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Norbulinka Palace

Norbulingka, meaning Jewel Park, was Dalai Lama's summer palace since the Seventh. Its light-hearted air makes it less demanding than most sights in Lhasa The Norbulinka is well worth a visit at festival times and public holidays. On Shoton Festival, the park is crowded with picnickers, and traditional Tibetan opera performances are also held there.

Khamsum Zilnon is a very eye-catching building behind the main gate. It was originally a Han style pavilion and later changed into a theater where the Dalai Lamas watched Tibetan opera. Tsokyil Potrang is a group of buildings on water. Dalai Lamas used to read in a hall of the palace. In 1922, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama began to build his Golden Lingka and Chensel Potrang, which is located at the back of the woods. Various flowers, grasses and trees were planted around. The palace was heavily painted with murals, which bear strong Han characteristics. Takten Migyur Potrang, meaning Eternal Palace in Tibetan, was completed in 1956 for the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Though it is called New Summer Palace, it is a very traditional architecture except for its interior modern facilities. In the palace there are many splendid murals painted by a Fourteenth Dalai Lama's painter. The topics of the murals include Tibetan officials, Sakyamuni preaching under a Bodhi tree, and Tibetan history from its founding by the Holy Monkey, the vicissitudes of Tubo Kingdom (633-844) and Tibetan Buddhism to Panchen Lama and Dalai Lama's interviews with Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing. The present Dalai Lama's private apartment is also on view, remaining untouched. In a little sutra hall, there is a Dalai Lama's throne which is wrapped in gold foils and decorated with gems.

Entrance fee: 60 Yuan per person
Open hours: 9:30 AM--5:00 PM