Walking around the Potala Palace and Lukhang park during your Tibet trip

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When we talk about autumn, you may think about the fallen leaves, golden fields or pumpkins. As a fascinating season, autumn has a unique beauty of the nature. During your Tibet trip or just after the visit to the Potala Palace, we highly recommend you to take a walk around the Potala Palace and Lukang park because the Lukhang park is the most beautiful park in Lhasa city with a long history and lots of greenery and trees inside the park.

Walking around the Potala Palace and Lukhang park takes you around one hour and you will have a great view of the backside of the Potala Palace which is located in the rocky hillside, known as Marpo Ri in Tibetan which means a red hill. While you are walking around the Potala Palace, you will see lots of pilgrims walking around the Potala Palace, spinning the prayer wheals, whispering the Mantra of Avaloktesvara or the god of compassion because Tibetans believe walking around the temple or Palaces can gain merit for them. After around 15 minutes walk from the front gate of the Potala Palace, you will get to the entry gate to the Lukhang temple. The Lukhang temple (Zong gyob Lukhang in Tibetan) is one of the well-known ancient architecture in Lhasa, located in the center of the Lukhang park.

There is a beautiful pond in the center of the park and according to the history, the pond was made up of during the construction of the Potala Palace in around 17th century. During the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama, the Potala Palace was rebuilt to the present site and at that time, they used soil for the construction of the Potala Palace from Lukhang park so the pond that we can see today was inside the Lukhang park since then.

In the middle of the pond, there is a small beautiful Naga temple which is considered to be the Palace of the Naga king. It is worthwhile for you to visit the temple during your walk around the Potala Palace because you can enjoying being with Tibetan pilgrims inside the temple and visit this small and unique sacred Naga temple.

In the olden days, Lukhang was a place where local Tibetans went to take pilgrimage to the Naga Kings but nowadays, it is not only the pilgrimage site for Tibetans but also a very famous park where people go for picnic, dancing, morning exercising etc. Younger people go to Lukhang park on dates where older people go to Lukhang temple for worship. While you are walking around the Lukhang park, you can also see some Tibetans who are selling their local products. Most of those products are very unique and organic where the villagers near Lhasa bring to sell because many Lhasa residents like to buy their goods especially, when they bring something to eat such as fresh vegetables, organic eggs, homemade breads, seasonal mushroom etc because they are homemade and organic. 

Walking around the Potala Palace and Lukhang park is a very interesting sightseeing because the walking pedestrian and Lukhang park is a very less touristic area where you can see lots of Tibetan pilgrims doing Kora around the Naga temple and there are lots of local Tibetans who are singing, taking Tibetan traditional circle dance. At the same time, you can also go to a typical Tibetan traditional tea house inside the Lukhang park and can have a great opportunity of being with locals, communicating with local Tibetans in the tea house. You can share the different culture and life experience between Tibetan and westerners which can give you an authentic experience during your Tibet trip.   

You can visit Lukhang temple and there is no entry ticket charge. The temple is usually opened from 9.30 in the morning till 2.30 in the afternoon. The main statue in the temple is a statue of Naga king and the three walls inside the temple has extreme beautiful Tibetan wall painting of tantric practice that tells about Yogis engaged in exercises. 

After visiting the temple of Naga King, you can continue your walk around the Potala Palace, exiting through the southern gate of Lukhang park. As soon as you exit the park, you can see a small chapel just on your right hand side, located to the foot of the south eastern hill of the Potala Palace which is the branch of Michong Ri nunnery. Michong Ri is a small nunnery located on the eastern hill side of Lhasa city and if you had more time in Lhasa during your Tibet trip, it is also recommendable to have a day hike to this small nunnery because from the top of the nunnery, you can enjoy an extremely beautiful view of the entire Lhasa city with an awesome golden roof of the Potala Palace and Jokang temple.

You can visit the chapel and there is no entry ticket charge. There are a few nuns inside the chapel and you can see nuns chanting everyday if you went there right time. There are some historical rock carving statues, such as statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, statues of Avaloktesvara, or the God of compassion in thousand arms and thousand eyes and they all are every unique and look very old and sacred to the Tibetans. After visiting the chapel, you will continue your walk around the Potala Palace and reach the Potala square again. You can enjoy a great view of the Potala Palace once again and you might like to take another photo with the Potala. After your one hour walk around the Potala Palace with local Tibetans, you can go back to your hotel by walk if you are staying in the old section of the city near Bharkor and Jokang temple because it is just around 20 minutes walk. If you are staying far away from the city center, then we recommend you to take a taxi which cost you 10RMB inside the city.

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