Potala Palace

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, was built by Sonsten Gampo, a Tibetan king in 637 A.D.  This was a gift for his bride Wencheng, a Chinese princess.  In 1645, the construction of the modern palace was initiated by the fifth Dalai Lama.  In fact, it used to be the official residence of the Dalai Lama, until the present Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959. The Potala Palace today is a museum.

Some Facts Related to the Potala Palace in Lhasa

  • Lhasa, where the Potala Palace is situated lies in the Tibetan autonomous region which is a part of China.
  • It is a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • It is named after Mount Potala, the abode of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
  • The building is located 3,756 meters above sea level.
  • The Potala Palace covers an area of 32 acres.
  • The building has 13 storeyed.  It houses a thousand rooms, 10,000 shrines and has more than two hundred thousand statues.
  • The purpose of this structure was to accommodate the dual role of the Dalai Lama as a religious as well as political leader. 
  • The seventh Dalai Lama established a separate palace for the summer and therefore the Potala Palace in Lhasa (China) came to be known as the “winter palace”.
Potala Palace

Potala Palace Information

Tibetan Name
Wylie Transliteration Po ta la
Chinese Name
Traditional 布達拉宮
Simplified 布达拉宫
Coordinates: 29°39′28″N 91°07′01″E
Monastery Information
Location Lhasa, Tibet, China
Founded by Songtsen Gampo
Founded 637
Date Renovated Modern palace constructed by the 5th Dalai Lama in 1645
Renovated:1989 to 1994, 2002
Type Tibetan Buddhist
Lineage Dalai Lama
Head Lama 14th Dalai Lama


Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa*
UNESCO World Heritage Site
State Party China
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iv, vi
Reference 707
Region Asia-Pacific
Inscription History
Inscription 1994  (18th Session)
Extensions 2000; 2001

Potala Palace Facts

Potala Palace Site Information
Names: Potala Palace; Bùdála Gong
Location: Lhasa, Tibet
Faith: Buddhism
Denomination: Tibetan
Order: Yellow Hat
Categories: Castles and Palaces; Buddhist Monasteries; World Heritage Sites
Date: Founded 637; present building mostly 17th cent.
Status: museum
Potala Palace Visitor Information
Coordinates: 29.657715° N, 91.117233° E
Lodging: View hotels near this location
Phone: 0891/683-4362

Weather and Climate Conditions at Potala Palace in Lhasa

  • Lhasa enjoys a mild climate without any weather extremes.
  • The average temperature is 8° C.
  • This place enjoys a lot of sunshine throughout the year.
  • It rains in the months of July, August and September.  The rainfall generally occurs only at night.

Things to See and Things to Do at the Potala Palace in Lhasa

  • One can either take a taxi or climb up to the Potala Palace.
  • Within the Potala Palace , the following would interest any visitor-
  • The Potrang Karpo or the White Palace used to be the dwelling of the Dalai Lama.
  • The Potrang Marpo or the Red Palace is designated for prayer and religious study.  This was constructed after the death of the fifth Dalai Lama.
  • The Great West Hall in the Red Palace has fine paintings showcasing the life of the fifth Dalai Lama.
  • The Saint’s Chapel in the Red Palace is the holiest shrine in this complex.
  • There is one chapel in each direction respective called the North, South, East and West chapels.
  • The tomb of the 13th Dalai Lama is a huge stupa containing precious jewels as well as a ton of solid gold.

Potala Palace Hours

The palace opens 12 hours a day.

Opening Hours 09:00 – 19:00 (Potala Palace)
08:30 – 16:00 (Tourist Service Center)

Potala Palace Tickets

the ticket costs 100 Yuan (14.65 U.S. Dollars)

Admission Fees CNY 200 for Potala Palace; Free Ticket for Zhol City (May.1 - Oct.31);
CNY 100 for Potala Palace; CNY 30 for Zhol City (Nov.1 - Apr.30) 


See Also Other Natural Wonders in Asia