Tag: guide

Potala Palace - Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas

The day started with horrible breakfast prepared by the hotel. It was so bad that most of the tour people decided to bring instant cup noodles down instead. But the guests from a local China Tour seem to be pretty satisfied ... perhaps we Singaporeans are too accustomed to our typical international buffet spread.

Nevertheless, the lousy breakfast failed to dampen our excitement, we will be visiting one of the modern wonders of world - The Potala Palace. 

p1080035 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

An old photo of the original Potala Palace and its surrounding. Most of the administrative buildings below have been demolished to create roads and a musical fountain public square

Built on Marpo Ri hill at 130 meters above the Lhasa valley, Potala palace is indisputable the grandest monumental structure in all of Tibet. The palace measures 400 metres east-west and 350 metres north-south with stone walls of 3 - 5 metres thick at the base and copper poured into its foundation to make it earthquakes proof.  The 13 storey building contains over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues

The palace serves a number of functions:

1. Residence of the Dalai Lama and his large number of staffs

2. Represented the Tibetan government, where all state ceremonies were held

3. Hosted a school for religious training of monks and administrators

4. Home to the tombs of past Dalai Lamas and the most venerated statue, the Arya Lokeshvara inside the Phapka Lhakhang.

Today the Potala Palace has been converted into a museum by the Chinese government.

p1070433 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

A local old lady doing her daily prayer rounds at the Palace parameters

p1070463 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

Our ticket in!

p1070434 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

Cam Whoring from Left to Right: Sebas, Rick, Melvin & Me!

p1070439 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

View of the majestic palace from the ground level administrative area

p1070438 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

A typical level 1 administrative building within the protective walls of the Potala Palace

Security was very tight,  tourists were made to undergo checks for weapons, flammable liquids etc and the worst thing is that all tourists were only given 1 hour to explore the entire massive building. The upwards climb was exhausting ....

p1070442 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

A series of tolerable staircases, broken by intervals of gentle ascent, leading to the white palace.

The White Palace or Portrang Karpo (part of Potala Palace) is the living quarters of his holiness, the Dalai Lama.

p1070449 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

Shot taken while resting on the steps of the white palace entrance

p1070455 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

Detailed wall murals decorated the entrance to the white palace

The Red Palace or Potrang Marpo (another part of the Potala palace), is completely devoted to religious study and Buddhist prayer. Unfortunately, as a sign of respect to the religion, tourists were not allow to take photos inside the chapels.

p1070471 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

Entrance to one of the Red Palace Chapels

Our guide named Xiao Gu was very versed in his knowledge and gave fantasic  narrations of the palace history, the various buddha status, functions of the various rooms in palace as well as the lives and achievements of past Dalai Lamas.  Surprisely, even with such detailed narrations, an hour proves to be just right.

p1070479 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

The more relaxing way down

We did went back for the night view of the palace few days later but I will show it now to official close off this part of the blog. icon smile Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

p1080003 Potala Palace   Tombs of Past Dalai Lamas travel 2 tibet china seasonal personal  xiao gu where to visit in Tibet where to stay in Tibet Where to go in Tibet When to travel to Tibet what to do in Tibet wall murals top places to visit in Tibet Top places in Tibet tibetian Tibet Potala Palace portrang karpo Norbulingka must visit in Tibet Marpo Ri Hill lhasa valley lhasa How to travel to Tibet How to go Tibet guide Dalai Lamas arya lokeshvara

Night View of the palace

Next stop, Norbulingka!

You may also like to check out my posts on other exciting travel destinations here

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