Located in Lhasa, which comes under Tibet Autonomous region of the People's Republic of China, Potala Palace is a museum. It served as the residence of Dalai Lama, until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. The palace is now a museum, with a rich collection of art and an enduring beauty that is difficult to match. The art here includes gold, silver, and jade relics and structures. Scriptures and paintings, some dating back to over several thousand years, can be found at the Palace. Explore some more interesting and fun facts about Potala Palace of Lhasa.
Interesting and Fun Facts about Potala Palace
- The term 'Potala' is derived from 'Rtse', which means paramount or supreme, and 'Puto', which is the house of the Bhuddhist figure Guanyin (Goddess of Compassion).
- The highest palace in the world, Potala Palace stands on top of Red Hill, at over an amazing 3,500 meters above sea level.
- In Zang Language, "Potala" means "the sacred place of Buddhism".
- Potala Palace consists of White Palace and Red Palace. The Dalai lama lived in the White Palace. The Red Palace consists of temples.
- The Potala Palace was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994. In 2000 and 2001, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka were added to the list as extensions to the sites.
- The palace was recently named one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World" by the American television show Good Morning America and the newspaper USA Today.
- Potala Palace was named after Mount Potala, the abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara.
- The palace is situated between Drepung and Sera monasteries and the old city of Lhasa.
- The site was used as a meditation retreat by King Songtsen Gampo, prior to his marriage.
- It was in 637 that King Songtsen Gampo built the first palace there, in order to greet his bride Princess Wen Cheng, of Tang Dynasty of China.
- Lozang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, started the construction of the Potala Palace in 1645. This was after one of his spiritual advisers - Konchog Chophel pointed out that the site was ideal as a seat of government.
- Potala Palace measures 400 meters east-west and 350 meters north-south.
- The Potrang Marpo 'Red Palace' was added to the palace between 1690 and 1694.
- The Dalai Lama and his government moved into the Potrang Karpo 'White Palace' in 1649.
- The Potala Palace was chief residence of the Dalai Lama till 1959, when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India after an invasion and failed uprising.