To Lhasa

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My first ever photo from an aeroplane.  I practically had to sit in the lap of the elderly Tibetan in the window seat to do it

 

My only excuse is that I hadn't seen the sun since we left home 

 
Nyetang Drolma Ladhuang shrine festooned with white prayer scarves a stop on the way from the airport into Lhasa

When one flies into Lhasa the "Land of the Gods" on the "Roof of the World", one is advised to take things very easy for a day or two.  Even to the extent of not using up precious energy talking.  Well...with the Potala Palace just a short walk away who could rest? 

Standing at last in front of the Potala I had at my back a vast square culminating in the "Memorial to the Liberation of Tibet".  Erected in 2002 it is said to have been inspired by Mount Everest


 

 

Construction of the Potala began in 1645 during the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama 

8500 workers, craftsmen and artists laboured to build the white palace followed three years later by the red palace 

It escaped major damage during the Tibetan uprising and again in the 1960's and 70's when Chou En Lai is though to have intervened to prevent it's destruction by Red Guards

Walking To The Barkhor

Rebuilding in traditional style

It's never hard to find men playing pool or cards

 

At least as interested in us as we in them


 

 
The Barkhor

 An area of narrow streets and a huge modern square in the center of the old heart of the city where spiritual and commercial go hand in hand.  It surrounds the Jokhang, Tibet's oldest and holiest Buddhist temple

Pilgrims come from all over Tibet to perform Kora by making a walking circumambulation of the temple

 
Performing Kora in not necessarily a solemn  occasion, there is plenty of time for conversation and laughter
The bangdian (apron) indicates a woman is married
 
 

 
Khampa women wear coral & turquoise in their hair

Their men, red braid and tassels in theirs

 

Young monks were resplendent  in their new robes

Winter was coming and there were plenty of skins to line the distinctive long sleeved Tibetan chuba overcoats
At the request of the Dalai Lama they are avoiding the use of fur, particularly from endangered species
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