Potala Palace

Potala Palace

Tour Level:

Admission Ticket:

¥200 ( May 1 - Oct. 31 );
¥100 ( Nov. 1 - Apr. 30 )

Opening Time:

Morning: 09:00 - 12:00;
Afternoon: 15:30 - 16:30;
Limit: only 1 hour tour

Altitude: 3,700m

Potala Palace is the No.1 "must-see" attraction in Lhasa. In 1994, it was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List as it is a treasure house of Tibetan history, religion, culture and art. It is also known to all that it is the highest palace in the world and one of the most famous architectural works in the world.

Located at an altitude of 3700m on the top of a rocky Red Hill, Potala Palace contains more than 1000 rooms spreading over an area of 1,300 feet by 1,000 feet. The main building has 13 storeys with 117 meters in heights. It consists of 2 parts, easily distinguished by the colors: the Red Palace and White Palace.

Highlights in the Potala Palace

White Palace

The White Palace is the residence of the Dalai Lama and palace for handling political and religious affairs. Dalai Lama used to enjoy Tibetan Opera here. The fifth and sixth floor of this block consist of living quarters of the monks. The fourth floor has brilliantly decorated Great East Hall which was once used to hold big religious or political functions. In the hall, you will view the excellence pieces of art which worth your time. In addition, you should not miss the panoramic view of Lhasa City when you are here.

Potala Palace

Red Palace

The heart of the palace is the Red Palace, which is painted a deep red and used primarily for religious purposes. This is the palace where you will find relics and antique of 7th century and there is a gigantic hall called the Great West Hall. In fact, the hall is the largest hall in the Potala Palace. On the walls of the hall portraits about the life and works of Dalai Lama, especially the 5th Dalai Lama's. Moreover, you will visit other chapels: the Saint's Chapel, the North Chapel, the South Chapel, the East and West Chapel.

Traditional Tibetan Architecture

The Potala Palace is made of wood and stones. The walls are all made of granite and the roofs are all made of wood. The eaves are outward hanging with the upward roof corners. The pillars are gilded with patterns of Buddhist scriptures and bottles.

Tibetan Arts

The palace collected many valuable artworks. The wall of each room is decorated with colorful and vivid murals. The 698 murals painted on second-floor corridor are the most extraordinary. They describe Buddhist stories, customs and legends of ancient Tibet.

Tibetan Religions

Potala Palace is known as the heart of Tibetan Buddhism. In the palace, there is a school for religious training of monks and a place for pilgrimage of the tombs of past Dalai Lamas.

Potala Palace

Potala Palace History

Legend says that Potala Palace was built by King Songtsen Gampo in 637 in order to greet his bride Princess Wencheng. Since then, the king used this palace as a retreat for the meditation till his death. At present, the palace we view is the built in 1645 to 1648 under the 5th Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso, an important figure in Tibetan history.

But after the 7th Dalai Lama constructed a summer palace in Norbulingka, Potala Palace was only used in the winters. In 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Indian and the palace have become a State Museum of China and was visited by visitors from home and aboard every year.

Potala Palace

Travel Tips

How to buy tickets ?

Each day, only 2300 tickets are issued. And on the first day, individual visitors should get the free certificate for ticket purchasing with their original ID cards. On the second day, before the set visiting time on the certificate, visitors go to the main gate to have their certificates and ID card check in and purchase the tickets.

Do & Not to do

a. End your tour in 1 hour;
b. Keep silence in the hall;
c. Do not wear a hat or sunglasses in the palace;
d. Do not step on the threshold;
e. Do not take photos without permission;
f. Do not smoke in the hall;
g. Do not bring any water, fluid, lotion to the palace.

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