The Potala Palace overlooks Lhasa at an altitude of 3650m and is the greatest structure in Tibet, its interior space being in excess of 130,000 square metres. The structure was begun in 637AD and by 1648 it was completed. The White Palace contains the oldest surviving structure in the complex – the Phakpa Lhakhang which houses its most venerated statue, the Arya Lokeshvara. The Red Palace was added between 1690 and 1694 using more than 7000 workers and 1500 artists and craftsman. The Potala Palace was not sacked by the invading Chinese in 1959 thus all the chapels and their artifacts are very well preserved.
The Potala Palace was the residence of the Dalai Lama and his staff. It was also the seat of Tibetan government and housed a school for religious training of monks. It is one of Tibet’s major pilgrimage destinations and all our adventure holidays to Tibet include a visit here as well as the Jokhang Temple and Sera and Drepung Monasteries.
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