Potala Palace | palace , History , Facts & Architect
The Potala Palace’s past
- Under Tubo King Songtsan Gambo, the Potala’s first phase of building began in 631. [Sources: Ministry of Culture, P.R., Chinaculture.org, Chinadaily.com.cn .China]
- Construction of the first Potala Palace reportedly started during the reign of Songtsen Gampo of the Thubet or Tubo dynasty in the seventh century AD, according to historical sources like the “New Tang Book Tibet Biography.” The 5th Dalai Lama restored it in the middle of the 17th century. In the years that followed, it underwent periodic renovation and enlargement to attain its current size and shape. He unified Tibet and relocated the capital from Lalong to Lhasa for political and military reasons. In Lhasa, he constructed a palace on the Red Mountain in the middle of the city.
- The Red Mountain Palace deteriorated throughout the lengthy era of unrest that Tibetan civilization experienced when the Tubo Kingdom fell in the ninth century. Yet, it started to take on the characteristics of a sacred site. The Kadampa sect’s Khyungpo Drakse preached there in the 12th century, and Tshurpu Karmapa, Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelukpa sect, and his followers afterwards used it for the same reason.
- In Tibet during the 15th century, the Gelukpa sect grew quickly and took over. The 5th Dalai Lama overthrew the Karmapa Dynasty and established the Ganden Phodrang Dynasty in the middle of the 17th century with the aid of Gushri Khan, the head of the Mongol Khoshotd tribe. Since the 5th Dalai Lama relocated there from Drepung Monastery, the Potala Palace has served as the residence and administrative centre for succeeding Dalai Lamas.
- Eight years after the 5th Dalai Lama’s passing, Sangye Gyatsho, the top executive official at the time, started construction of the Red Palace as a monument to him and to make room for his funeral stupa.
Unbelievable Information About China’s Potala Palace
The Potala Palace is the highest point that a building may reach.
- Unofficially, no structure in China is taller than the Potala Palace, which rises 117 metres (384 feet) above sea level. It can be reached by taking amazing zig-zagging steps. There are no structures in China taller than the Potala Palace out of reverence for the sacred location. It is the world’s tallest ancient palace.
- The Potala Palace’s top and balcony offer views that make the climb up there worthwhile. You can see Lhasa city, the sky, the surrounding countryside, and the distant snow-capped Himalayan mountains from this vantage point.
The entire Potala Palace was provided as a gift.
- Forget giving a bride-to-be a house, car, or yacht as a wedding present. King Songtsan Gampo gave the Potala Palace to his bride in 637 AD, pushing the limits of gift-giving to the point where it is completely overturned.
- Yet the Palace was smaller back then. This was still impressive, though. However, the ninth century saw the destruction of the Potala Palace, which the fifth Dalai Lama repaired.
One of the beautiful stupas is located at the Potala Palace.
- A stupa is a hemispherical Buddhist memorial structure that typically contains holy relics connected to revered figures like Buddha. There are several of these in the Potala Palace. The stupa of the Fifth Dalai Lama is distinctive, though. There is around 3,700 kilogrammes of gold covering it! It is now the most valuable and lavish stupa ever as a result.
- More than 18,000 pearls, coral, amber, and agate jewels make up the stupa’s decoration. Also, it is covered in 3, 721 kilos of gold!
Before, the Potala Palace was deserted.
- The Potala Palace has at least 800 years of unoccupied history! The reason for this is because the governments that followed King Songstan Gampo did not only not have their capitals in Lhasa.
- King Songstan Gampo established the Potala Palace as his primary residence during the Tubo era. He also shifted his kingdom’s capital from Tubo to Lhasa. In the seventh century, this occurred. The Potala Palace and the entire city were evacuated by the ninth century, when the kingdom collapsed.
Building design of Potala Palace
- Set up against the hill’s terraced slope, the buildings come together to form a massive, sky-scraping bulk that evokes the divine realm above the mortal earth. The Potala is a preeminent example of traditional Tibetan and Chinese architecture because of its granite walls, which are lavishly decorated with soft white thatch, golden roofs, which are adorned with large gilded bottles, and magnificent curtains and banners. Together, these elements create a singular structural wonder that bears the striking colours red, white, and yellow typical of Tibetan architectural art. [Sources: Ministry of Culture, P.R., Chinaculture.org, Chinadaily.com.cn .China]
- 350 metres (1,150 feet) north-south and 400 metres (1,300 feet) east-west are the building’s dimensions. The stone walls’ average thickness is three metres (9.8 feet), and their base is five metres (16 feet) thick. It is built without the use of steel or nails and is made of wood, stones, and mud bricks. For earthquake protection, copper was poured into the foundations. The structure has a height of 117 metres (384 ft).
- The Lamrgyal Abbey, the Senior Seminary, the monks’ dormitories, the eastern and western courtyards, and the houses that used to house the local government offices and institutions are located at the foot of the hill. There is also a printing press for Buddhist canonical writings, as well as a jail, some stables, and a backyard garden.