Potala Palace
    2009-06-25 17:36:02     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Sun Yang
 

A file photo of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, capital city of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

The Potala Palace, of course is a must. Its gold roofs are visible all over Lhasa, but most notably from the roof of the Jokhang. It's easy to see why the first Western visitors to Tibet were utterly enchanted with Lhasa. The sense of achievement at having finally attained this remote city, even by airplane, is still very real.

Lhasa sits in a huge crater formed by mountains surrounding it on all sides. In the middle sits the Potala, itself atop its own sizeable hill. In front of it spreads the city and the Kyichu river. Behind it a veritable tapestry of fields and flowers spreads back to the mountains. A more picturesque scene could scarcely be imagined.

The Potala is the official residence of the Dalai Lama, Buddhism's highest ranking priest. He is believed to be both a living god and an incarnation of all previous Dalai Lamas.

Construction of the Potala Palace was begun by the 5th Dalai Lama, but it was not completed by the time of his death, in 1682. His regent concealed his death whilst the new Dalai was found.

The regent also knew that the workers would never have the heart to complete their work if they knew their beloved leader to be dead, so the regent convinced the entire country that the Dalai had merely gone on a lengthy spiritual retreat for some 20 years, while the new Dalai was raised to adulthood.

The Potala contains treasures unimaginable, although it is unfortunate that very little of it is open to the public today. The Tomb of the Fifth Dalai Lama is within the Potala. It is three storeys high, and made of 3,700kg of gold. A multi-tiered model of a palace resembling a wedding cake, and made of over a quarter of a million pearls, is staggering to behold.

Allow a couple of hours to see the Potala. Much of it is closed to visitors and photography is STRICTLY prohibited.

1  2  
Share

               
Recommend


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

 
Editor's Pick more »

Chinese Press more »

Talk to CRI


M Zone
Tiger Wong Back with Her New Album 'Simple Or Not'
Taiwanese singing star Tiger Wong was back in Beijing on November 27 and 28 for two good reasons.
Duggy Day's Ski Trip to Wanlongbayi
On Sunday November 21st CRI's Duggy Day headed out to Wanlongbayi which is located west of Beijing.
More>>
News
China
World
Politics
Business
Sports
Showbiz
Sci-tech
Photo
Recommended
China
World
Sports
Showbiz
Travel
Video
C4
The Sound Stage
Showbiz
Travel
China Revealed
My Chinese Life
Travel
Destinations
Photo Gallery
Recommended
Learn Chinese
"In" Chinese
Chatting in Chinese
Pop Culture
Traditional Culture
Living Chinese
Chinese Studio
Chinese Class
Learn English
Special English
Pop Chart
Everyday English
Fabulous Snaps
CRI News
China.org.cn  | Xinhua  | People's Daily Online   |  CNTV.cn  | China Daily  |  Global Times  | China Job  |  China Tibet Online  | Taiwan.cn  | eBeijing  | Beijing Today  | China-Eurasia Expo  | APEC Yiwu Conference  | Chinese Embassy in S.Africa  | Chinese Embassy in Australia  | Chinese Embassy in NZ