Potala Palace

Erin D.


Where is the Potala Palace?

Potala Palace is located in Western China. The palace is in Lhasa Tibet. It is on the top of a hill in Lhasa called Marpo Ri Hill.
Big image

Here is a map to show where Potala Palace is located.


What Is the Potala Palace?

Commonly known as a masterpiece of architecture, The Potala Palace is a home to the Dalai Lamas. It is very large at 1,300 feet by 1,000 feet, with over one thousand different rooms. However, it is not just one palace. Inside, there are actually two different palaces, the Red Palace, and the White Palace.

The Red Palace:

The Red Palace is referred to as the heart of the complex. It is painted a deep red color (the Red Palace). The Red Palace is pretty much used for religious things. It is very decorated, with things like paintings, carvings, etc. Inside the Red Palace, some things you will find are shrines and tombs of some of the past Dalai Lamas.

The White Palace:

The White Palace surounds the Red Palace. Inside the White Palace are just homes for the Dalai Lamas and monks, offices, training rooms, and a printing house.


The Legend

On the hill that Potala Palace was built, there is a cave. This cave was thought to be the home of Bodhisattva Chenresi. So, Emperor Songsten Gampo used this cave as his meditation retreat. Later, the emperor built the Potala Palace (in 637 A.D.) The present palace was beginning to be built in 1645.

The Great Fifth

The Great Fifth was the fifth Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso. The Great Fifth was important because he built the present day palace. Something that I find interesting is how Lobsang Gyatso was dead during the building of the Red Palace. However, the monks where the only people to know about his death because they didn't want people to stop building the palace. So, they had a monk who looked most like him actually impersonate the Great Fifth until the palace was completed in 1682! In total, the building of the palace needed around 7000 workers and 1500 artists and craftsmen!


Tibetan Buddhism

The religion that finds the Potala Palace sacred is Tibetan Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is a mix of the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, Tantric, and Shamanic. Tibetan Buddhism is famous for the Dalai Lamas. Lamas are "teachers", but the Dalai Lama is more important.

The Dalai Lamas

The Dalai Lama is the head monk of Tibetan Buddhism. So far there have only been fourteen. The Dalai Lama was responsible for the governing of Tibet, but the Chinese government took over in 1959. The reason that the Dalai Lama is important in this subject is because the Potala Palace is home to the Dalai Lama. But when the Chinese government took over, they couldn't go back to Tibet.


The reason they find the palace sacred is because the cave and Emperor Songsten Gampo that I talked about in the paragraph "The Legend" under the category "History".
A wonderful 25 minutes interview with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
The video above is an interview with the current Dalai Lama

Works Cited

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“BBC - Religion & Ethics - Tibetan Buddhism: Tibetan Buddhism.” BBC - Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.

“Dalai Lama.” BBC. BBC, n.d. Web. 7 Feb. 2016. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/people/dalailama_1.shtml>.

“December 10 Himalayan festival to honour Dalai Lama.” Tibetan Review. Tibnology, 4 Dec. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2016. <http://www.tibetanreview.net/december-10-himalayan-festival-to-honour-dalai-lama/>.

Gray, Martin. “The Potala Palace.” Sacred Sites: Places of Peace and Power. N.p., 1982. Web. 2 Feb. 2016.

“Influences.” Lhundrub Chime Gatsal Ling Monastery. Lhundrub Chime Gatsal Ling Monastery, 2011. Web. 1 Mar. 2016. <http://www.cglmonastery.org/influences.html>.

Levy, Patricia. Tibet. Reference ed. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1996. Print.

“Potala Palace.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2016. <http://www.britannica.com/topic/Potala-Palace/images-videos>.

“The Potala Palace.” Visit Our China. China Travel Agency, n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2016. <http://www.visitourchina.com/tibet/attraction/the-potala-palace.html>.

“Potala Palace - Lhasa, Tibet.” Sacred Sites at Sacred Destinations - Explore Sacred Sites, Religious Sites, Sacred Places. Sacred Destinations, n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2016.

Templeton, Mckenzie. “Who Is the Dalai Lama?” BORGEN Magazine. The Borgen Project, 11 Mar. 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2016. <http://www.borgenmagazine.com/dalai-lama/>.

“Tibetan Monks Return to St. Joseph’s Jan 15-21.” Nevada City. Winter Street Design Group, 17 Jan. 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2016. <https://www.nevadacitychamber.com/tibetan-monks-return-to-st-josephs-jan-15-21/>.

“A Wonderful 25 Minutes Interview with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.” Youtube. N.p., 19 Dec. 2014. Web. 29 Feb. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39g2OJkLvy8>.