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The Potala Palace

The Potala Palace is a huge, imposing structure, looming over the city from the top of Marpo Ri. It used to be the home of the Dalai Lama, the spritual heart of Tibet and the center of the Tibetan Government. Now, with the country under Chinese rule, the Potala feels somewhat lifeless. Still, it holds great importance to Tibetan Buddhists and it remains the centerpiece of Lhasa.

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Let's Circumambulate the Potala!

The Potala Kora is a pathway that goes all the way around Marpo Ri, the hill on which the Potala sits. On the back (northern) side of the hill the kora is lined with prayer wheels. These wheels have prayers inscribed on their surfaces, and additional prayer texts inside the drums. As pilgrims walk the kora they spin the wheels to send prayers skyward. The photos below follow the pilgrim's progress, as always, in a clockwise direction, completely around the Potala.

From a Pidicab at the southeast corner of the Potala.

Monks feed the pigeons in Potala Square. The monk in the center photo is holding his cell phone, with which he took a picture of me!

Another view from the south.

From the corner of Potala Square.

These young women, who were selling yak butter to pilgrims, let me share their shady spot while I rested and took the two previous photos.

From the steps of the Palha Lu-Puk, southwest of the Potala.

The steps from which the previous three photos were taken.

From the north of Marpo Ri.

Peddle boats and goats in Zang Gyab Lukhang Park, north of the Potala.

Rounding the eastern end.

Almost back to where we started.

Back to the southeast corner, day and night.

From Potala Square after dark.

The view from the roof of the Yak Hotel.

The view of the Potala Palace from the roof top restaurant at the Yak Hotel was absolutely stunning! Every time I went up there the light was different, so I took lots of photos from there. Here are a few of my favorites. Please see the "Around Lhasa" page for a panorama from the Yak roof.

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© Copyright 2006 R. Hutchins
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are © Copyright 2006 R. Hutchins. All rights reserved. - Revised August 2006