Top Lhasa Attractions and Sightseeing Recommended
When travelling to Tibet, Lhasa is always the first stop for travelers to acclimate and find suitable transportation to other destinations. It is known as the city of sunshine as it has sunshine more than 3000 hours a year. Lhasa also owns most of the highlights in Tibet, such as the marvelous Potala Palace and the sacred Jokhang Temple, etc. In Lhasa, you can encounter with travelers from all over the world with their own stories and pilgrims with their heavenly mind to Buddhism. Here, we will introduce the top five Lhasa attractions you can visit during your stay.
1. Potala Palace-Highlighted Lhasa Attractions
Potala Palace (3, 750 m) is the primary sight for travelers because it is the highest ancient palace in the world. The fifth Dalai Lama built this palace in 1645. Since then it became the sacred palace to the Tibetan local people and their beliefs. Each year, pilgrims from all over the world come to pay homage to this palace and the symbol it stands for.
There are two main structures within the palace: the Red Palace and the White Palace. The former one is used as the house of prayers by Dalai Lama, and monks study Buddhism here. The White Palace was the home to previous ten successive Dalai Lamas and their courts. King Sogtsan Gampo built the original White Palace but it was destroyed. Later, the fifth Dalai Lama rebuilt the building on the ruins and used it as the summer residence.
2. Jokhang Temple-Highlight Lhasa Attractions
For an authentic Tibet tour, Jokhang Temple is the place you must see. It is the prime seat of Gelugpa (one branch of Tibetan Buddhism) and its own sacred status in Tibetan Buddhism. King Songtsan Gambo and his team built Jokhang Temple in the 7th century with the combination style of Han, India, Nepal and Tibetan.This was the temple to house Princess Wencheng’s dowry, the Buddha Jowo Rinpoche and various Buddhist statues and images.
Pilgrims come to visit this temple in the morning. If you arrive at the temple early, you may see them pray and prostrate outside the building. Jokhang Temple is not far from Potala Palace, you can also enjoy the view of Potala on the top roof of the temple.
3. Sera Monastery-Highlight Lhasa Attractions
Sera Monastery was built in 1419 and it is the house of many Buddha statues and beautiful ancient murals. Travellers usually come to this monastery for its famous ‘Monks Debating’ during their Tibet tour. From Monday to Saturday at 3 pm, there will be a debating session on Buddhist doctrines among the monks in Sera Monastery.
This is an essential way for monks to learn sutras and scriptures. The debate is open to tourists but you have to be very quiet. During the Shoton Festival in August, Sera Monastery will held the grand ceremony of Sunning the Buddha.
4. Drepung Monastery-Highlight Lhasa Attractions
As one of the three great Gelukpa monasteries (the other two are Sera Monastery and Ganden Monastery), Drepung Monastery has an essential role in Tibetan Buddhism. The building was constructed in 1416 and once had monks over 10, 000. The first to fifth Dalai Lama once lived in the Ganden Potrang in the monastery and it was also the first place to celebrate the Shoton Festival. All these reasons make Drepung Monastery an important monastery in Tibetan Buddhism.
Tibet travelers come here to visit the religious heritage sites and the cultural relics. During the Shoton Festival, this monastery is full of local Tibetan and travelers to see the dramatic unfurling of a giant Buddha tapestry hanging on the hillside and other fascinating activities.
5. Barkhor Street-Highlight Lhasa Attractions
This street is in the center of Lhasa city. During your Tibet trip, you may walk on this street for several times as it nears the Jokhang Temple and many famous restaurants. This street is famous for the Circumambulation Road. It is very sacred and important for local pilgrims. In the street, you can see pilgrims do the ‘one–step-one-bow’ to show their respect to religion.
Also, travelers love to do shopping in the Barkhor Bazaar. The bazaar is known as the window of Tibet as it shows all aspects of Tibetan daily life. You can buy Thangkas, prayer wheels and prayer beads, etc. here.
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