Lhasa, Tibet, China

12 Instagrammable places in Lhasa

Shamil Hasanli Shamil Hasanli 28 April 2021
11 view 5 min. read

Lhasa is the capital of the autonomous republic of Tibet. However, where is Lhasa located? Although I think it would be impossible that you have never seen any of the famous places in Lhasa, you may ask where is Lhasa. Lhasa is located in China, and as we mentioned before, it is the capital of Tibet. How to get to Lhasa? As the city is located in a mountainous area, it is a good question to ask how to get to Lhasa. There are flights and breathtaking trains for your travel to Lhasa. Lhasa is a beautiful city to take your most liked photo on Instagram, as there are many Instagrammable places to visit in Lhasa. In this blog, you will read about the 12 Instagrammable places to take the most liked Instagram photos during your travel to Lhasa. Also, you find answers to your questions, such as where is Lhasa, how to get to Lhasa, what are the most Instagrammable places to visit in Lhasa, why to travel to Lhasa, where to take your most liked photo on Instagram, etc. 

1. The Potala Palace

potala palace

One of the most famous places in Lhasa, and the most famous building in all of Tibet, is the Potala Palace. It is the winter palace of the Dalai Lama, the formerly feudal Tibetan society's spiritual and secular head. The Potala Palace, which is around 117 meters high and 360 meters wide, was built mainly from clay and wood. The Tibetan Palace is located on the Marpori Hill in the centre of the Tibetan capital, to the north of the Beijing Road West. In order to protect the old building, the maximum number of daily visitors is limited to 2,300 people. In front of the Potala Palace is the large Potala Square, named after the building. Every evening on Potala Square, colourfully lit and music-based water games provide entertainment for over ten million tourists every year. You can take the most liked Instagram photos here. 

2. The Norbulingka Palace

norbulingka palace

The summer palace of the Dalai Lama is one of the best places to visit in Lhasa. Norbulingka is located within a large park in the southwestern part of the city. During 250 years, the palace has been enlarged and rebuilt by the various Dalai Lamas again and again. The last new buildings in the park of the Norbulingka were completed in the mid-1950s, just a few years before the Dalai Lama had to go in exile. Due to the hasty departure, many objects were left behind, exhibited in the Museum of the Summer Palace. Although countless cultural objects were irretrievably destroyed during the rule of Mao Zedong in China - around 6,000 Buddhist monasteries were also destroyed in Tibet during the "Cultural Revolution" alone - many of the historical sites in the Lhasa Summer Palace were largely preserved. Only images of the Dalai Lama are not exhibited.

3. Jokhang Temple

jokhang temple

The most important Buddhist shrine in Tibet is located in the approximately 1,300-years-old Jokhang Temple. The temple is part of the Tsuglagkhang complex. The monastery and temple enclose a small chapel with the sacred statue of Jowo Shakyamuni. In addition to the Buddhist sanctuary inside the temple, the building's top floor also offers a good view of the monastery's surroundings and Barkor Square, which is next to the Jokhang monastery. It is a perfect spot to take the most liked Instagram photos.

4. The Drepung Monastery

drepung monastery

Until around 500 years ago, it was the centre of Tibetan Buddhism and the resident of the Dalai Lama. The monastery is located on the western outskirts of Lhasa, at the foot of Gephel Mountain. The monastery complex is around six hundred years old and was last renovated in 2010. The 5th Dalai Lama moved the official residence of Tibet's religious and secular ruler to the Potala Palace. The monastery once numbered over ten thousand monks. However, that number has declined sharply, especially under Mao Zedong's rule. Today only around 600 Buddhist monks live in Drepung Monastery. During the Chinese "Cultural Revolution" in particular, countless believers fell victim to the incited communists.

5. Ani Tsankhung Nunnery

buddhist temple

It is a small nunnery in downtown Lhasa. It is not far from the Barkor pilgrimage street. Nuns still inhabit it, and you can visit it. The small tea house in the monastery is used to feed pilgrims who visit the holy places in Lhasa. Ani-Sangkhung Monastery is also a tourist attraction, and a small souvenir shop nearby sells all kinds of tourist trifles and souvenirs. 

6. The Sera Monastery

buddhist monks

It is another of the most famous places in Lhasa. The Sera Monastery is a few kilometres outside Lhasa in a north-westerly direction. An old Buddhist monastery that monks still inhabit, and you can go there. The monastery is also visited by the faithful, blessed by the monks.

7. The old town of Lhasa, Lingkhor

lhasa

The prayer path leads from today's old town of Lhasa near the Chakpori mountain in the Barmari mountain direction and past the Marpori mountain behind the Jokhang monastery before the path leads back towards the Chakpori mountain and completes the tour. The Tsekor Pilgrimage begins near the stupas located southwest of the Potala Palace on the main Beijing-West Road. It leads around the palace and then further north to Marpori Mountain and Lukhang Park. From here, the pilgrimage leads back to the vicinity of the stupas, where the tour closes. The last one, the Barkhor, is from Barkhor Square around the Jokhang Temple and along with numerous market stalls and alleys through the Barkhor Market until it completes the tour back at Bakhor Square.

8. Lhasa Old Town

old town

The historic centre of Lhasa surrounds the Jokhang and Tibet's most important temple.

As is often the case in China, the old residential buildings were replaced by new buildings with historicizing facades. However, life in the streets is still very traditional, especially in Barkhor, the Jokhang's path, with its exotic pilgrim market. You should visit this place when you are in Lhasa and take your most liked photo on Instagram.

9.  The Ramoche Temple

ramoche temple

It is a relatively small but fascinating temple and is only surpassed in importance by the Jokhang. It housed the statue of Jowo Shakyamuni, a representation of Shakyamuni at a young age. This precious statue was brought to Tibet as a dowry by Princess Wencheng, Songtsen Gampo's Chinese wife. During the Cultural Revolution, the venerated statue broke into two parts, one of which got outside of Tibet and only barely escaped melting, while the other was later found on the rubble of a factory in Tibet.

10. Nyethang Drolma Lhakhang

nyethang drolma lhakhang

It is located in the west of Lhasa and has served as a Buddhist monastery for almost 1,000 years. The small complex is famous for its founder, the greatly revered monk and scholar Atisha. He advocated a revival of Buddhism in the 11th century and spent several years in Nyethang Township. One statue in the main temple shows the young monk, another one Sakyamuni. There are several valuable paintings in the complex depicting the Bodhisattva Tara to whom the monastery is dedicated. She is said to have made several prophecies to Atisha. Besides, visitors encounter various relics associated with Atisha, including his coats. Since the monk came from Bengal and is still revered there, the local government campaigned for the protection of the complex at the time of the Cultural Revolution so that it is still very well preserved today. The buildings are decorated with many wall paintings, which depict Buddha, Atisha, and Tara in natural earth colours. The large porch and the beautiful symmetrical windows are also striking.

11. Palubuk temple

palubuk temple

The small Palubuk temple was carved into the rock on the hill Chakpori, located near the Potala Palace in Lhasa and has been preserved as one of the rarest temple forms over the millennia. The temple cave takes up an area of 27m² and is decorated with innumerable stone statues. Towards the exit, the visitor first encounters other statues and, soon afterwards, beautiful Buddhist stone paintings. A small building closes the entrance from the outside.

12. Tsurphu monastery

sleeping child

The Tsurphu Monastery is located 70km northeast of Lhasa at 4480m altitude and is the residence of the Karmapa Lama. Karmapa is the head of the Karmapa sect and the third-highest spiritual leader in Tibet. A wonderfully decorated gold roof adorns the massive Zhiwa Tratsang with the main assembly hall. On-wall, paintings show the Karmapa Lamas following one another. 

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Shamil Hasanli

Shamil is from Azerbaijan. During his childhood, he was interested in geography and knew the world map by heart. Now, he is a young student and likes to travel and explore new places. His biggest dream is to visit extraordinary but lesser-known destinations and make these popular among all.

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