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Lhasa Attractions

Tourist Attractions in Lhasa

Barkhor Street
The Barkhor Street is the oldest street of old Lhasa city. This street is situated in the heart of Lhasa and circle the Jokhang Temple. It is the trading as well as religious center of the city. The word Barkhor means a pilgrim's inner circuit. It dates back to the foundation of the Jokhang Temple and is an essential pilgrimage route. This path was used by the Buddhist pilgrims as a walk around path for Jokhang temple. But now, this is the most bustling shopping place in entire Tibet. The Barkhor Street is also known as 'the window of Tibet' as it typically reflects the Tibetan life and culture. The

Barkhor Street Lhasa

street is dotted with ancient houses which also serve as shops. Religious objects such as prayer flags, prayer wheels, thangkas (a kind of mounted scroll paintings), sutras, prayer beads, etc. as well as jewellery, Silver ornaments, Tibetan knives, costumes, yak wool and different kinds of handicrafts are easily available in this ancient street. But the specialty of this street is definitely the eateries that are the famous and delicious dishes of Tibetan cuisine. The street also has other facilities like inns, restaurants, cafes, etc. that serve locals as well as tourists. Do not forget to pay a visit to the apparel stores as they too have the uniqueness and special Tibetan look in their products. This street combines ancient, modern, religious and everyday life in perfect harmony and is a must-see for all visitors!

Jokhang Temple
The Jokhang Temple is one of the most sacred and important temple in Tibet. The tourists and pilgrims visit this temple in large numbers, throughout the year. In the past, the temple complex was expanded and it now covers an area of about 25,000 square meters. It was always an important pilgrim destination for Tibetans, but after being added in the list of World heritage site by UNESCO, "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace", the temple is now a major attraction for all the tourists visiting the town. This temple is a spiritual center of  

Jokhang Temple Lhasa

Lhasa, it is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in Lhasa. Jokhang Temple was built by King Songtsan Gampo probably in 642 and located in heart of the Lhasa city in Tibet. It was originally called the Rasa Tulnang Tsuklakang or 'the House of Mysteries', the Magical Emanation at Rasa. The temple is permeated with purity. The Jokhang temple is rightly erected in the center of the ground which was earlier a lake. The lake was chosen as the site after many attempts failed to build a temple in the region. Every time a structure was erected, it would collapse on its own. Everybody was surprised by this unusual turn of events. Princess Bhirkuti then approached Princess Wen Cheng who was more knowledgeable than others. She pointed out that the topography of the city was not very conducive to construction due to the presence of lake. She advised that the lake should be filled and leveled up. You will be amazed to know that more than 1000 sheep's were used to bring soil from a mountain quite a distance away. And after the temple was build, it came to be known as Ra-Sa- Vphrul Snang. In Tibetan language, 'Ra' means sheep and 'Sa' means earth. The city around also was called Ra-Sa, which is now known as Lhasa. The temple houses the famous life size statue of Sakyamuni which is considered to be most sacred for Tibetans, and was brought to Tibet by the Bhrituti and Wencheng, the Nepalese and Chinese wives of King Songtsen Gampo as wedding gifts. The famous Buddhist Master, Atisha, taught here in the 11th century and it has been considered the most important temple in Lhasa ever since. This temple has remained a key center of Buddhist pilgrimage for centuries. It was sacked several times by the Mongols, but the building survived. Originally it was constructed on the bases of Indian vihara design, and was later extended resulting in a blend of Nepalese and Tang Dynasty styles. The Jokhang temple is a four-storey building, with roofs covered with gilded bronze tiles. The main hall of the complex is around 1300 years old housing the statue of Sakyamuni, which probably is the most venerated statue in entire Tibet. In the hall, there is a 'Dharma Wheel' confined between two deer on either side of the wheel. The Jokhang temple complex has several decorated shrines and rooms. It also houses famous statues of Chenresig, Padmasambhava and King Songtsan Gambo and his two famous foreign brides, Princess Wen Cheng of China and Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal. Many of the statues were destroyed during the "Cultural Revolution" but have been remade very often by the broken pieces of the original statues. If you want to see the whole Jokhang complex in a single view, climb on to the square of the Jokhang temple, from where you will get the most amazing scenes of the temple. Here you will find two big slabs, both inscribed. One stands as testimony to the alliance between kings of Tibet and Tang and the other has the method of preventing the cureless smallpox disease. The temple is open to general public from 9 AM in the morning till 8 PM in the evening. At least 4 hours are needed to explore this wonderful monument.

Norbulingka Palace
Norbulingka Palace, situated in the west side of Lhasa, is just around a km southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka literally means "the Jewelled Park" or the “Treasure Park”. It is a garden full of palaces, build by different Dalai Lamas and which served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from 1780 till the PRC takeover in the late 1950. It was first built in the forties of the eighteenth century, covering a space of 40 hectares after continuous expansion by the Dalai Lamas. Now, the garden covers an

Norbulingka Palace Lhasa

area of around 46 acres and has 370 lavishly furnished rooms. It is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet. It is called summer palace because after the 7th Lama, Dalai Lamas used to visit here during summers to hold religious and government related activities. In 2001, UNESCO inscribed Norbulingka on its World Heritage List as part of the "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace". The area on which the palace stands today used to be a wasteland full of weeds and wild animals. The 7th Dalai Lama often visited the place and spend his time here. Seeing this the Qing magistrate ordered for a palace to be built in the garden. The construction of the palace was started in 1740 and named as the Norbulingka garden. In 1751, the 7th Dalai Lama himself started the construction of his own palace called Kelsang Potrang inside Norbulingka itself. This is a 3 floor building which has bedrooms, reading rooms, worship halls and sanctuary. In its life span of more than 200 years, Norbulingka has seen a lot of construction on it. The 8th Dalai Lama built a lake and a group of buildings called C. The 8th Dalai Lama named Tyoksil Potrang built the palace which is known for its architectural splendor. The earliest building is the Gesang Pozhang Palace built by Kelzang Gyatso. Khamsum Zilnon is another eye-catching building behind the main gate. It was originally a Han style pavilion and later changed into a theater where the Dalai Lamas watched Tibetan opera. Tsokyil Potrang is a group of buildings on water. Dalai Lamas used to read in a hall of the palace. Construction seldom stopped under the reigns of different Dalai Lamas. In 1922, the 13th Dalai Lama began to build his Golden Lingka and Chensel Potrang, which is located at the back of the woods. The palace was heavily painted with murals, which bear strong Han characteristics. In 1956, the 14th Dalai Lama finished his own palace - Takten Migyur Potrang, usually called New Summer Palace. Though it is called New Summer Palace, it is a very traditional architecture except for its interior modern facilities. In the palace there are many splendid murals painted by a 14th Dalai Lama's painter. The topics of the murals include Tibetan officials, Sakyamuni preaching under a Bodhi tree, and Tibetan history from its founding by the Holy Monkey, the vicissitudes of Tubo Kingdom (633-844) and Tibetan Buddhism to Panchen Lama and Dalai Lama's interviews with Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing. Norbulingka palace holds beautiful gardens that are favorite picnic spots and provide a beautiful venue for theatre, dancing and festivals, particularly the Sho Dun or 'Yoghurt Festival'. It is celebrated at the beginning of August, with families camping in the grounds for days surrounded by colourful makeshift windbreaks of rugs and scarves and enjoying the height of summer weather. There is also a zoo at Norbulingka, originally to keep the animals which were given to the Dalai Lama. Heinrich Harrer helped the 14th Dalai Lama build a small movie theatre there in the 1950s. This is the best picnic spot quite popular among locals. The garden is open from 9 AM in the morning till 12 noon and again reopens at 3 PM in the evening and closes just an hour after at 4 in the evening.

Yamdrok Tso Lake
Yamdrok Tso or Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is a holy lake located about 100 km to the south-west of the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa. In Tibetan language the word Yamdrok means upper pasture and Tso refers to lake, thus literally Yamdrok Tso means Upper Pasture Lake. This beautiful turquoise blue lake is situated at an altitude of 4,441 meters above sea level. It is the largest freshwater lake at the south foot of the Himalayas with an area of about 678 square kilometers. The lake has a length of 130 kilometers and a width of 70 kilometers. It is quite a deep lake with the average

Yamdrok Tso Lake Lhasa

depth of about 20-40 meters and the deepest point is almost 60 meters below the surface. It is the third largest lake on the Tibetan Plateau and one of the most holy lakes in Tibet. It has no outlet and no permanent source of incoming water, however the snow melted from the surrounding mountains occasionally feed the lake. This lake has some interesting names that have been coined from its unique features. For example, the name Coral Lake is derived from its irregular shape. It has many short streams snaking into the nearby mountains and provides it a coral like appearance. It is also called Green Jade Lake because the pure clean water of the lake looks as smooth as the surface of fine jade. When overlooked from the nearby high mountain, the Lake appears like a holy sapphire, set in the group of mountains. The reflection of sunshine in different depths of lake gives it attractive and mysterious colors. Situated amidst snow-capped mountains and dotted with several small islands with their fertile grasses and groups of wild birds, Yamdrok Tso Lake offers a heavenly magnificence and tranquility. According to the Tibetan believes, Yamdrok Yumtso Lake is the female Guardian of Buddhism in Tibet. Tibetan people believe that it will bless and protect them. It is one of the popular pilgrimages in Tibet and every year, large number of devotional followers in Tibet or from other places would come here for pilgrimage. Some devotees start on foot and give one prostration every three steps even from hundreds of kilometers away. It shows their respect and devotion for this charming holy lake.

Potala Palace
Potala Palace is located in the heart of Lhasa city. Potala Palace has become a landmark for the city. Potala Palace is located on the side of Marpo Ri hill, the Red Mountain at an altitude of 3,700 m. The Potala Palace was named after Mount Potala, the abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara. The first palace was built by King Songtsen Gampo in 637 in order to

Potala Palace Lhasa
greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng of the Tang Dynasty of China. More...

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