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Norbu Lingka and the Dragon King Pool
 

Norbu Lingka and the Dragon King Pool

There are many gardens in Lhasa which in Tibetan are called “lingka” In the past monks and lay officials used these gardens to avoid the heat of summer, and most were owned by monk officials, lay officials, noble families and the monasteries. The Norbu Lingka, the summer and autumn retreat for the Dalai Lama, is one such garden, hence the name “Dalai Summer Palace.”

Farmers  visting the Norbu LingkaNorbu Lingka means “treasure garden” in tibetan. Located about one kilometer west of the Potala Palace, it used to be covered by marshland. In the mid-18th century, the 7th Dalai Lama, who was suffering from leg problems, often went for a dip in the fountain. The Qing Dynasty High Commissioner in Tibet ordered tents to be erected in the fountain area so that the 7th Dalai Lama could rest and recite sutras. This was the origin of the Norbu Lingka. In 1755, the 7th Dalai Lama had the Galsang Phodrang Palace built in the area. During the period of the 8th Dalai Lama, the Cogyi Phodrang Palace (Lake Center Palace) and areas for Buddhist teaching and recitation were also constructed. The Gyianse Phodrang Palace, Galsang Degyi Palace and Qimei Qoigyi Palace were built in the western part of the garden during the time of the 13th Dalai Lama, and the Daain Norbu  LingkaMyingquelin (Eternally Unchanging Palace) was added at the time of the 14th Dalai Lama. As a result of all these efforts, the Norbu Lingka is today a large garden containing palaces in various traditions, villas, pavilions, waterside pavilions, lawns dotted with flowers, fruit trees and gushing fountains. It is now a park and museum open to the general public, and celebrations are held there during festivals and holidays.

The Dragon King Pool refers to the Zongjaolukang or the Temple of the Dragon King behind the Potala Palace. when the 5th Dalai Lama decided to rebuild the Potala Palace, stone and clay were collected and gradually a pool full of water was formed. During the time of the 6th Dalai Lama, the Temple of the Dragon King was built on a small island in the center of the pool and was intended to house the statue of the Dragon Maid Seqen in Maizhokunggar, hence the name the Dragon King Pool. In the following years, numerous trees were planted, and pavilions and bridges were built in the area. During the Dawa Festival that falls on the 15th day of the 4th month in the Tibetan calendar, the people of Lhasa sail boats in the pool or picnic on its banks.

 

 

 

 
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