Tibet is harsh and primordial. Guarded by passes and blessed by wispy prayer flags, it is often painted as Shangri-La of cliff-hanging monasteries and a culture looked in eternal mysticism. For most travelers, Tibet is Lhasa. This ancient capital, lying high up in the wild of the Kyi Chu River valley (3600m) is Tibet’s sacred city. And we put it, a visit to its numerous temples and shrine is an integral part of any journey to this land.
Lhasa evolution into the spiritual and temporal centre of the Buddhist Kingdom was set off by King Srongtsen Gyampo. In the Seventh Century, he built its principal temple, the Jokhang and also laid the foundations of other ancient edifices, including the original Potala Palace, Pabonka Dragla ludug and others- hallowed pilgrim sites venerated to this day.
The Jokhang, Tibet’s most sacred monastery, and perhaps its first significant religious institution, is the spiritual center of Tibet and the heart of Lhasa. Perhaps more frequently associated with the Lhasa is the legendary and magical Potala, the ancient seat of hte Dalai Lama, the god king of Tibet. Perched majestically on the Marpo Ri (Red Hill), the multi – Storied edifice flowers over the city like a celestial realm suspended in the air. It emboides the finest 17th centuary Tibetan architecture and is best admired from the outside by following the pilgrims progress around it. Inside, the superb sense of space reveals the enormity of the structure and its special relationship with Lhasa. The view of the city from its roof is sikply breathtaking.