Norbu means Jewel and Lingka means Garden. The Jewel Garden is also known as the Summer Palace of Dalai Lama and is a picnic area for local Tibetans. The Palace was built by the 7th Dalai Lama in the mid-18th century.
7th Dalai Lama
The 7th Dalai Lama was born in Litang town in the eastern Tibet Kham area. The 6th Dalai Lama predicted the 7th Dalai Lama through his poems. ( Hey white crane, can you hire me your wings? I won't go far, will go to Litang and come back soon. ) Later 7th Dalai Lama was born at the Litang and traveled to central Tibet. In Lhasa, he built the first Palace in the Norbulingka known as Kelsang Podrang Palace.
Kelsang Podrang Palace
Kelsang means Prosperous. Kelsang Palace is built by the 7th Dalai Lama Kelsang Gyatso. The main shrine of the Palace is Buddha Shakyamuni and Buddha of three families. Travelers can also witness the horse cart and a few different types of transportation vehicles from the 7th Dalai Lama to the 13th Dalai Lama. The location of the Palace is near the Zoo of Norbulingka.
Chensal Podrang Palace
Chensal means favorite. The Palace was built by the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso. The main shrine of the Palace is the Thangkas of female Buddha Jetsun Drolma ( also known as Tara in Sanskrit.) The location of the Palace is near the main entrance gate.
Tsokyil Podrang Palace
Tsokyil means in the middle of the Lake. The Palace was built by the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso. The main shrine of the Palace is the compassionate Buddha Chenresig with thousand arms and thousand eyes. The location of Palace is opposite the Takten Migyur Podrang Palace.
Photo: Takten Migur Palace
Takten Migyur Podrang Palace
Takten meaning everlasting. The Palace was built by the Dalai Lama. There are three floors with around 60 rooms. The main shrine of the Palace is the golden seat of the Dalai Lama and personal and meeting rooms. Many beautiful wall paintings with gold and silver statues of Buddhas.
Takten Palace is the largest and newest Palace in the Norbulingka. The bathroom and shower room are made of modern design with a big radio. Few of the electric bulbs in the room are from England. The Palace has a beautiful garden. The Palace location is opposite Tsokyil Palace.
Zoo of Norbulingka
There are many different animals in the Zoo including bears, Blue sheep, Musk deer, Monkeys, peacocks, chickens, Deer, parrots, wolves, foxes, and Rabbits.
During the Shoton Yogurt festival, Travelers can witness the beauties of Tibetan Opera for a week in the Norbulingka Palace. Tibetans will come for a picnic in the Norbulingka Palace during the summer. Norbulingka Palace is one of the most peaceful Palaces with the sounds of birds and the smell of flowers during the summer.
Potala Palace is the Winter Palace and Norbulingka Palace is the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama. They are many different types of trees in the Norbulingka including Juniper which gives a beautiful smell. The Palace looks like a small forest villa.
Norbulingka Palace is well maintained by the China Tibet Autonomous Region Lhasa central office management. Many Travelers told us that they are too many monasteries on the tour so we recommended Norbulingka Palace and many of them like it a lot.
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