Potala Palace, pure land to guide faith on snow plateau

2016-10-13, BJQIQI, The Buddhist Culture of China


Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region

Photographed by BJQIQI

Regardless of how many images of the Potala Palace you have previously seen, when personally facing this large-scale palace architecture, you are sure to be instantly seized with shock due to its amazing stature.

As one of the palace architecture complexes with the highest altitude, the Potala Palace mainly consists of the Red Palace and the White Palace. It also includes the Snow Fortress on the southern hillside as well as the backyard garden and the Dragon King Pool on the northern hillside.

Surrounded by the White Palace, the Red Palace is at the center of the Potala Palace, imitating the center of the universe in the Mandala in Buddhism. Inside the Red Palace are the burial stupas of past Dalai Lamas surrounded by sutra halls and Buddha halls for religious activities. The massive White Palace stretches from west to east, with the eastern sections for governance and religious affairs management by the Dalai Lama, while the western sections are the living quarters for the lamas serving the Palace.

In 1994, the Potala Palace was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site. The World Heritage Convention commented: “The Potala Palace is built on the Red Mountain in the center of Lhasa Valley, at an altitude of 3,700 m. The Potala Palace, the winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. The beauty and originality of the architecture, its rich ornamentation and harmonious integration in a striking landscape, add to its historic and religious interest.”

With sunrises and sunsets and the gathering and dispersing of clouds, the Potala Palace on top of the Red Mountain is a dignified pure land. The Palace remits subtle lights in the magnificent sky to guide the faith of the mass crowd on the snowy plateau.