Shrine at Norbulingka Park in Lhasa, Tibet

Buddhist pond shrine in Norbulinka, Lhasa
Buddhist shrine at Norbulinga's precious stone garden in Lhasa Tibet
Buddhist shrine at Norbulinga’s precious stone garden in Lhasa Tibet

A Buddhist shrine in the middle of palace pond in Lhasa Tibet

Norbulingka was the summer residence of the Dali Lama’s in Tibet from the 1780s to the Dali Lamas exile in 1959. It’s located close the main Potala Palace in Lhasa. The palace actually existed in different forms in the preceding centuries.

What’s lesser known is that within the palace grounds are pristine and well preserved gardens. It’s in these gardens that there’s a picturesque pond, bridge and this elegant shrine.

Interestingly Norbulingka is known as “The Jeweled Park” while the gardens themselves are often translated as “Precious stone park” or “Treasure Garden”. The reason is due to the main colorful flowers, fauna, animals and decor around the park.

Modern changes at the Norbulingka pond shrine

Interestingly the pond and garden predated the palace and the previous palaces of the Dalai Lhama. As such UNESCO listed it as a world heritage site. Less than 2 years later the area was intensively renovated by the Chinese in the early and turned into public park. Today many commercial shops surround the area and small electric cars cart tourists around.

Buddhist pond shrine in Norbulinka, Lhasa

Visiting Tibet today is becoming somewhat easier. The largest obstacle remains obtaining both a Chinese tourist visa and Tibet Permit. The only was this can occur is via a fixed tour. Independent travel is not allowed in Tibet. Package holidays to China and Tibet are easy to find online but quite restrictive. An alternative is the newly reopen overland route from Nepal to Tibet.

Every year during the holidays I publish 12 days of photographs from around the world. It offers a short break from the hustle, bustle and stress this time of the year can often bring. A collection of photographs from my journey that will hopefully distract, inspire and show you some unique and interesting places. I hope you enjoy!

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