The Potala Palace was built in 1645 by the fifth Dalai Lama (1617–1682). The
palace takes its name from the holy mountain of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, in southern
Potala Palace History
Potala Palace is built on top of a small rocky outcrop and is reached via
stairs that zigzag up the hill. The greater part is occupied by the White Palace, a building of
13 storeys that originally housed the monks’ living quarters, libraries and school rooms.
From the inner courtyard of the White Palace, the Red Palace, the central
building of the complex, is entered through a flight of stairs in its right side.
Completed in 1694, it has four storeys. On the roof are the large Reception
Hall, containing one of the Dalai Lama’s thrones, and the Dalai Lama’s private rooms and
audience chamber, where bronze images of various Tantric deities including Ushnishavijaya,
goddess of longevity, Manjushri, bodhisattva of wisdom, and the great Sages or mahāsiddhas are
On the upper floor of the Potala palace, there are several shrine-rooms,
including one dedicated to Maitreya and filled with art treasures and religious relics related
to the Dalai Lamas.
Other sanctuaries include the shrine of the Three-dimensional mandalas, the
shrine of Immortal Bliss and the tomb of the thirteenth Dalai Lama. The upper middle floor has
shrines dedicated to the worship of Kalachakra, identified with the wheel of time, Shakyamuni
and Amitayus, the Buddha of longevity.
The first of these has a large, three-dimensional mandala made of gold and
copper. With a diameter of nearly 4 m and a height of slightly less than 3 m, it presents
images of all the deities relating to the Kalachakra Tantra.
The bottom floor contains the large assembly hall as well as four additional
shrines, one of which houses the golden stupa containing the relics of the fifth Dalai
Wall paintings depicting important religious incidents in the history of
Tibet, as well as scrolls (tangkas) with Buddhist figures and deities, are found throughout the
Potala Palace Map&Location
Potala Palace Address: 35号 Beijing Middle Road, Chengguan, Lhasa, Xizang
(Tibet), China. Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:
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Potala Palace Photos
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Potala Palace night view
Potala Palace detail
Potala Palace detail
The Potala Palace
Potala Palace Square with the view