Known as "The Land of The Gods" in the Tibetan language, Lhasa is one of the most alluring cities in the world. This capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region sits at 11,975 feet (3,650 meters) above sea level and enjoys 3,000 hours of annual sunshine. Its long and rich spiritual, cultural, and political history, spanning 1,300 years, makes it one of the world's most desirable cities to visit. Lhasa is filled with countless cultural and spiritual relics including Jokhang Temple, Drepong Monastery, Sera Monastery, Gandan Monastery, and Potala Palace.
Named one of the 24 historical and cultural sites of China, Potala Palace makes the UNESCO World Heritage list as a symbol of the religious and political power of the Tibetan region. The Palace houses some of the most precious sculptures, murals, scriptures, and antiques of Tibetan history. Also on the UNESCO World Heritage list is Jokhang Temple. Originally built in 647 AD, it is the center of Gelugpa Branch of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the holiest destinations to pilgrims.
Legend has it that Songtsan Gampo, leader of the Turbo tribe in the mid-seventh century, came across this marshy land of wilderness called Wotang and decided this is where he would move his kingdom. Ideally set at the base of two steep mountains, it is here he ordered the construction of Potala Palace.
Currently, the population of Lhasa is approximately 400,000, of which 87 percent are Tibetans and 180,000 are urban inhabitants. Also, because of its location in a mountain-fringed valley, be prepared for the titleitude change you are likely to experience and allow your body to adjust. Once there, you will enjoy clear blue skies and constant sunshine making views in all direction quite spectacular.