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Top 10 treasures inside Potala Palace

03-28-2011 09:10 BJT

Perched on top of Hongshan Mountain in the center of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, 3,600 meters above sea level, Potala Palace was first built in 641 by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo to greet his bride Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It then became the chief residence of the Dalai Lama after it was reconstructed by the Fifth Dalai Lama between 1645 and 1693.

Potala Palace is home to a large number of gems and gold treasures. A full counting of them would take several years. It is no exaggeration to say that Potala Palace is held up by gold, which explains its inscription to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1994. Check out the top 10 treasures you cannot miss when visiting the palace.

NO.10 Statue of Marici

Marici, the Buddhist goddess of light, appears sitting on an open lotus on the back of a boar. The gold statue was a royal artwork of the Ming Dynasty. It measures 29 centimeters tall, and each of Marici's eight arms holds a Buddhist instrument, while her three faces indicates the original looks of the goddess. The goddess's upper body is decorated only with a glittering necklace. The statue is regarded as a perfect match of Han and Tibetan Buddhist arts and was exhibited at the Forbidden City in 1992.

NO.9 Statue of Acala Vajra

The Statue of Acala Vajra was made in the 15th century and measures 26 centimeters tall. Acala Vajra was a Buddhist warrior who is believed to be the reincarnation of the angry Mitukpa. In this statue, he raises a sword over his head with his right hand and wraps a vajra rope around his left arm. His lower body and kneeling position suggest that he is prepared to jump to fight at any time.

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