories and is 117 meters high. It’s mostly made of wood and stone i.e. the walls are made of granite and roofs and windows are of wood. They have hip-gable roofs, overhanging eaves, upturned roof corners, and gilded brass tiles and pillars.
The White Palace
It comprises temples, halls, and courtyards and served as a living quarter for Dalai Lama and his fellow monks and servants. There is a painting of images of the Four Heavenly Kings, Devyang shar Court. There are three ladders, of which the central one was the Dalai Lama and high magistrates. Here in this palace is huge murals describing the construction of Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. Also here we can see The Great Fifth’s edict sign with his handprint. It was mainly a political headquarters and in the east Sunshine, the Dalai Lama ascended the throne and carried the administration work. Here we can see the Saint’s Chapel a shrine that had the compassionate and divine statue of Chenrezig. Also, there is Dharma Cave where King Songsten studied Buddhism after converting. These are the oldest parts of the Palace. In the White, Palace is two small chapels, the Phakpa Lhakhang and the Chogyal Drubphuk; which are dated the seventh century, and these chapels are the oldest surviving structures and the most sacred. The Potala’s most venerated statue, the Arya Lokeshvara, is housed inside the Phapka Lhakhang, and it draws thousands of Tibetan pilgrims each day.
The Red Palace
The Red Palace has seven golden roofs and is famous for its religious compositions and structures. Here we have gorgeous stupas and precious cultural relics and all kinds of halls for worshipping Lord Buddha. This was the meditation center and also here resides the remaining Dalai Lamas. After the death of the Fifth Dalai Lama, there is the Great West Wall which inscribes their life and his works and preaching on fine murals. In this palace which holds the links to the history of Tibet’s religion, we find the high statue of Tsong Khapa the founder of the Dalai Lama’s lineage and it is here he is worshipped and enshrined. Also, the famous Jataka stories are engraved and narrated in the palace. This place holds the stupas of all the Dalai Lams which are covered with gold leaves and studded with jewels which makes it look exquisite and lovely and brings you to the essence of Buddhism. The Red Palace is adorned with jeweled work and embellishment with shrines and tombs with precious offerings. Here we find a pagoda made of 200.000 pearls.
The stupas are covered with tons of gold and semi-precious stones and carvings. They house the numerous chapels and monk’s assembly halls and libraries, the most important scripture of Tibbets Kagyur and tengyur which are all hand painted and carved and inscribed on wooden blocks.
Over 200,000 books are recorded here. This palace is dedicated to Honoring the Boddhisattvas, Buddhas, and his Dalai Lamas. Also, the eight Dalai Lama and Medicine Buddha, and Sakyamuni are ornamented here in this Palace.
In the 7th Century, the Jokhang temple Monastery was built and is the latest addition to the Buddhist religious complex. Here we can feel peace and emancipate our thoughts and feel serenity.
The Potala Palace is a masterpiece of Tibetan art and religion. This palace strong like a fortress is striking and a must-visit when in china. It represents their glorious past and history. All these three sites depict the harmonious integration of Buddhism culture.
The Opening time is 9.30 am -1.00 pm and 1500pm-1800 pm. Prices of tickets are RMB 100 Yuan Per person and taking photos inside charges are extra also if visiting the golden roofs costs extra fees of RMB 10 Yuan.
It’s a Treasure trove of Tibet’s religion, culture, and arts. The Sculptures, murals, antiques, Buddha figures, and stupas of the Late Dalai Lama are the highlight. It has an amazing and mystical attraction. The Grand buildings and beautified structures hold harmony, and peace with the devotional atmosphere a visitor will experience calm and feel exuberated here.
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