Lhasa attractions

Top Choice Palace in Lhasa

Potala Palace

The magnificent Potala Palace, once the seat of the Tibetan government and the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas, is Lhasa's cardinal landmark. Your first sight of its towering, fortress-like walls is a moment you…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Lhasa

Jokhang Temple

The 1300-year-old Jokhang Temple is the spiritual heart of Tibet: the continuous waves of awestruck pilgrims prostrating themselves outside are a testament to its timeless allure. The central golden Buddha image her…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Main Assembly Hall

The main assembly hall, or Tsogchen, is the principal structure in the Drepung complex and is the one chapel you must not miss. The hall is reached through an entrance on the western side, just past a wonderful medi…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Sera Monastery

Sera Je College

This is the largest of Sera’s colleges, generally accessed from a western side entrance. It has a breathtaking main hall, hung with thangkas and lit by shafts of light from high windows. Several chörtens hold the re…
Top Choice Mausoleum in Ganden Monastery

Tomb of Tsongkhapa

The red, fortress-like structure of Tsongkhapa’s mausoleum is probably the most impressive of the reconstructed buildings at Ganden. It’s above a prominent white chörten. Red Guards destroyed both the original tomb …
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Sera Monastery

Main Assembly Hall

The main assembly hall (Tsogchen) is the largest of Sera’s buildings and dates to 1710. The central hall is particularly impressive and is noted for its wall-length thangkas and two-storey statue of Jampa. To the le…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Ganden Monastery

Assembly Hall

The recently renovated tsogchen (assembly hall) has statues of the 16 arhats (literally ‘worthy ones’) and two huge statues of Tsongkhapa (only visible from upstairs). Stairs lead up to the inner sanctum: the Ser Tr…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Main Debating Courtyard

If you’re here in the afternoon, save some time to watch the monk debating (lots of shouting, hand slapping and gesticulation) between 2.30pm and 4pm in the main debating courtyard in the northeastern corner of the …
Top Choice Historic Site in Lhasa

Chagpo Ri Rock Carvings

This hidden corner of Lhasa features more than 5000 painted rock carvings that were created on the back side of Chagpo Ri over the course of a millennium. Throughout the day, pilgrims perform full-body prostrations …
Buddhist Monastery in Lhasa

Drepung Monastery

Along with Sera and Ganden Monasteries, Drepung functioned as one of the three 'pillars of the Tibetan state', and it was purportedly the largest monastery in the world, with around 7000 resident monks at its peak. …