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Destination Details

Lhasa, Tibet

The meaning of Lhasa city in the Tibetan language means \"holy city\". Dating back to the 7th   century, the capital of Tibet was transferred from Yarlung to Lhasa by king Songtsen. And this city remains the capital city of Tibet to the date. Located at the south central part of the Tibet Autonomous region Lhasa is at the altitude of 3500 m above the sea level. This place is the centre of political, cultural and religious activities in Tibet. Lhasa also has the few of the marvelous architectural piece to boast of, like Potala palace and Jokhang Temple. Home to 31 different communities, Lhasa can be both exciting as well as exhausting place at once with its calm corners to the bustling and busy market. Reaching Lhasa is quite a challenging trip with its bizarre terrain and extreme altitude location but once you set your foot in this place you will feel all the challenge was worth it.

Lhasa is a tremendously beautiful place but one who is visiting to this place must be able and ready to meet its challenges. Most challenging factor of this city is its climate and temperature. You will be amazed how much the temperature varies in this place. Due to its altitude the air is very thin here, and the thin air neither can block the hot solar radiation nor can hold the warmth of the sun. As a result the day temperature is very high and nights get very cold. It is advices to the tourist visiting Lhasa to bring along layered cloths with them so you can put them on when you are cold and take the off when it’s hot. This city has everything a visitor intends to find and can keep you busy all day long. This place is gifted with natural beauty and Tibetan people have built a lot of temples, monasteries and other amazing places in the past so you can go for sightseeing, go for shopping in the street shop and can get involved in many other activities. 

There are numerous was to get in to Lhasa. One is to fly in to Lhasa. Lhasa Gonggar Airport is about 97 Km away from the Lhasa city and minibuses can take you in to the city from the airport. Another way to get in to Lhasa is by train. Tibet railways have started from 1st of July, 2006 and it gives travelers to explore many fantasies yet unseen in Tibetan land. From the airport the road linkage to city is very good regular bus services are available. You can get a bus to every city of Tibet from the junction of Minzu road. Within the city getting around in a minibus is the best option. Or you can go for a taxi or a manually powered tricycle commonly found in Lhasa.

One of the best features of Lhasa is that it has to offer something to everyone. While the kids can go for the toys and colorful items found in the market, thoughtful elder people can go through the book stores and enchanting monumental sites. Potala palace situated at the hill top is in everybody’s wish list to visit. A semi hike to the palace is an unforgettable experience. Though climate here is fit to travel all year around but Lhasa will be its best from June to August, when the average temperature will be around 80 degree F.

POTALA PALACE:

Situated at an altitude of 3700m on the top of Potala hills, Potala palace is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Many people argue that this place is worthy of being listed in the wonders of world. Being the oldest monument in Tibet with its spectacular architecture its one of the most visited monument in Tibet.

Legend says that the palace was built by King Songtsen Gumpa in the 7thcentury for his two newlywed wives. The king used this palace as a retreat for the meditation till his death. As the time went on the palace was severely tempered by the wars and lightning until the Dalai Lama the 5th ordered the renovation and reconstruction in 1645 giving it the current look. Since then the palace has been the holy seat for Dalai Lamas gaining the importance as a political centre. But after the 7th Dalai Lama constructed a summer palace in Norbulingka, Potala palace was only used in the winters. After the unsuccessful upraise against the Chinese in 1959 the 14th Dalai Lama had to flee to Indian Dharmasala Potala palace lost its political importance and it’s being used as State Museum of China and is visited by thousands of tourist every year.

Potala palace consists of two portions. The white block is the political block and the red block is the religious block. Your journey starts when you enter the palace from easr portal leading you to the Deyang Shar courtyard, which used to be the place where Dalai Lamas used to enjoy Tibetan Opera. Fifth and the sixth floor of this block consist of living quarters of the monks.  The fourth floor has brilliantly decorated Great East Hall which once use to hold big religious or political functions. The excellence pieces of art you will find in the hall definitely worth your time. One thing you shouldn’t miss when you are this block is the panoramic view of the Lhasa city.

The red palace is where you will find the relics and antiques of the 7thcentury. Full of statues and beautifully carved stupas the red block justifies your hike up the Potala hill. Here is another gigantic hall called the Greatest west Hall which is in fact the largest hall in the Potala Palace is full of portraits about the life and works of fifth dalai lama. It is here you will come to know the power and dignity what a dalai lama holds in Tibetan community. Apart from the hall there are five chapels namely The Saint's Chapel, The North Chapel, The South Chapel, The East and The West Chapel. 

The palace is open for visit between 9 to 12 am in the morning and 3 to 6 pm in the evening. Anybody who wants to enjoy the palace to the full extent must keep aside half the day apart for this purpose only. You can find buses to the palace from the centre of the city and you can take taxies as well.

 

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