Deyang Shar


Entry to the Potala is up two steep access ramps that will soon leave you wheezing in the oxygen-depleted air. The stairs lead past the ticket office to the large Deyang Shar, the external courtyard of the White Palace. At the top of the triple stairs leading up to the White Palace, look out for the golden handprints of the fifth Dalai Lama on the wall to the left.

Murals to the north depict Songtsen Gampo’s original Potala, the construction of the Jokhang and the transfer of the Jowo Sakyamuni statue there. The beating of two horse-skin drums here once marked the evening closure of the Potala's gates.

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