Lhasa City - The Land of Gods:
Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region is located at the north bank of Kyichu river, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, at an altitude of 3,650m above sea-level. Lhasa has a history of more than 1,300 years and it's been the center of politics, economy, culture and religion in Tibet since ancient time "Lhasa" in Tibetan means "the land of gods". There are numerous scenic spots and historical attractions, among which Potala Palace, Norbulingka, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Ramoche Temple, being the most famous.
The Potala, one of the most famous architectural works, is erected on top of the Red Hill in Lhasa. The word "Potala" comes from Sanskrit. In 7th century, after the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo's marriage with Princes Wencheng of the Tang Court, the Palace was built for meditation. In the mid -17th century, it was rebuilt by the 5th Dalai Lama to its present size, and ever since it became the Winter Palace of the Dalai Lamas. The construction took fifty years from its beginning to completion. The Potala is divided into two sections, namely, the Red Palace and White Palace. The total height of the Potala is 117m which is built in thirteen storeys, the length of the Potala from east to west has 400m and the breadth from south to north has 350m. The whole building is a structure of stone and timber. The top most flat glistens with golden roofs. It is a majestic architectural work and the cream of Tibetan culture and complex of Tebatan and Han culture.
Situated 5 kms' distance to the western suburb of Lhasa at the foot of Mt. Ganpoi Uze. Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje, a disciple Tsongkapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect. The Monastery , occupying an area of 250,000 sq. m. with a fixed number of 7,700 monks, is the largest monastery in Tibet. The monastery keeps plentiful historical relics. Buddhist scriptures, arts and crafts.
The Jokhang Temple:
The Jokhang Temple , situated in the center of old Lhasa, was originally built in 647 AD. It was built by craftsmen from Tibet, China and Nepal thus features different architectural styles. The Jokhang is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims. In the central hall is the Jokhang's oldest and most precious object - a sitting statue of Sakyamuni. This was carried to Tibet by Princess Wen Cheng from her home in Changan in 700 AD. The three-leaves roof of the Jokhang offers splendid views of the Barkhor Street, the bustling Barkhor market, across to the Potala Palace.
This is Lhasa's inner pilgrim circuit shaped roughly like an octagon which runs around the Jokhang Temple and a typical Tibetan market place.
Situated at 3 kms' distance to the northern suburb of lhasa. Sera Monastery was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Choje, a disciple of Tsongkapa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect. The monastery is erected grandly at a mountain slope with a colorful architecture. Sera Monastery together with Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery in Lhasa are known as the Three Great Monasteries of Tibet.
The name means "Jeweled Garden", a fitting title for this 200 years old park, stretching over 360,000 sq. m. The 370 rooms summer palace of the Dalai Lama is located inside the park in Lhasa.