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Location: Tibet   Map

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Description of Lhasa

Lhasa is a former religious center of the Tibetan Buddhism. Its name means "Land of the Gods". Currently it serves as an administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. Its most prominent structure is a white and red Potala Palace. Other important sites includes Norbulingka palaces, Jokhang temple and many others.


According to legend, the second emperor of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo (Srong-brtsan Sgam-po), who lived in the first half of the 7th century, made Lhasa his capital. But documents of that time say that the capital of Tibet was constantly moving. In the city center, even then the Jokhang Monastery was built, which is still the main pilgrimage site in Lhasa.


The city began to grow and flourish after the founding of the three major monasteries of the Gelug school as a result of the activities of Lama Tsongkhapa and his disciples in the 15th century. These are the monasteries of Ganden (Dga'-ldan), Sera (Se-ra) and Drepung ('Bras-spung'). The Dalai Lama V Lobsang Gyatso (1616-1682), subdued Tibet and transferred his administrative center to Lhasa. Then he began to build the Potala Palace, the construction was completed a few years after his death. Since that time, Lhasa has become a full-fledged political capital of Tibet. By 1951, half the city consisted of monks, the total population was about 25,000 people. In addition, about 15 thousand people inhabited the surrounding monasteries.


In 1960, the administrative structure of Tibet was changed to the general Chinese manner. The city district of Lhasa was formed, in which the former city of Lhasa became the Chenguan area.








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