Friday, March 12, 2010

Picture Day Friday

Dalai Lama's Potala Palace in Tibet copyright by Sacred Sites

In 637, Emperor Songtsen Gampo built a palace on the hill that is considered to be the dwelling place of the Bodhisattva Chenresi (Avilokiteshvara). From as early as the eleventh century the palace was called Potala, deriving from Mt. Potala, the mythological mountain abode of the Avilokiteshvara in southern India. The Potrang Karpo, or White Palace, was added to the original buildings during the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama from 1645 to 1648. The Potrang Marpo, or Red Palace, was added between 1690 and 1694. Future Dalai Lamas continued the work of addition, change, and repair of the palace buildings. Today, the interior space is more than 130,000 square meters.

Fulfilling numerous functions, the Potala is first and foremost the residence of the Dalai Lama and his large staff. In addition, it is the seat of the Tibetan government, where all ceremonies of state are held; it houses a school for religious training of monks and administrators; and it is one of Tibet's major pilgrimage destinations, because of the tombs of the past Dalai Lamas, the venerated statue of the Arya Lokeshvara, and dwelling spot of the Avilokiteshvara.

(Currently, while the Potala stands majestically atop its hill overlooking Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, all the functionality mentioned above has shifted to Dharamshala in the Himachal Pradesh state of India due to conflict with the Chinese government.)


Lorie McCown said...

what a great post and blog you have! I sure enjoyed reading this. And I was going to blog about turpentine today.. *rethinking that one!* :DD

Anna Campbell said...

What a spectacular shot, Keira!

Keira Soleore said...

Fo, isn't it a glorious shot with the magnificient Himalayas in the background?! When I saw it, for the first time, I understood the phrase "it took my breath away."

Lorie, welcome to my blog. Heh, on the turpentine. If you were about to write a painting blog, well, then, turpentine would be the most crucial thing you could write about. :)

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