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Beautiful Norbulingka, Lhasa

Norbulingka, meaning Jewel Park, was the Summer Palace of Dalai Lamas. Originally built by the Seventh Dalai Lama in the 18th century, it now covers an area of some 360,000 square meters (about 89 acres) after successive expansions by the Eighth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Dalai Lamas. Potrangs, pavilions, gardens, a zoo, lakes and woodland make Norbulingka the perfect place for visitor to relax.

Kelsang Potrang, which was also built by the Seventh Dalai Lama, is also known as the old Summer Palace. The Dalai Lamas ruled and received officials and lamas here every summer. The Eighth Dalai Lama built Chibra Khang (reading room), Khamsum Zilnon (a pavilion for the Dalai Lamas to watch Tibetan Opera) and a lake. He also built a palace and a temple in the center of the lake. Now it is the most beautiful spot in Norbulingka. In 1922, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama built his Golden Linka and Chensel Potrang in the western part of Norbulingka, planting many rare trees and flowers there. The New Summer Palace, which was built by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, lies in the north part of the palace grounds. Murals on the walls inside the palace are vivid and delicate, with the most famous being that of Sakyamuni and his eight disciples. Sakyamuni is portrayed as being both calm and virtuous, while the disciples are ruminative. Murals in the southern hall also tell of the history of Tibet: the origins of the Tibetan people, the rise and fall of the Yarlung Dynasty (Tubo Kingdom), the spread of Buddhism, and the story of Dalai Lamas. All of these murals are in good condition, and they are important for both researchers of history and art.

fine murals on the wall of Norbulingka

In the past, only Dalai Lamas and a few privileged people were allowed to stay in Norbulingka. Now, after years of restoration, Norbulingka has become a public park satisfying both visitors and locals alike, with Traditional Tibetan Opera being performed here every day.

Admission Fee: CNY 60
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 12:00 in the morning, 15: 00 to 16:00 in the afternoon
Recommended Time for a Visit: Three hours
Bus Route: 2

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