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"Potala - The Stupas" Lhasa Things to Do Tip by Maria81

Lhasa Things to Do: 188 reviews and 393 photos

  Stupa of the 5th Dalai Lama (postcard scan)
by Maria81

Inside the Potala Palace, there are eight stupa-tomb chapels - each housing a three-tier stupa monument where the relics of the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and the Thirteenth Dalai Lamas are buried (the stupa of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama stands separately from the others and you need to be with either a monk or a guide to access it). The stupa funeral was unique to high ranking lamas - even holy people were usually buried following the traditional practice of sky burial.

The stupas themselves are richly decorated with ornamental motifs, as well as amber, pearl, coral, agate, diamond and other precious stones, as well as gold foil and sandalwood.

Stupa of the 5th Dalai Lama was the first to be built and is still the largest, reaching to almost 50 feet. It holds mummified and perfumed body of the Fifth Dalai Lama, as well as Buddhist relics, including the thumb of Sakyamuni, the Supreme Buddha.

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  • Updated Nov 9, 2011
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