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Potala Palace Travel Information

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Potala Palace

Potala Palace – the winter palace of Dalai Lama

Potala Palace means “the Sacred Palace of Buddhism” in Sanskrit. King Songtsan Gampo built the site in the 7th century situated in present day Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It has also been the winter palace of the Dalai Lama ever since. This 13-story palace was built exclusively using stone, wood and granite (for the walls). It includes temple, seminary, chanting hall, dormitory, morning hall and yard.

The architectural complex consists of three parts:
1. The Red Temple in the middle is composed of Buddhism Hall, Sutra Hall, Dalai Lama’s Stupa Hall and Xiang Hall.
2. The “JiYuanman Grand Hall” is located in the west and is the largest hall of the Potala Palace, with beautiful murals painted on its inner walls.
3. The White Temple lies in the east. It once served as the office building of Tibet local government and makes up the living quarters of Dalai Lama. The Palace had been painted white to symbolize peace and quiet.

UNESCO recognized the site in 1994 as a valuable heritage.

Potala Palace Map

Facts about Potala Palace

  • The building was constructed on the slope of a hill, which demonstrates the combined style of Tibetan and Han architecture.
  • There are eight mourning halls in the Potala Palace, which house the stupas of several Dalai Lamas covered with gold leaf and studded with jewels.
  • The palace consists of more than 1,000 rooms containing tens of thousands of Buddha figures, which look vivid and lovely.
  • The Red Mountain Palace fell into despair in the 9th century with the collapse of the Tubo Dynasty.

Where is Potala Palace ?

The Palace is located on Red Mountain, which is 3,700 meters above sea level in the center of the Lhasa valley. It stands more than 110 meters high and covers an area of over 130,000 square meters.

Best time to visit Potala Palace

While the best months to visit China are April, May, September and October, these months will also bring higher prices and extreme tourist crowds to attractions such as the Potala Palace. Traveling during the other months is suggested for this reason and also since it will come with cheap accommodation.

Visiting Hours

The visiting hours are as follows:

  • 7:30am to 6:40pm (May 1- October 31)
  • 9:00am to 4:00pm (November 1- April 30)

Entry Ticket Prices

  • 200 Chinese Yuan per ticket – May 1 – October 31 marks the high season and the prices are high during this time of the year
  • 100 Chinese Yuan – November 1 – April 30

Limited tickets are sold – 4,000 every day.  The visit time is limited to one hour.

Potala Palace Video

Nearby Attractions : Tibet Museum, Jokhang Temple, Tibet Library, Lhasa Carpet Factory

Related : Potala Palace Infographic

Published On: Tuesday, August 13th, 2013