Potala Palace, Tibet - Stein Travel
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Potala Palace

The vast Potala Palace stands on a clifftop above Lhasa, considered the greatest achievement of Tibetan architecture. The palace was originally built in the 7th century by the then emperor for his bride. It was later partially destroyed by lightning, but restored and extended in 1645 by the Fifth Dalai Lama when he became political and religious leader of Tibet. The Fifth Dalai Lama took up residence in the palace in 1653, and it remained the Dalai Lamas' official residence until the exile of the 14th Dalai Lama in 1959. The palace is renowned for its interior splendour. It consists of two main sections: The White Palace is the secular section containing offices, dormitories, a Buddhist seminary and printing house. The Red Palace is the ornate sacred sanctuary containing chapels where mummified remains of three Dalai Lamas lay, and the Great West Hall, with its fine rich murals.

Information & Facts

Address

Moburi (Red) Mountain, Lhasa

Admission

¥100

Language

The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are hundreds of local dialects.

Money

The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can be exchanged only within China's borders. Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities.

Opening Times

Daily 9:30am-1pm and 3pm-6pm.

Time

Local time is GMT +8.

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