Inspiring architecture by any measure, but all the more so given its location at thousands of meters above sea level, the more than 1,000 rooms, and its preservation in spite of the vicissitudes of history, Potala Palace is certainly a sight to behold. Expect to be awed and in wonder.
Potala Palace’s history is a marvel in itself. Ascending 13 storeys from Marpo Ri or Red Hill, it took 50 years to build, with construction commencing in 1645 during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama. Historically functioning as the winter residence of the Dalai Lama, Potala Palace forms part of a larger complex of buildings that include Jokhang Monastery and Norbulingka.
For insights to Tibetan culture, detailed in historical documents, scriptures, artifacts, sculptures, and artworks of religious significance, Potala Palace offers a rich trove that will reward travelers who make the trek here, along with the many thousands of Tibetan pilgrims who continue to visit annually.