Potala Palace, one of Tibets top must see cultural sites, has been capturing travelers imaginations as it takes them on an adventure through Tibetan history. With its highest point at about 300 meters (around 1000 feet) above the valley floor its gargantuan size often surprises travelers: this building houses over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and around 200,000 statues.
A visit to Potala Palace is typically first on a Tibet tour itinerary. Travelers will first huff and puff their way up several flights of stairs before reaching the entrance. While challenging to those not acclimatized to the altitude, panoramic views of Lhasa and the surrounding mountain scenery reward travelers at the top! As travelers enter the front doors fantastically painted walls foreshadow the beauty to come. Next the group proceeds to the former living quarters of the 14th Dalai Lama, including his thrown room and areas where he received foreign dignitaries.
For many this is a Tibet travel experience that will not soon be forgotten. Potala Palace was the residence of former Dalai Lamas all the way back to the 5th. Over hundreds of years Potalas interior has been ornately decorated: vibrantly colored and incredibly detailed paintings cover the walls and shelves of prayers books tower overhead. Travelers can see gold covered statues, shrines of unimaginable beauty, and even look upon the resting places of past Dalai Lamas. Incense fills the air and the glow of yak butter candles illuminates cultural treasures, creating a dream like atmosphere. As travelers are suspended in wonder and awe TCTSs native Tibetan guides will help give a historical and cultural basis for understanding what they see.
Potala Palace is one of the most famous and important Tibet attractions. Visitors can enjoy a window into the past as they walk where Dalai Lamas and Tibetan kings have walked. TCTS will take care of making reservations for travel groups and provide a native Tibetan guide who can help introduce travelers to Tibetan history and culture as they tour Potala Palace. Whether taking time to explore Tibet extensively or only in Tibet for a short time this is a place that cannot be missed. Now that the Tibet travel season is in full swing, travelers are advised to start planning their visit to Potala as soon as possible!