No matter where you stand in the city,
the Potala Palace, the highest evidence of Buddhism in the world, can
always be seen, situated atop the holy Red Mountain, a constant
reminder that you are in the very center of the Tibetan Buddhist
Lhasa is officially the capital city of
the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the political, economic and cultural
center of Tibet. But all these come second to the important role
that Lhasa plays as the religious center of the Tibetan world. A
throng of pilgrims from all directions arrive here, kowtowing towards
Lhasa every three steps, towards their life long destination of the
golden roof of the Jokhang Temple. A glimpse of these people allows
for an understanding of the importance that Lhasa holds in the
heart of the Tibetan people.
Three out of the six most important
Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries are in Lhasa. Almost one
third of Tibetan Lamas practice and live in Lhasa, home to some of the
world's richest religious relics. These facts alone cannot
sufficiently illustrate the importance of the city in religious terms.
Only by exposing oneself to the sophisticated and well established
religious atmosphere of Lhasa can you truly understand the existence
and the everlasting spirit of the Tibetan people.
City of the Sun
Mixed with the fragrant smoke from yak
butter candles lit throughout the temples and households of this holy
city, the dazzling sunshine in Lhasa adds to the religious holiness of
this Buddhist center. Under the brilliant sun, the gold gilded roofs
of the temples shine under the clear blue sky. The green fields, black
yak cattle and white snow-capped mountains within sight all help to
make this is a wonderfully picturesque spot.
Although not officially the highest point
in Tibet, 3700m-high-Lhasa is probably the closest spot to the holy
Buddhist world and the city enjoys 3000 hours of sunshine a year. In
all seasons, there is hardly a cloud in the sky and, even when it
rains, this rarely lasts for long. Sunshine and clear blue sky are
guaranteed gifts for visitors to this city.
However, visitors should be aware of the
dangers involved in sunbathing here. make sure you carry plenty of
drinking water, sunglasses and sun block at all times.