Tibet: Tibet was declared an autonomous region of People’s Republic of China in 1965. Most of the times, autonomous regions are the ones whose majority population is that of an ethnic minority group. These regions have their own local government. The administrative capital of Tibet is Lhasa, a prefecture- level city.
Geography: Located on Tibetan Plateau, the city Lhasa falls into the Chengguan District of the region. It is the second most populous city in the Tibetan plateau consisting of a majority of Chinese Ethnic groups like the Han and Hui. Lhasa is also one of the highest cities in the world located at an elevation of approximately 3600 meters from sea- level.
The famous Lhasa River also flows through the city. It is a major tributary of the Brahmaputra River, also known as Yarlung Tsangpo River. The Lhasa River is 450 kilometers long and offers remarkable scenic areas throughout its course.
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Climate: With an annual mean temperature of 8.79 degrees, it is quite evident that due to its location at high altitude, the climate of Lhasa is semi- arid climate with freezing winters and mild summers. While summer receives the most amount rainfall sometimes even resulting in flooding of the Lhasa River. The highest daily average temperature of the city has been recorded in June as 16.5 degrees and the lowest in January as -0.3 degrees.
Attractions in Lhasa: The name ‘Lhasa’ literally means ‘Place of the Gods’ which makes it quite obvious that Lhasa is a famous place for the remarkable temples and monasteries it consists of. Some of the iconic places from architectural as well as historical point of view are:
Potala Palace: Inscribed as a UNESCO World’s Heritage Site in 1994, The Potala Palace is of great historical and architectural interest as it was built in 637. It is thirteen stories high with 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and about 200,000 statues. The Palace is subdivided into two smaller palaces, each dedicated to serving a specific purpose. The subdivisions are The White Palace (It was used as the living quarters, offices and. the seminary etc.) and The Red Palace(Dedicated purely for the purpose of Buddhist worship, containing sacred gold stupas, chapels, shrines and assembly halls for monks etc.)
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Jokhang Temple: Located 1,000 meters away from Potala Palace, the place is a famous and most sacred temple of Lhasa. It is also famous as “Spiritual Heart of the City”. The temple is famous for its unique mixture of Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese architecture.
Sera Monastery: Built on a mighty area of 28 acres, it is of the great three Gelug university monasteries of Tibet. The other two are known as the Ganden and Drepung Monasteries. The significant attractions of the temple are its scriptures written in gold powder and beautiful statues embedded with the amazing traditional architecture of the monastery.
Norbulingka: It is a park whose name means “The Jeweled Park.” It is also included in UNESCO World’s Heritage Sites and served as the grand residence of Dalai Lama of Tibet. The place is famous for its traditional Tibetan architecture.
Lhasa offers a pleasant weather in summers for its visitors. With many places of historic and amazing architectural interest, Lhasa should be one of the places to visit for people having the love for history, unique architecture and traveling.
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