Potala Palace


One of the wonders of Tibet is the Potala Palace. located in the heart of Lhasa city at an elevation of 3,700 meters. 

Potala Palace beauties not only Tibet but also our world. 

The name Potala came from Sanskrit. The ancient language in India. 

Meaning the land of compassion Buddha Avalokiteshvara.

Also known as Boddhisatva Chenrezig in Tibetan. 

History of Potala Palace

The hill where the Potala Palace is known as Marpori ( red hill ) in Tibetan.

The Marpori hill looks like an elephant lying down as a sign of auspicious. 

It was a meditation area of the 33rd king Srongtsen Gampo during the 7th century. King Srongtsen Gampo is known as the emanation of the compassionate Buddha Chenrezig. Nowadays we can also witness the beauties of the meditation cave of the King in the Potala Palace. 

Even though Potala Palace was built before the Jhokang Temple.

The statue of the compassion Buddha Chenrezig in the Jhokang Temple nowadays has given a prophecy to the king Srongtsen Gampo that he should send to escort the sandalwood statue of the compassion Buddha Chenrezig into Tibet from the border between Nepal and India to flourish the Buddha Dharma in Tibet. 

The Legend of the sandalwood statue of compassion Buddha Chenrezig

The statue has appeared itself from the sandalwood in the deep forest border between Nepal and India. 

Along with the statue, three other statues of compassion Buddha Chenrezig have appeared naturally. 

Location of the four statues in the year 2018

  1. Jowo Wati in the Kyirong Phakpalhakang Temple.
  2. Jowo U Kang in the Buddhanath at Kathmandu, Nepal.
  3. Jowo Jamali at the border between India and Nepal where it appeared.
  4. Jowo Lokisharawa in the Potala Palace.

Jowo means lord or master in the Tibetan language. 

On the way of welcoming the statue of compassion Buddha Jowo Lokisharawa into Tibet.

King Srongtsen Gampo started the construction of Potala Palace including the Phakpalhakang temple for the statue of Jowo Lokisharawa Chenrezig. 



Facts of Potala Palace during the 7th century

  1. Potala Palace was first built on the ninth floor. 
  2. The main chapel is Phakpalhakang and all others are the Palace of the king.
  3. During that time, Potala was home only for the King. 
  4. The palace of the Queen and Princess is at the Chakpori opposite hill near Potala Palace. 
  5. During that time, it is said that there is a floating bridge between the two palaces. 
  6. King Srongtsen Gampo has six wives. Four Tibetans: 1. Mongsa Tricham from central Tibet Duilong was known as the highest-ranking Queen. She started the first meditation retreat center in Tibet at Drakyerpa during the 7th century. Later many great masters meditated at Drakyerpa including the Maha Guru Padmasambhava, Maha Guru Atisha, Maha Guru Shantarakshita, and Maha Guru Lalung Paldor.  Two other wives from outside of Tibet are Wencheng princess from Tang Dynasty and princess Brikuti from Nepal. 
  7. Princess Brikuti has helped in the construction of Potala Palace. Especially the wall paintings in the Potala Palace. 
  8. Later Princess Wencheng was welcomed in front of the Potala Palace by King Srongtsen Gampo. 

During the 9th century, Potala Palace was affected by natural causes like thunder creating fires so only the Phakpalhakang temple and the Chogyal Drupuk ( the meditation cave of the king ) have remained. 

During the 17th century, the 5th Dalai Lama has started the reconstruction of Potala Palace. 

White Palace and Red Palace

5th Dalai Lama constructed the 9th floor Palace known as the White Palace. The duration of the white Palace was around 5-6 years. 

During the end of the 17th century, the 5th Dalai Lama passed away secretly because of the construction of the Potala Palace. 

Disciple Sangay has constructed the red Palace on the 13th floor. The duration of the Red Palace was around 12 years.  The Red Palace was built especially for the Golden Tombs of the 5th Dalai Lama.

Nowadays Travelers can visit the tombs of the 5th Dalai Lama in the middle of the Potala Palace ground floor. 

Photo: The height of the Potala Palace is 117 meters

Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple are the two main sightseeing inside Lhasa. 

The entrance fee of the Potala Palace for Travelers is 200 Chinese Renminbi in the summer from May to October.

100 Renminbi from November to February during the off-season. 

The Potala Palace tickets have to be booked in advance for around 4 days.


Potala Palace is the number one sightseeing recommendation in Tibet from the Tibet Travelers.

Most of the time Tibet Travelers arranges Potala Palace on the second day of the sightseeing because of the height changes of the Potala. 

We recommend Travelers to do some exercise before climbing the stairs of Potala Palace.  

Photos are not allowed inside the Palace.

The view of Lhasa from the Potala Palace is stunning. 

Potala Palace has three entrances gate and one exit gate.

Travelers are not allowed to carry the liquid, and matches inside the Potala. 

Travelers can leave them at the central gate of the Palace and pick them after the sightseeing. 

Travelers can buy the water near the summit of the Potala.

Travelers must bring their passport while traveling inside the Potala. 

Thank you for reading the Tibet Travelers article on Potala Palace.

We highly recommend all the Tibet Travelers to visit Potala Palace. 

Travelers can send us an Email regarding booking a tour to Potala Palace. info@tibettravelers.com

Written By :Tenzin

Sep 01, 2018


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