Lhasa sightseeing visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Norbulingka, Bharkor street
In this two days you will be visiting all the cultural site and major monasteries in Lhasa. With you acclimatization in the mind you have plan your first day little light with visit to only two place. In the second day we will visit three places, two monasteries and Norbulingkha.
Potala palace was built by Tibetan king Songtsan Gampo and later rebuilt by fifth Dalai Lama. It was the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas until peaceful libiration in year 1959. Its builted on a rocky hill overlooking the city of Lhasa, the Potala Palace has a sturdy fortress-like appearance. It contains more than a thousand rooms spreading over an area of 1,300 feet by 1,000 feet. The stone walls are 16 feet thick at the base, but more finely constructed (without the use of nails) in the upper stories. The Potala Palace is made of two main parts, easily distinguished by their color: the Red Palace and White Palace. The two are joined by a smaller, yellow-painted structure that houses the sacred banners hung on the exterior for the New Year festivals. The rooms inside the palace are identified by numbers as well as names.
Jokhang Temple was builted in 647 by King Songtsen Gampo (r.617-49), and his two foreign wives who are credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. The king’s first wife, Princess Bhrikuti (married in the 630s), was the sister of the Nepalese king, while his second wife, Princess Wencheng (married 641), was the niece or daughter of the Chinese emperor. The temple house a sacred image of the Buddha, the Jowo Rinpoche, which Queen Wencheng brought with her from China as a dowry. This statue is still enshrined within the temple and is the holiest object in Tibet.
Norbu Lingka (means “The Jeweled Park”) is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, built from 1755. It served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai lamas, Norbulingka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a unique representation of Tibetan architecture. Norbulingka Palace is situated in the west side of Lhasa, a short distance to the southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka covers an area of around 36 hectares (89 acres) and considered to be the largest man made garden in Tibet. Norbulingka Park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet, including the Norbulingka, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities. The park is where the annual Shun ton or ‘Yoghurt Festival’ is held. Norbulingka consists of several palace complexes, such as the Kelsang Potrang, Tsokyil Potrang, Golden Linka and Takten Migyur Potrang built for different Dalai lamas. Each palace complex is divided into three sections – the palace section, the section in front of the palaces and the woods. Norbulingka both reflects the ethnical, religious features of the Tibetan people and embodies the architecture style. It is of great cultural value and was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2001 as an extension of Potala Palace
Drepung monastery was founded in 1416; on the outskirts of Lhasa was once Tibet’s largest and most influential monastery, with over 10,000 monks. Today, Drepung houses about 700 monks and attracts pilgrims and visitors from around the world. Drepung is especially known as the site of the annual Shoton Festival, with its dramatic unfurling of a giant Thangka painting on the hillside. It was the home of the Dalai Lamas before the Potala palace was built in the 17th century. Resembling a heap of white rice from a distance, it was dubbed “Monastery of the Collecting-Rice” in Tibetan. The first floor of the Assembly Hall holds a striking statue of Dalai Lama XIII, magnificently lit by filtered sunshine and pungent yak butter lamps. Readings of the scriptures are often held here at midday, during which novices race one another to fetch tea from the kitchen for their elders. To the left (west) of the Assembly Hall is the kitchen, where butter tea is prepared and donations are accepted. The most revered image at Drepung is a 15m (49-ft.) tall statue of the 8-year old Maitreya Buddha (the future Buddha), designed by Tsongkhapa and housed on the third floor of the main building. Visitors are offered holy water; to receive it, cup your right hand above your left, take a sip, and splash the rest on your head. Several courtyards in the forest around the monastery are used by the monks for debating the sutras (Buddhist scriptures). The winners of the debates can take a test to earn the senior degree of Geshi.
Sera monastery is one of the great Gelugpa school of learning centre and famous debate session of monks on Buddhist sciences of philosophy, metaphysics, psychology and epistemology .The history of Sera monastery is strongly connected to master lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419).