Potala Palace, The Mythical Abode of Dalai Lama

Posted by Kennedy Runo · Jul 24 · in Tibet · about Sightseeing

Until 1959 when the 14th Dalai Lama fled political persecution from Lhasa to India, the Potala Palace was the official residence of the spiritual leader. Today, the palace has been inscribed into the UNESCO world heritage sites and it serves as a museum for the Tibet region.

Until 1959 when the 14th Dalai Lama fled political persecution from Lhasa to India, the Potala Palace was the official residence of the spiritual leader. Today, the palace has been inscribed into the UNESCO world heritage sites and it serves as a museum for the Tibet region.

Note that the palace is named after the mythical Mount Potalaka, the residence of bodhisattva AvalokiteĊ›vara. The palace construction was kicked off by the 5th Dalai Lama in 1645. It was an ideal place to be the seat of his government seeing that it was halfway between the Sera and Deprung Monasteries. The palace sits on the site where an earlier palace, known as the Red Palace, was built by Songstan Gampo in 637 AD.

The Potala Palace is indeed a magnificent architectural piece. It measures 400 meters on its east-west orientation and 350 meters on its north-south orientation. It is built with walls 3 meters to 5 meters thick and has copper poured at its base to proof it against earthquakes.
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The palace houses 1000 rooms 200,000 statues and 10,000 shrines. It is the sort of place you go to learn more about the Tibetan Buddhism and their way of life. It also brings to fore the Tibetan Buddhist architectural mastery.

Whenever in China, make time to see this amazing palace that is today part of the wonders of the world due to its high elevation.

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