Welcome to Norbulingka
Norbulingka Palace, situated in the west side of Lhasa, is just around 1 km southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka, meaning “Treasure Park”, covers an area of around 360,000 sq. m. and is considered to be the biggest man made garden in Tibet. You will be amazed to know that there are more than 370 rooms inside its premises. Norbulingka is called Summer Palace because after the 7th Lama, Dalai Lamas used to visit here during summer to hold religious and government related activities. As a part of "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace", UNESCO added Norbulingka in its list of world heritage sites.
The area on which Norbulingka stands today used to be a wasteland full of weeds and wild animals. The 7th Dalai Lama often visited the place and spent his time here. Seeing this, the Qing magistrate ordered for a palace to be built in the garden. The construction of the palace started in the 1740s and named the garden Norbulingka. In 1751, the 7th Dalai Lama himself started the construction of his own palace called Kelsang Potrang inside Norbulingka itself. In its life span of more than 200 years, Norbulingka has seen a lot of construction on it. The 8th Dalai Lama built a lake and a group of buildings called C. Each Dalai Lama had a building built for himself and named them.
Norbulingka Garden is dotted with many palaces built by different Dalai Lamas who came after the 7th Dalai Lama and spend time here in the summers. Each Palace here is divided into three sections. The first palace that came up in Norbulingka was Kelsang Potrang, which is a perfect example of yellow hat architecture. Built by the 7th Dalai Lama, this is a 3-floor building which has bedrooms, reading rooms, worship halls and a sanctuary as well. The next one built by the 8th Dalai Lama named Tyoksil Potrang is a palace that will mesmerize you the most as it is known for its architectural splendor. The garden, over the years has become a great picnic spot for the locales and an absolute gem for theaters performances and also for holding dance and music festival, especially the Sho Dun Festival. Come and join the scores of people who come here days before and set up a camp to enjoy the peak of summers, which is an absolute pleasure.
Admission fee: RMB 2 yuan for Tibetans, RMB 70 yuan for each tourist.
Opening hours: 09:00~12:00 in the morning, 15: 00~16:00 in the afternoon