People who travel to Tibet, except for visiting the majestic and mysterious places such as Potala Palace, the Jokhang Temple, and the Tashilhunpo Monastery, they will also visit must-see Norbulingka Palace on the snowy plateau, which is the only large garden in Tibet.
The nature of Norbulingka is similar to that of the Imperial Palace, the Summer Palace and the Chengde Mountain Resort in Beijing in the Qing Dynasty. It is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Whenever the summer comes, Dalai Lama will lead a group of ministers to Norbulingka Palace, where they will handle government affairs, and conduct religious activities.
Located in the western suburbs of Lhasa, Norbulingka Palace was built in the 1840s. After more than 200 years of expansion, the park covers an area of 360,000 square meters. There are more than 100 species plants in the park, not only the common flowers and trees in the Lhasa area but also the exotic flowers and plants from the north and south of the Himalayas, as well as from the mainland. So it’s also called the Plateau Botanical Garden. The building in Norbulingka Palace is dominated by Gesangpo, Golden Pagoda and Dadeng Mingjiuzhang. There are 374 rooms in the building. It is the largest, best-viewed and most ancient garden in Tibet.
1 Brief Introduction
Ticket Fee: is 60 yuan.
Tour Tips: Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am-18:00 pm
Tour time: 2~3 hours.
Highlights: Norbulingka has a Tibetan opera performance at 11:00 every day.
2 The History of Norbulingka Palace
After the Seventh Dalai Lama took part in politics, the then minister in charge of Tibet built this palace for him. In the later years of the Seventh Dalai Lama, the Gesangpo was built around this palace, so this palace is called Norbulingka Palace. Since then, the Seventh Dalai Lama handled government affairs in the Gesangpo Palace every summer. Later Dalai Lama moved to Norbulingka from the Potala Palace on March 18 in the Tibetan calendar and returned to the Potala Palace between September and October. Before the pro-government, the Dalai Lama studied Dharma throughout the year.
3 Main Buddhist events in Norbulingka Palace
The Sho Dun Festival is a festival dedicated to yogurt and performance Tibet opera. Every year, from the first day of July of the Tibetan calendar to the fifth day of the Tibetan calendar, Tibetan people will celebrate the Sho Dun Festival in Norbulingka Palace.
In the past, Dalai’s assistant gave the aristocratic officials to yogurt banquet, and Tibetan drama teams from all over Tibet took turns to perform Tibetan opera for four days. The Lhasa monks and Tibetan people also wore festive costumes, and carry yogurt and butter tea to eat and drink when they watch Tibet opera performance in Norbulingka Palace.
The Sho Dun Festival is more like an art event in Tibet. Every summer, many government agencies in the Potala Palace have to move to the Norbulingka office with the Dalai Lama.
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