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see LhasaLhasa
or Lasa
, city (1994 est. pop. 118,000), capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, SW China. It is on a tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra) at an altitude of c.11,800 ft (3,600 m).
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Potala (Tibet)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In Buddhist thought, Mount Potala is the mythical home of Bodhisattva Chenresi (better known in the West by her Chinese name, Kuan Yin). On a hill overlooking the Llasa Valley in Tibet was a cave, which in the years after Buddhism entered the country was considered to be a location favored by Chenresi with her presence. Seventh-century Tibetan ruler Songtsen Gampo built a palace on the hill in 637. That palace would eventually become the residence of the Dalai Lamas.

Seventeenth-century Tibet was dominated by Lozang Gyatso (1617–1682), the fifth Dalai Lama whose life is pictured in a mural on the Great West Hall within the Potala. He is credited with allying himself with the Mongols and then unifying Tibet under the Gelugpa Buddhists whom he led. He also began the massive construction project that created the Potala as it is today. The so-called red palace was completed in the decade after Gyatso’s death, during which time the country’s regent attempted to rule in place of the Dalai Lama’s designated successor. The completed palace is some 384 feet in height and 360 feet wide; it has over a thousand rooms that cover an area of some five square miles. It underwent its last major renovation in the 1920s during the time of the thirteenth Dalai Lama.

From the seventeenth century until 1959, the Potala served as both the seat of the Tibetan government and the home of the Dalai Lama. Following the Chinese invasion of Tibet and its annexation by the Peoples Republic, the Dalai Lama moved into exile in neighboring Tibet. As the Chinese took control of the country, most of its holy sites (especially the monasteries) were looted and/or razed to the ground. However, the Potala, including the Buddhist chapels within it, were exempted from the destruction experienced by the Buddhist community. Today it has once again become a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and is a key tourist stop for foreigners visiting Tibet.

The palace remains one of the most sacred of sites to Tibetan Buddhists, though today it is essentially a museum without any official status. The oldest surviving temples in the country are contained within the walls of the White Palace. They date to the seventh century. One of these temples, known as Phakpa Lhakhang, houses possibly the most holy object recognized by Tibetan Buddhists: a statue of Bodhisattva Chenresi. The bodies of eight of the previous Dalai Lamas are housed there, preserved in stupas in the palace’s several chapels. The stupa of the fifth Dalai Lama is the largest. It is made of sandalwood and decorated with gold and precious stones.


Phuntsok, Namgyal. Splendor of Tibet: The Potala Palace, Jewel of the Himalayas. Dumont, NJ: Homa& Sekey Books, 2002.
Potala Palace. Llasa, Tibet: Managing Bureau of Cultural Relics, Tibetan Autonomous Region, 1988.
References in periodicals archive ?
(71.) Presumably not President Hu Jintao, the current PRC leader, but HH the Dalai Lama, whose traditional home is the Potala.
The day he was to leave, he visited the DL 'to take his leave.' Here he discussed governmental matters with the master of the Potala which 'delayed' his and his family's departure.
Chakpori Hill is adjacent to Potala Palace, and is THE viewing area for dawn breaking over the mountains and the Potala Palace.
Travellers will also be drawn to our rooftop teahouse where sipping fragrant tea is as rewarding as the stunning view of Potala Palace amidst the breathtaking landscape.
Numerical simulations of a typical 3-storey structural unit in Potala Palace are studied.
En la lista figuran, ademas de Museo Soumaya en la Ciudad de Mexico, los Museos Guggenheim en Bilbao, el Hermitage en San Petersburgo, el Palacio Potala de Lhasa, en Tibet, los Museos Vaticanos, y el Museo D'Orsay de Paris.
The city, the former home of the now exiled Dali Lama, is home to important Tibetan Buddhist sites including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Sera Monaster y and Norbulingka Palace.
Dargey and the Path America companies raised $125 million or more for a commercial building (called Potala Tower) in downtown Seattle and a commercial and residential complex, complete with a farmer's market, in Everett, Wash.
Visitors sweep through chambers of the labyrinthine Potala palace and compete for space with local pilgrims at the iconic Jokhang temple.
"People of all ethnicities are steadfastly engaged in a struggle against separatism, continuously thwarting the Dalai clique and foreign hostile forces' splittist and sabotage activities," Yu said in front of Lhasa's grand Potala Palace, once the home of the Dalai Lama and, flanked by mountains under a bright blue sky, the highest palace in the world.
Dargey and the "Path America" companies raised $125 million or more for a commercial building (called Potala Tower) in downtown Seattle and a commercial and residential complex, complete with a farmer's market, in Everett, Wash.
A square under the Potala Palace was renovated, while either side of the boulevard had turned into a modern tourist must-see.