Norbulinka Palace,Dalai Lama's Summer Palace
Norbulingka Palace (Treasure Garden)
Norbulingka which means ‘treasure garden’ in Tibetan language, is located in the west side of Lhasa, a short distance from the southwest of Potala Palace. It is marked as the world’s highest, largest and best-preserved ancient artificial historical and cultural garden. As part of the ‘Historic Ensemble of Potala Palace’, it is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the Potala Palace is known as the winter palace of Dalai Lamas, the Norbulingka Palace is known as the summer palace. Situated at an elevation of 3650 meters above sea level, Norbulingka palace holds 374 rooms. It contains a large collection of Italian chandeliers, Ajanta frescoes, Tibetan carpets, and many other artifacts. Besides, it is also a natural garden with kinds of flowers, trees, animals and even herbs and some rare plants.
History (Summer Palace of Dalai Lamas)
Despite the title of World Heritage Site and natural scenery, people also take it as a unique historical attraction in Tibet. The construction of Norbulingka began in 1755 by the 7th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Gyatso. The primary function of Norbulingka Palace is to cure the health problems of the 7th Dalai Lama. Then it became the summer residence of Dalai Lamas. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Norbulingka complex was suffered from terrible damage. In 2001, the Central Committee of Chinese Authority agreed to restore the complex to its original glory in the 4th Tibet Session.
Festival Celebration (Sho Don Festival)
Norbulingka covers a land area of 89 acres in Lhasa city. The lake palace which built in the southwest area is the most amazing palace in this park. In the center of the lake, three islands are linked to the land by small bridges and a palace was built on each island. During summer and autumn, a number of Tibetan festivals will hold in Tibetan parks, especially the Norbulingka park. Every year the most popular traditional Tibetan festival, Sho Don Festival (also named Shoton festival or Yogurt festival) is held in this beautiful park. It falls on the first seven days in the seventh month of Tibetan calendar. And the date of this festival varies from year to year according the Tibetan calendar and solar calendar. In 2017, it will fall on Aug. 21 to Aug. 28. During the festival, local people will gather together in Norbulingka to celebrate this annual festival by singing, dancing and performing Tibetan opera.
As the most famous garden in Lhasa, Norbulingka park is one of the must-see attractions in Lhasa city tours.
Tips for Norbulingka Sightseeing
1. Admission Fee: RMB60
2. Opening Time: 9:00am-6:00pm
3. Recommended time to visit:3 hours