Palace is 3,700 meters above sea level crowning over a hilltop of Hongshan
Mountain in Lhasa- the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
It is one of the greatest specimens of Tibetan architecture. The palace was
originally built in the 7th century by the ruling emperor for his lady but
due to heavy lightning, a portion of the palace was destroyed. In 1645, the
restored efforts were made by the Fifth Dalai Lama to bring it in its
In 1653 the Potala Palace become the residence of the Fifth Dalai
Lama and remained as Dalai Lamas official residence until the
exile of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1959. The palace is most distinguished for
its interior grandeur.
It also holds the charm of displaying magnificent panorama of the city
down, as well as a bird's eye view of the various domes glowing under the
golden sunrays. One can also enjoy the splendid view of the elevated
mountains with pristine rivers meandering down through the traditional city
The Layout of the Palace
In the 7th, centurys the palace was constructed by the Tibetan King- Songtsan
Gambo for his bride, the Tang Dynasty Princess- Wencheng.
The palace is built on an area of 410,000 sq.m and consists of 999 palatial
rooms with a floor space of 130,000-sq.m. The main structure complex is
13-story building, almost 110 m in elevation, built-in by stone and wood.
The palace is an epitome of ancient Tibetan architecture and is included in
UNESC world heritage list - 1994.
Potala Palace - Main Sections
The complex is divided into two sections, the Red Palace and the White
Palace. The White Palace served as residence for the succeeding Dalai Lamas,
where ritual ceremonies and political affairs use to take place.
The Red Place is the one of the sacred palace containing house of
worship where mortified remnants of Dalai Lamas lay, adorned with the
sheets of gold and also the Great West Hall-- with its fine rich artistic
Five of the palaces have gilded bronze tiles and are considered holy
palaces on highland.
Other attractions of the Potala Palace are the Buddhist statues of various
sizes made of copper, gold or silver, which are unique in shape and
excellent in craftsmanship. Some statues are quite huge, several meters in
height, where as some are of few inches. There are at least over 200
thousand statures in all.
Potala Palace Museum
The palace showcases numerous iron, bronze, gold and silver artifacts, arms
and armatures from the Tubo Kingdom. Other items worth noticing are leather,
textile, paper, porcelain and carved stone goods as well as gems and the
original golden manuscripts issued by emperors to the Dalai Lamas.
Visiting Timings of the Palace
Daily 9am to 12pm and 3pm to 5pm;