The Red Palace

On August 17, 2011, in Lhasa, Monasteries, Palaces, Temples, Tibet, by Jack Li

The Red Palace was located at the center of the Potala Palace. It was named “the Red Palace” because the outer walls of the palace were all painted red. The layout of the palace lies in the formation of Mandala. The main buildings in the palace are the Stupa Halls of Dalai Lama. In total, there are eight Stupa Halls within the palace, where generations of Dalai Lama’s bodies were preserved. Many small scripture halls were dotted among the Stupa Halls, such as the Shangshi Hall, the Xiangtong Hall, and the Shixi Hall.

The west part of the Red Palace is the Jiyuanman Hall. It is the Stupa Hall of the fifth Dalai Lama. The Jiyuanman Hall is the largest Hall in the Potala Palace, covering an area of 725 square meters. You can see marvelous frescos on the wall of the hall. The most famous among them must be the one picturing the fifth Dalai Lama meeting Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty. There is a Dalai Lama’s throne in the hall, with a big plaque saying “the place where lotus blossoms” above it. The inscription on the plaque is written by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty.

The Fawang Cave in here is one of the earliest buildings in the Potala Palace. There are statues of Sontzen Gampo, Princess Wencheng, Princess Chizun, and Ludongzan in the cave. These exquisite statues are invaluable relics now.

The Sushengsanjie Hall is the highest hall in the Red Palace. Inside the hall, you can see a portrait of Emperor Qianlong and an elegant eleven faces Guanyin made of silver. The hall is the Stupa Hall of the 13th Dalai Lama. Established in 1933, it is the latest building in the Potala Palace.

The Potala Palace

Jack Li

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