China – Tibet

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Introduction :
The Potala Palace is located in the capital city of Lhasa in the Tibet province of China. The Potala Palace home to generations of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the Tibetan uprising in 1959. For centuries, the Potala Palace plays a central role in the governing of Tibet and symbolizes Tibetan Buddism and culture with thousands of original cultural and historical relics in the palace. The palace sits at an elevation of over 3700 metres above sea level and measures 400 metres long and 270 metres wide covering an area of 13 square km containing over 1000 rooms, 1000 shrines and 200,000 statues over 13 stories of buildings that rises more than 300 metres above the valley. Today, the Potala Palace functions as a museum and is a world famous attraction and a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.

Beautiful view of Lhasa from the Potala Palace
Beautiful view of Lhasa from the Potala Palace
Image attribution to Hagleitn @ Flickr

Front view of the Potala Palace
Front view of the Potala Palace
Image attribution to ccdoh1 @ Flickr

How the inside of the palace looks like
How the inside of the palace looks like
Image attribution to Luca Galuzzi @ Galuzzi

History :
The Potala palace was first erected in the year 637 AD by Emperor Songtsen Gampo who used it to greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng from the Tang Dynasty and used it as a retreat place afterwards. It was only until the 1600s when the 5th Dalai Lama Lozang Gyatso wanted a winter palace around the site that additional buildings were added on top of it to form the structure seen today. The Potala Palace got its name from Mount Potalaka and is a scared mountain for the Buddists.

The Jokhang monastery was created as early as 642 AD
The Jokhang monastery was created as early as 642 AD
Image attribution to imsbildariv @ Flickr

Viewing Lhasa from the Drepung Monastery
Viewing Lhasa from the Drepung Monastery
Image attribution to imsbildariv @ Flickr

The Norbulingka park was the summer home of the Dalai Lama
The Norbulingka park was the summer home of the Dalai Lama
Image attribution to lacitadelle @ Flickr

Peacful park and pond behind the Palace
Peacful park and pond behind the Palace
Image attribution to Quadell @ Wiki

Getting there :
The nearest airport to the Potala Palace is the Lhasa Gonggar Airport (LXA) which is a regional airport serving only several Chinese airlines and is 58 km away from Lhasa.

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