Shortly after The Potala Palace, our tour group made way to Norbulingka Park, garden to the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas where they solved the political problems and held festive celebrations. Today, it has been turned into a park open to the public.
Norbulingka (Treasure Park in Tibetan) lies about one km southwest of the Potala Palace. With a gigantic land area of 360,000 square meters, the park is the largest man-made garden in Tibet. In fact, there is even a small zoo within the garden premises but due to time constraints, we gave it a miss.
The gardens offers great picnic spots and provided wonderful venue for theatre, dancing and festivals, particularly the Sho Dun or 'Yoghurt Festival', at the beginning of August.
To fully appreciate the beauty of the Norbulingka garden, we have keep in mind the hostile climate of the Tibetian plateau. Many of the flowering plants found in the gardens found in the areas are not originally available in Tibet. A typical tibetian will never have the chance to view these flowers in bloom and a large well planned garden is very much considered a sheer luxury enjoyed only by the Dalai Lamas.
The main clock in the Summer Palace is said to have stopped at the exact time when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India after the Chinese invasion and failed uprising in 1959. Do let me know the time when it stopped, I have cleaned forgotten about it.
We spend sometime resting over at the above rest area. Day 2 was really exhausting.... still have to visit one last stop before we call it a day.
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