Norbulingka or the Jewel Park is in the western part of the Lhasa town.
The Jewel Park or Norbulingka is the summer palace of the successive Dalai Lamas for up to six months of the year. In the 18th century, the 7th Dalai Lama Kelsang Gyatso took a “treatment bath” in a spring here. And, soon a palace was built for him, called Kelsang Podrang. There is also a smaller palace called Uyap palace and this was used by the Dalai Lamas when they would watch Tibetan opera dance during the Shoten or “Yoghurt Festival” and other events. The second major palace is called Chensel Podrang which was built during the 13th Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso’s time.
Lastly, in the early 1950s, the new palace was built which is named as Takten Mingyure Podrang. The Takten Mingyure Podrang was built for the 14th Dalai Lama. You can see an impressive wall painting that shows a complete history of Tibet. It is starting from the human evolution, the first king, and the main historical period and figures. Besides, we can see so many types of trees and plants such as bamboos, pine trees, and junipers. For local people, NorbuLingka is not only an important pilgrimage site, but it is also a place where they can learn about their ancestors, history, and culture. At the same time, they can also enjoy the picnic in summer and watch the Tibetan traditional opera dance.