The Stone ForestChinese Dragon Culture

The Potala Palace

2008年4月28日 19:17:26 sz12 Tours

Location: in the city of Lhasa, capital of Tibet

As far back as 1300 years ago the Tang emperor married his daughter, Princess Wencheng, to Srong-brtsan-sgam-po, King of Tibet. Thanks to this relation by matrimony the advanced Han culture was brought to Tibet, and the ties became closer between the Han and Tibetan nationalities. The princess won the love of the Tibetan people. For her residence a palace was built on the Red Hill. The palace had a thousand chambers, and was called "Potala" which means, in Tibetan, Mount Putuo where lives Bodhisattva Guanyin. Regretably the palace was almost completely destroyed in subsequent wars. In 1645, the 5th Dalai Lama had the palace rebuilt. The construction was undertaken at two periods and was completed in 1693. From then on it had been the residence of the Dalai Lamas of all generations. It was therefore the religious and political center of Tibet. Now the palace is open regularly to tourists as an important historical site.

The Potala Palace consists of two main parts, the White Palace and the Red Palace. The former, as has been said, is the residence of the Dalai Lama, while the latter houses the Spirit Pagodas (Lingta , a pagoda in 13 storeys for the conservation of the Dalai Lama), a building in its central part. Standing against the mountain slope it is the picture of magnificence and grandeur.

The Potala Palace is accessible by a winding flight of stone steps. Here the air is thin because of the great altitude, and the climb is strenuous. Yet this had been the only route by which necessities were carried up on back to the palace.

The white Palace stands on a ridge 70 metres high. There is a courtyard with an area of 1600 square metres, where sorcerer's dances and beat-devil exercises used to be performed on the 29th of the 12th month of the Tibetan calendar.

There is a hallway at the entrance of the white Palace. The columns and beams are luxuriantly decorated in gold and colors, as befits palace in Tibet.

The Sunlight Hall (Riguangdian) where the Dalai Lama lived is in the White Palace. The ceilings and walls are richly decorated. The chambers include the prayer hall, the guest room, the living room and the bedroom.

In the centre of the prayer hall stands Dalai's throne. Here the Dalai Lama received Buddhist priests and government officials to conduct religious and government affairs.

There are numerous halls in the Red Palace in which are enshrined a great number of Buddhist statues. The one, the Buddha of Longevity (Wuliang-shoufo ) in the Halls, is remarkable for excellent workmanship.

Pious Buddhists come here in great numbers everyday to pay homage to Buddha.

There are eight Spirit Pagodas in the Red Palace. When the Dlai Lama died, the body was given antiseptic treatment. Then it is settled in seated position in a Spirit Pagoda to be worshipped. The biggest pagoda which houses the remains of the 5th Dalai Lama, is 14 meters high. It is ornamented on the outside with gold, pearls and many kinds of jewels.


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