Founded in 1419 by one of Tsongkhapa's eight disciples, Sera became famous for its Tantric teachings. The warrior monks of Sera, the ‘Dob-Dobs’, were admired as athletes but also feared.
Potala Palace Visit
Potala Palace Visit, Tibet
The Potala Palace is an architectural wonder - a spectacular edifice whose gold roofs soar high above the town and rise more than 300 meters above the valley floor - can be seen from all directions for miles around.
The present Potala was built mainly in the Fifth Dalai Lama’s reign between 1645 - 1693. Until recently it remained the center of political and religious power for the Dalai Lamas. With over one thousand rooms, it contained the living quarters of the Dalai Lamas while they lived and their magnificent golden tombs when they died.
Regents, tutors and other high lamas also had apartments in the building. A huge printing house and a seminary was run by the elite order of monks in order to train the government officials. Hundreds of elaborately decorated chapels and shrines, halls and corridors contain thousands of gilded statues - Tibet's pantheon of Buddhas, Boddhisattvas, saints and demons.
Today the Potala is a state museum, eerily empty with 35 caretaker-monks, but to many thousands of Tibetan pilgrims it remains a beloved shrine.
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Other experiences in Lhasa
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
The Norbulingka - the Jewel Park - contains the summer palaces of the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas and is characterized by its spacious walled garden, the main throne hall, an audience hall, the Dalai Lama's private apartment and his mother's apartment.
Walking the Kora - one of the circuits round a monastery - is a traditional way for Tibetan Buddhists to worship, and you will see pilgrims making circuit after circuit of major monastery buildings wherever you are in Tibet.