Potala Palace was originally built as a present from King Songtsan Gampo to his bride-to-be in 637 AD. It is located in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. This palace is named after Mount Potalaka.
It served as the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Now it is a state museum. This giant palace consists of many houses, towers, chapels, etc. It is the highest palace in the world as it is built 117 meters up a mountain.
Quick Facts: –
- The palace has two different parts, the White Palace and the Red Palace.
- The White Palace served as offices for the Tibetan government, assembly halls, and the Dalai Lama’s residence.
- The Red Palace functioned as a house of prayer by the Dalai Lama.
- It was originally not as large as it is today. It was extended to its present size by the 13th Dalai Lama.
- There are 8 holy stupas in the palace with 8 Dalai Lamas’ mummies in them. These stupas are decorated with gold, silver, pearls, agate, coral, diamond etc.
- This palace has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1994.
- The walls of the palace are painted every year and the paint is made of milk, sugar, honey, and some herbs, mixed with white lime.
- In Lhasa city, no building is allowed to be higher than the Potala Palace.
- Only 2,300 visitors are allowed in the palace every day.
- The walls of the palace are thickest at their base. They are 5 meters thick and the higher it goes the thinner the wall becomes.
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