外文标题：One Month Family Trip to Xinjiang, China's Central Asia and incredible Tibet
Our first destination of the day was Potala Palace followed by Sera Monastery. Potala Palace got into the list of UNESCO World Heritage site list in last decade of last century.This is winter palace of the Dalai Lama since 7th Century CE, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. Potala now a days run by Chinese Govt and practicing of Buddhism is banned inside the palace. It's a 13 - storey castle, almost 120 meter high built with rammed earth, wood and stone, this amazing palace contains 1000 rooms and thought to house 10000 shrines and 200000 statues, more than thriving religious place, it's look more like museum to me under Chinese Governancne where most of the palace and rooms were closed for visitors.
It's quite costly to enter in Potala and current entrance fees was 200 CNY and that too very limitedly sold only day before the visit, so unless your agent could manage this, visiting this place is quite difficult. We spent almost whole morning here.
Afternoon we visited Sera, one the three greatest Gelukpa Monsatic Citadels close to Lhasa (Other two ate Drepung and Ganden). They all were established in early 15th Century, Sera was built in 1419 and it's population was around 7000 monks.The monastery was famous for its fighting monks, who spent years perfecting martial arts. They were hired out in ancient Tibetan army. One of the biggest attraction of Sera is Tibetan Style debating, which takes place in the afternoon between 2 to 3pm. They debate religious and philosophical questions in the Tibetan style of slapping the palm of the hand to make a point. Monastic Debateing is the method used for passing the exams to obtain monastic degrees but now a days this is completely controlled and monitored by civil dressed Chinese army and police and remain as a shadow of its past.
We came back to our hotel by evening and took rest as tomorrow our plan was visit the holiest lake of Tibet, Nam Tso.
The inside of Tibetan House:
Our Hotel, Shambala Palace, an excellent Tibetan style hotel to stay in Lhasa, thanks to Woeser for choosing this hotel for us:
Tibetan style is preserved even inside the hotel room at Shambala Palace, Lhasa:
China Post Office, Lhasa, a typical Chinese styled building:
Lhasa road in morning:
Potala Palace, an UNESCO World Heritage Site: