Lhasa: fun facts

1. Construction of the Palace was started by Lozang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama; after a spiritual advisor, Konchog Chophel, pointed out that the site between the city of Lhasa, Drepung and Sera monasteries was ideal for the seat of government.
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Photo by F. M. Bailey
  2. The palace is named after Mount Potalaka, the mythical abode of Chenresig or Avalokitesvara.
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Photo by Norbulingka
  3. The Palace measures 400 m (1300 ft) east-west and 350 m (1150 ft) north-south.
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Photo by Quaimer
  4. From 1653 to 1889, the Potala Palace was the world's tallest building.
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Photo by infographicality.com
  5. From the palace's roof and balconies, one can see Lhasa city and, beyond, the valley countryside and distant snow-capped Himalayan mountains.
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Photo by Wes Phelan
  6. The palace is one of the most treasured Tibetan artistic and architectural marvels. It boasts colorfully painted mural art work. With a whopping 689 murals, it might be the only place in the world you can see such a huge pool of Murals.
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Photo by travelpod.com
  7. The Potala Palace is the highest placed building in the world at 3,700 meters (12,000 feet) above the sea level. Visitors to the palace are advised to get acclimatized to high attitude before visiting.
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Photo by National Geographic
  8. Amazingly, the Potala Palace is a 13-storey building with three sets of stairs. Unfortunately, only the Dalai Lama is allowed to use the middle one and the easiest. You will have to be ready to burn calories if you want to get to the building's roof.
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Photo by Tibetan Review
  9. Unlike other religious shrines that have adopted modern incense, visitors to the Palace will encounter the ancient chanting and incense such as yak-butter burning lamps.
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Photo by Yasunori Koide
  10. Potala Palace is one of the symbols of Tibetan Buddhism. Do not be surprised to meet Buddhists paying their respects to the fallen Dalai Lama's.
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Photo by TIBET.CN