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Home Travel in Tibet Magic Tibet Ⅲ-- Norbulingka
Magic Tibet Ⅲ-- Norbulingka
Travel in Tibet

Norbulingka (luó bù lín kǎ 罗布林卡), means 'Treasure Park' in Tibet (xī zàng 西藏), is situated in the western suburb of Lhasa City (lā sà shì 拉萨市), at the bank of the Kyichu River (jí qū hé 吉曲河). Norbulingka is a palace and surrounding park in Lhasa, Tibet which served as the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas (dá lài lǎ mā 达赖喇嘛) from the 1780s up until the PRC takeover in the late 1950s. Each summer, the Dalai Lama led his officials there to conduct government affairs and hold religious activities.

When the seventh Dalai Lama was studying Buddhism in the Drepung Monastery (zhé bèng sì 哲蚌寺) , he always came to the western suburb of Lhasa to spend the summer. In the 1740s the Qing officials built the first building in Norbulingka for him. After multiple expansions, it now covers an area altof 360, 000 square meters (88.9 acres). In his later years, the seventh Dalai built the first palace there, Kelsang Potrang, and named the area Norbulingka. With the approval of the Qing Government (qīng zhèng fǔ 清政府), he came to Norbulingka each summer to conduct official affairs. In the following 200 years, continuous construction took place in the area. Beside a lake, the eighth Dalai Lama built a group of buildings called Tsokyil Potrang (cuò jí pō zhāng 措吉颇章), which are thought to be the most beautiful places in Norbulingka today. The thirteenth Dalai Lama built Golden Linka (jīn sè pō zhāng gōng 金色颇章宫) and Chensel Potrang and the fourteenth Dalai Lama built Takten Migyur Potrang (dá dàn míng jiǔ pō zhāng 达旦明久颇章), which is also called the New Summer Palace (xīn gōng 新宫), means 'Eternal Palace' (yǒng héng bù biàn gōng 永恒不变宫) in Tibetan. The architecture has combined the characteristics of temple and villa and is more magnificent than other palaces. The exquisite murals in the palace are well worth a mention and visit. The murals in the northern hall show the kind, calm Sakyamuni and his eight contemplative disciples. However, the murals in the southern hall vividly tell the development of Tibet in comic strips.


There are large areas of green woods, grasses, and various flowers adorning the buildings, and yellow tiles and golden roofs add radiance and beauty to the red and white walls.

The earliest building is the Kelsang Potrang Palace (gé sāng pō zhāng  格桑颇章, xián jié gōng 贤劫宫) built by Kelzang Gyatso. The 'New Palace' was begun in 1954 by the present Dalai Lama and completed in 1956. It contains chapels, gardens, fountains and pools. To the west the Kelsang Potrang built by Seventh Dalai Lama is 'a beautiful example of Yellow Hat architecture. Its fully restored throne room is also of interest'.

In the past, Norbulingka was a place for Dalai Lamas and high officials only; civilians were not allowed to go in. But now it has become a public park, where people can visit and spend holidays. Norbulingka is the busiest during the Shoton Festival, when Tibetan operas are given by different troupes and almost all families.

There is also a zoo at Norbulingka, originally to keep the animals which were given to the Dalai Lama. Heinrich Harrer helped the 14th Dalai Lama build a small movie theatre there in the 1950s.

altThe palace is located three kilometers west of the Potala Palace which was the winter palace. Additional buildings were added to the park during the first half of the 20th century. In 2001, UNESCO inscribed Norbulingka on its World Heritage Site as part of the 'Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace'.

Admission Fee: RMB 60
Opening Hours: 09:00 -- 12:00, 15: 00 -- 16:00
Bus Route: From the Tibetan Hospital to the gate. RMB 2/person.