Lhasa, the literal meaning of which is “the land of God” in the Tibetan language, is the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region. Meanwhile, Lhasa is also known as “the city of sunshine” for you can enjoy much more sunshine than any other cities in the world. Lhasa, with thousands of years’ history, is considered as the birthplace of Buddhism for its spiritual and Buddhism culture. For many pilgrims and tourists, traveling to Lhasa is not only a trip, but also about the belief in their heart. You can experience the local Tibetan culture and see the sacred temples by visiting Lhasa. Here are 6 must-see places in Lhasa,the Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, the Barkhor Street, the Sera Monastery, the Drepung Monastery, and the Ganden Monastery.
The Potala Palace
“Potala” means “Putuo” in Sanskrit, referring to the residence of Avalokitesvara. As the symbol of Tibet and located in the center of Lhasa City, Potala Palace is the sacred place for pilgrims. Being here, you can enjoy the vast collection of historical relics, appreciate the stunning architectures and have a baptism of your soul. The Potala Palace, first built in 637 by King Songtsen Gampo and rebuilt by the fifth Dalai Lama in 1645, is the biggest castle-style building in the world with its historic meaning and antiques and listed in the World Cultural Heritage List.
The Jokhang Temple
The Jokhang Temple, as one of the most popular attractions in Lhasa, is located in the Barkhor Square in the downtown of Lhasa city. It was first constructed during the reign of king Songsten Gampo for greeting two brides of him: Princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty and Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal. What’s more, the Jokhang Temple is one of the holiest and most important temples in Tibet, and is a veritably holy place in the eyes of many pilgrims.
The Barkhor Street
Barkhor Street is a millennium Street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and embodies the customs of Tibet with its profound culture tradition. This street is very busy and full of many local store, then you can buy something interesting about Tibetan folks.
The Sera Monastery
It is said that the Monastery is a place where wild roses are in bloom Sera Monastery and the Tibetan pronunciation of wild rose is “sera”, hence called as Sera Monastery. Drepung Monastery, Ganden Monastery and Sera Monastery are three major Gelugpa monasteries in Lhasa. Every afternoon in the yard of Sera Monastery, monks gather together to do Buddhism debating.
The Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery where thousands of monks live and study, is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries and is located on the foot of Mount Gephel. The monastery believes in the cultivation of spirit and wisdom which help monks form inner peace and kindness of themselves.
The Ganden Monastery
Ganden Monastery, as the first and important religious community of the Gelug Sect in Tibetan Buddhism, alludes to Sukhavati (a great site in the Western Heaven of Buddhism) in Tibetan. The monastery was destroyed after 1959, and has not been rebuilt until the 21st century, while the present size of this monastery is not so grand as the past.