The highlights in Lhasa are the palace of the Dalai Lama (the Potala), the Jokhang (the most revered temple in Tibetan Buddhism), and the Summer palace of the Dalai Lama (the Norbulingka). Just outside is the Drepung Monastery, once the worlds largest monastery with some 10,000 monks. The Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Temples, Monasteries, and Fortresses

Fortress Airport Lhasa Destroyed
A fortress near the airport of Lhasa. It was destroyed by the Chinese when they invaded Tibet in 1952. (875k)
Buddha Statue Bhumisparsha Mudra
A Buddha statue with the Bhumisparsha Mudra carved out of a wall. It is from the 11th century. It is on the road from the airport to Lhasa. (820k)
Arrangements Sticks Prayer Flags
These arrangements of sticks and prayer flags can be seen everywhere in Tibet. (1204k)
View Barkhor Square Jokhang
A view of Barkhor Square with the Jokhang in the background. (717k)
Jokhang Holiest Tibetan Temples
The Jokhang, the holiest of Tibetan Temples, viewed from Barkhor Square. (850k)
Big Incense Burners Front
One of the big incense burners in front of the Jokhang. (815k)
Yak Butter Lights Prayer
Yak butter lights in a prayer room in front of the Jokhang. (641k)
Barkhor Square Incense Burners
Barkhor Square with the incense burners in front of the Jokhang going full blast. (550k)
View Barkhor Kora Pilgrimage
View of the Barkhor Kora, the pilgrimage circuit around the Jokhang. This is the most important pilgrimage circuit in Tibet. It is full of stalls of various vendors. (1021k)
Potala Palace Dalai Lama
The Potala, the palace of the Dalai Lama. (846k)
View Potala Potala Square
View of the Potala from Potala Square. (970k)
Potala Over Modern Downtown
The Potala over modern downtown Lhasa. (1.8M)
View Norbulingka Summer Palace
View of the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. (948k)
Huge Prayer Wheel Top
A huge prayer wheel on top one of the buildings of the summer palace. (601k)
Small Temple Park Around
A small temple in the park around the summer palace. (1305k)
View Over Drepung Monastery
View over the Drepung monastery. (1220k)
Main Building Drepung Monastery
The main building in the Drepung monastery. Note the mirrors in the yard. (774k)
Closeup Mirrors Used Collect
A closeup of one of the mirrors. They are used to collect sunlight to heat water for tea. (689k)
Roof Decoration Drepung Monastery
Roof decoration in the Drepung monastery. These little towers can be seen in many monasteries and temples. (656k)
View Chörten Stupa Prayer
A view of a chörten (stupa), prayer drums and a pilgrim in the Drepung monastery. Notice the Yak butter lubrication dripping down from the prayer drums. (878k)
Prayer Drums Drepung Monastery
Prayer drums in the Drepung monastery. (853k)
Very Old Prayer Drums
Some very old prayer drums in the Drepung monastery. (860k)
Interior Temple Drepung Monastery
The interior of a temple in the Drepung monastery. It is usually fairly dark, since the Yak butter lamps don't give much light. (537k)
Interior Drepung Monastery Note
Interior of the Drepung monastery. Note the colorful decorations. (857k)
Painting Lama Drepung Monastery
Painting of a Lama in the Drepung monastery. He is from the Yellow Hat sect of Buddhism. (980k)
Colorful Buddha Statue Temple
Colorful Buddha statue in a temple in the Drepung monastery. (1241k)
Hundreds Buddha Statues Drepung
Hundreds of Buddha statues in the Drepung monastery. Many temples have these arrays of Buddha statues. (1228k)
Prayer Books Neatly Stacked
Prayer books, neatly stacked in the Drepung monastery. They are pages, connected with fabric, and folded together. The stack of pages is then folded in cloth. This room held hundreds of these prayer books. They can be found in every temple. (760k)
Yak Butter Candles Temple
Yak butter candles in a temple in the Drepung monastery. (493k)
Worshiper Drepung Monastery If
A worshiper in the Drepung monastery. If one prayer wheel is good, two must be even better. (537k)
Worshiper Reading Buddhist Scrolls
A worshiper reading Buddhist scrolls like the one stacked in the temple. (794k)
View Mountains Behind Samye
View of the mountains behind the Samye monastery. About 2/3rd up the mountain on the left side is the 8th century Chim-puk Hermitage. (562k)
Main Building Samye Monastery
The main building of the Samye monastery. (774k)
Blue Stupa Samye Monastery
The blue stupa in the Samye monastery. (1074k)
Green Stupa Samye Monastery
The green stupa in the Samye monastery. (999k)
White Stupa Samye Monastery
The white stupa in the Samye monastery. (1073k)
Red Stupa Samye Monastery
The red stupa in the Samye monastery. (809k)
Wall Paintings Main Building
Wall paintings in the main building of the Samye monastery. (912k)
Details Buddha Paintings Samye
Details of the Buddha paintings in the Samye monastery. (771k)
Tomb Kings Chongye Valley
Tomb of the Kings in the Chongye Valley. One of the tomb from around 1000 CE. (854k)
Yumbulagang Monastery High Cliff
Yumbulagang Monastery, high on a cliff. (595k)
Getting Closer Monastery Well
Getting closer to the monastery. It was well worth the climb. (901k)
Interior Yumbulagang Monastery
Interior of the Yumbulagang Monastery. (804k)
Buddha Statue Yumbulagang Monastery
Buddha statue in the Yumbulagang Monastery. (1113k)
Buddhist Scrolls Yumbulagang Monastery
Buddhist scrolls in the Yumbulagang Monastery. (856k)
Prayer Drums Outside Yumbulagang
Prayer drums outside the Yumbulagang Monastery. (637k)
Main Temple Tandruk Monastery
Main temple in the Tandruk Monastery. (582k)
Entrance Tandruk Monastery Two
Entrance to the Tandruk Monastery with two huge prayer drums, each over 3 m (10 ft) high. (860k)
Huge Prayer Drum Front
Huge prayer drum in front of the temple in the Tandruk Monastery. (655k)
Well Tandruk Monastery Monks
A well in the Tandruk Monastery. The monks were drawing water while we were visiting. (599k)
Decorations Windows Outside Tandruk
Decorations on the windows on the outside of the Tandruk Monastery. (776k)
Huge Wood Carved Altar
A huge wood carved altar in the Tandruk Monastery. My guide said it is the largest wood-carved altar in the world. I somewhat doubt that, but it certainly is a masterpiece. (1310k)
Detail Buddha Statue Dhyana
Detail of one of the Buddha statue with the Dhyana Mudra in the wood-carved alter in the Tandruk Monastery. (1083k)
Mask Temples Tandruk Monastery
A mask in another one of the temples in the Tandruk Monastery. This was the only monastery where they had masks and masked statues. (633k)
Veiled Buddha Statue Tandruk
A veiled Buddha statue in the Tandruk Monastery. (945k)
Fortress Hill Overlooking Gyantse
A fortress on a hill overlooking Gyantse. It was destroyed by the invading Chinese and is only now being restored. (564k)
Gyantse Kumbum Largest Chörten
Gyantse Kumbum, the largest chörten (stupa) in Tibet. (850k)
Monks Temple Pelkor Chöde
Monks in a temple in the Pelkor Chöde monastery in Gyantse. They are making decorations from Yak butter. (754k)
Monk Making Yak Butter
A monk making Yak butter decorations. (712k)
Buddha Statues Lotus Throne
Buddha statues on a Lotus throne in a temple in the Pelkor Chöde monastery. (1016k)
Buddha Statue Karana Mudra
Buddha statue with the Karana Mudra holding a lotus flower in a temple in the Pelkor Chöde monastery. The colors, texture and design of this one was especially appealing to me. (1022k)
View Pelkor Chöde Monastery
View of the Pelkor Chöde monastery in Gyantse. (809k)
Mound Prayer Flags Over
Mound with prayer flags over the Pelkor Chöde monastery. (552k)
Monks Sakya Monastery
Monks in the Sakya monastery. (863k)
Roof Window Decorations Sakya
Roof and window decorations in the Sakya monastery. (939k)
Tomb Dalai Lamas Sakya
Tomb of one of the Dalai Lamas in the Sakya monastery. (1113k)
View Tashilhunpo Monastery Shigatse
View of the Tashilhunpo monastery in Shigatse. (1050k)
Tashilhunpo Monastery
In the Tashilhunpo monastery. (811k)
Inside Tashilhunpo Monastery
Inside the Tashilhunpo monastery. (1024k)
Swastika Floor Inlay Tashilhunpo
Swastika floor inlay in the Tashilhunpo monastery. (981k)
View Temples Tashilhunpo Monastery
View of one of the temples in the Tashilhunpo monastery. (722k)
View Temples Tashilhunpo Monastery
View of one of the temples in the Tashilhunpo monastery. (946k)
View Wall Covered Wall
View of a wall covered with wall paintings. (957k)
Buddha Wall Paintings Tashilhunpo
Buddha wall paintings in the Tashilhunpo monastery. (1016k)
Wall Paintings Protectors Tashilhunpo
Wall paintings of Protectors in the Tashilhunpo monastery. (1034k)
Closeup Protector Paintings
Closeup of one of the protector paintings. (982k)
Closeup Buddha Paintings Buddha
Closeup of one of the Buddha paintings with the Buddha on a Lotus throne. (883k)

People in Tibet

Tibetan Woman Lhasa
A Tibetan woman in Lhasa. (587k)
Local Woman Typical Dress
Local woman. This was the typical dress that women in the cities and villages wore. (580k)
Couple Local Men Watching
A couple of local men watching us try to fix the car, one of them with a prayer wheel. It seems as if they are using prayer wheels even in regular local life. (798k)
Family Front Sakya Monastery
A family in front of the Sakya monastery. (719k)
China Often See Men
In China you often see men relaxing like this. You have to be used to sitting down like that with your feet flat on the floor. (1209k)
School Kids
School kids. (563k)
School Girls Uniform Playing
School girls in uniform playing in the street. (701k)
Local Street Scene Pool
Local street scene with pool tables outside. (1.7M)
Bottles Stored Bar Notice
Bottles stored in a bar. Notice the Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon. The bottles lying in the rack are beer bottles, not wine bottles. (1.9M)
Local Family High Valleys
Local family in one of the high valleys. (912k)
Local Nomads High Valleys
Local nomads in one of the high valleys. (874k)
Life Stock Herd High
Life stock herd in one of the high valleys. (933k)
Yak Herd Local Nomads
Yak herd and local nomads in a high mountain valley. (769k)
Farm Work Notice Colorful
Farm work. Notice the colorful decorations on the animal. (962k)
Local Passengers Waiting Bus
Local passengers waiting for their bus to continue. (633k)
Local Man Waiting Bus
Local man waiting for the bus to continue. He was of a different ethnic background. (731k)
Pilgrim Lhasa Prayer Wheel
A pilgrim in Lhasa with a prayer wheel. (611k)
Pilgrim Seemed Different Ethnic
Another pilgrim. This seemed to be from a different ethnic group than most Tibetans. (518k)
Older Worshiper Lhasa Prayer
An older worshiper in Lhasa. Some of the prayer wheels are very elaborate. (763k)
Old Woman Praying Prayer
An old woman, praying with her prayer wheel on her walk around the Jokhang. (710k)
Group Tibetan Monks Prayer
A group of Tibetan monks with prayer wheels. (756k)
Buddhist Monk Elaborate Prayer
A Buddhist monk with an elaborate prayer wheel. (762k)
Beggars Lhasa
Beggars in Lhasa. (694k)
Buddhist Monks Asking Alms
Buddhist monks asking for alms. (670k)
Tibetan Monk Plastic Shopping
A Tibetan monk, with a plastic shopping bag. (560k)

Roads and Transportation

Bicycle Rickshaw Lhasa
A bicycle rickshaw in Lhasa. (893k)
Hauling Sacks Hand-drawn Cart
Hauling sacks on a hand-drawn cart. A lot of transportation is done by hand. (1.9M)
Street Vendor Lhasa Selling
A street vendor in Lhasa selling vegetables and spices. (871k)
Bicycle Transport Fully Loaded
Bicycle transport, fully loaded. (1464k)
Local Transport
Local transport. (1493k)
Local Transportation Means
Local transportation means. (892k)
Street Scene Lhasa
Street scene in Lhasa. (1.5M)
Pabst Blue Ribbon Common
Pabst Blue Ribbon was one of the most common imported beers in Tibet, with lots of advertising. (809k)
Street Sign Directions Tibetan
A street sign with directions in Tibetan, Chinese, and English. (597k)
Utility Vehicle Colorfully Decorated
A utility vehicle, colorfully decorated. (876k)
Local Truck Colorfully Decorated
A local truck, colorfully decorated like many local vehicles. Notice the swastikas on the roof. (778k)
Local Transport
Local transport. (1136k)
Overland Bus Rest Stop
Overland bus at a rest stop. (653k)
Bus Way Mountain Pass
A bus on its way to the mountain pass. The peak ahead was the highest peak we saw, over 7,000 m (23,000 ft). (759k)
Our Toyota Landcruiser Broken
Our Toyota Landcruiser broken down in the middle of the road. (852k)
Main Road Along Lake
This is the main road along lake Yamdrok-tso. This is representative for the road conditions in that area. (723k)
Trucks Main Road Traffic
Trucks on the main road. Traffic on that road was pretty atrocious. (745k)
Switchback Road Leading Kamba-la
Switchback road leading up to the Kamba-la pass. (568k)
Top Kamba-la Mountain Pass
Top of the Kamba-la mountain pass in the clouds. (633k)
Prayer Flag Mound Top
Prayer flag mound on top of Kamba-la. (677k)
Snow Road Mountain Passes
Snow on the road up to one of the mountain passes. (487k)
Prayer Flags Mountain Pass
Prayer flags on a mountain pass. (858k)
Prayer Flags Top Highest
Prayer flags on top of the highest mountain pass that I drove over at 5,200 m (17,060 ft). (671k)
Truck Rolled Mountain While
This truck rolled down the mountain while trying to get by oncoming traffic on a one-lane mountain pass. (1427k)
Closeup Truck Rolled Mountain
Closeup of the truck that rolled down the mountain. (906k)
Traffic Jam One-lane Mountain
Traffic jam on a one-lane mountain pass road. It took hours to get through the oncoming traffic. (855k)
Worst Part Road Hole
This was the worst part of the road. This hole caused the hour long traffic jam. (854k)


Local Village Road Construction
Local village with road construction in the foreground. There was lots of road construction going on. (2M)
Local Store
A local store. (1467k)
Local House
A local house. (807k)
Local House
Local house. (1.6M)
Typical Tibetan House One-storied
A typical Tibetan house. They are one-storied, have few windows on the outside and are build around a courtyard. (854k)
Local House Different Style
Another local house in a different style. (1016k)
House Prayer Flags Roof
A house with prayer flags on the roof. (640k)
House Decorations Including Swastika
House decorations, including a swastika, a symbol of good luck. (558k)
Tibetans Use Everything Cattle
Tibetans use everything that their cattle provide, including cow dung. They put the cow patties on the walls of their houses to dry. They are used as fuel for heating and cooking. (1182k)

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Main page for བོད་ (Tibet)

Page last updated on Fri Feb 21 13:07:39 2020 (Mountain Standard Time)

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