The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, was the residence of the Dalai Lama. Now, Potala Palace is a museum and World Heritage Site.
Potala Palace was originally built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gambo after he moved the capital from Yarlung valley to Lhasa valley. The Potala Palace which towers above the city of Lhasa rises from the slopes of Mount Marpori. Due to reason, it is known locally as Tse Podang (Summit Palace). In the 17th century that the Fifth Dalai Lama moved his palace from Drepung to Potala Palace and expanded it to the present size. While the palace is divided into the red and white part. The Red Palace is used mainly for the religious purpose. It includes chapels, meditation rooms, audience halls, offices and living quarters of Dalai Lamas and his tutors. The White Palace contains the main ceremonial hall with the throne of the Dalai Lama. Moreover, his private rooms and audience hall are on the uppermost level.
Red palace on the west side
In the section of Red palace on the west side, we can see the original cave. Where the Dharma King Songtsen Gambo used to meditate. Furthermore, it is the oldest part of the whole palace. There is also a holy statue of Lokesvara made of sandalwood. Most noteworthy, it was brought to Tibet by the king himself from India with his miraculous power. Apart from these, there are many gilded entombment stupas of the successive Dalai Lamas. Among them, the most amazing one is the gigantic emtombment stupa of the great Fifth Dalai Lama for this very stupa rises at a height of almost 15 meters (49 feet) decorated with 3,721 kilograms of gold.
The Potala Palace is indeed a cultural heritage of Tibet as well as of the world. The place is comparable to many other world famous sights such as the Great Wall in mainland China or the Vatican City in Italy.