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Tibet / Lhasa Monasteries

Lhasa is mind blowing.

It is beautiful, unusual and incredible.

I was looking forward to visit the Potala, I was mesmerised with it the first time I have seen it and read about it.

The more I have read, the more fascinated I became with it.

I was anxiously waiting for the time to go up and visit the Potala.

I was also terrified the day before, because I smoked at the time, my age, the altitude and the height of the Potala, but mainly because of the warnings.

You will never guess, the next morning the bus taken us nearly to the top of it, from behind.

We could not see the road up to it, behind the buildings and I never seen the rear entrance ever mentioned before.

I was expecting to climb up all those steps visible on the front.

Amazing place, amazing sights.

We really enjoyed ourselves.


An unforgettable experience.

We've have had a terrific time!!

The Potala Palace was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India after a failed uprising in 1959.
Today the Potala Palace has been forcibly converted into a museum by the Chinese.
It was named after Mount Potala, the abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara.

Thirteen stories of buildings containing over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues, soar 117 metres (384 ft) on top of Marpo Ri, the "Red Hill", rising more than 300 m (about 1,000 ft) in total above the valley floor.
It measures 400 metres east-west and 350 metres north-south, with sloping stone walls averaging 3 m. thick, and 5 m. (more than 16 ft) thick at the base, and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes.
"The Potala gives the impression not of having been built by man but have grown there, so perfectly does it fit in with its surroundings.
It has the pleasing lack of symmetry of a great tree or mountain, yet this apparent aimlessness is focused, first by the red central block and then by the golden pavilions on the roof, so that the eye is naturally led from the less important to the essential, both visually and spiritually; for in so much as the gilded roofs over the mortal remains of the Dalai Lamas are the dominant figure of the architecture, so is the incarnate spirit of these rulers the very soul of Tibet."
Potala Palace Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


More or less in the centre of Lhasa is the Jokhang, also called the Jokang, Jokhang Temple, Jokhang Monastery or Tsuklakang, is a famous Buddhist temple located on Barkhor Square in Lhasa.
When it was originally built during the reign of king Songsten Gampo (605?-650), it was called the Tsulag Khang or 'House of Wisdom' but it is now known as the Jokhang which means the 'House of the Lord'.

For most Tibetans it is the most sacred and important temple in Tibet.
Along with the Potala Palace, it is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Lhasa.
It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace" and a spiritual centre of Lhasa.
During our visit to Lhasa we stayed at a Hotel on Barkhor Street over looking Barkjor Square and seen the constant moving of worshipers going around the Jokhang in a clockwise direction, sometimes we joined in too for the experience, although being practising Catholics.
Jokhang Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Barkhor is an area of narrow streets and a public square located around Jokhang Temple.

The Barkor was the most popular devotional circumabulation for pilgrims and locals.
The walk was about one kilometre long and encircled the entire Jokhang, the former seat of the State Oracle in Lhasa called the Muru Nyingba Monastery, and a number of nobles' houses.
Most of the old streets and buildings have been demolished in recent and replaced with wider streets and new buildings.
Barkor Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Norbulingka is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, Tibet which served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780s up until the PRC takeover in the late 1950s.

The park was built by the Seventh Dalai Lama beginning in 1755, and became the summer residence during the reign of the Eighth Dalai Lama.
Norbulingka Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lhasa is the capital and holy city of Tibet.
Tibetans consider the city's temples sacred.
The Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader and exiled ruler of Tibet, lived in Lhasa until 1959.
After the failed revolt in Tibet against the Chinese Communists, he went into exile in India with many of his followers.
Until 1904, Europeans were banned from Lhasa, and it is sometimes called The Forbidden City.
The 13-floor Potala Palace stands out above the city.
Now a museum, the palace once served as a temple, the centre of Tibet's government, and the home of the Dalai Lama.

I've heard and read a number of stories about a lost city of El Dorado or a dream city or Paradise, and many of these stories put it somewhere in the Himalayas.
Or is it Tibet?
Or is it Lhasa?
I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Tibet 1999

Monastery Monastery
Monastery Monastery

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