Norbulingka was constructed in 1755 and is the palace with a surrounding park in Lhasa. Norbulingka was the traditional summer residence of the successive Dalai Lamas from the 1780’s right up until the 14th Dalai Lama's exile in 1959. Norbulingka is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was added as an extension of this Historic Ensemble in 2001. It was built by the 7th Dalai Lama and served both as an administrative centre and religious centre. Today it is a unique representation of Tibetan palace architecture, or known as norbulingka summer palace Lhasa.
The Norbulingka Palace in Tibetan means “Treasure Park” and is the largest man-made park in Tibet. The palace first underwent renovations in 2003 and has continued to be restored and expanded to its present day glory. One of the highlights of the Norbulingka park has to be its extravagant architectural style which exhibits both temple and villa designs. Whilst on visit to this magical location the viewing of norbulingka murals located in the northern and southern halls are a must see as it illustrates the rich Tibetan history and heritage.
Norbulingka Palace is situated in the west side of Lhasa, a short distance to the southwest of Potala Palace. Norbulingka covers an area of around 36 hectares and considered to be the largest man made garden in Tibet.
Norbulingka park is considered the premier park of all such horticultural parks in similar ethnic settings in Tibet. During the summer and autumn months, the parks in Tibet, including the Norbulinga, become hubs of entertainment with dancing, singing, music and festivities. The park is where the annual Sho Dun or 'Yoghurt Festival' is held.
The Norbulingka palace has been mostly identified with the 13th and the 14th Dalai Lamas who commissioned most of the structures seen here now. During the invasion of Tibet in 1950, a number of buildings were damaged, but were rebuilt beginning in 2003, when the Chinese government initiated renovation works here to restore some of the damaged structures, and also the greenery, the flower gardens and the lakes.
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