Splendor of Tibet: The Potala Palace, Jewel of the Himalayas
Author: Phuntsok Namgyal
Order No. 1008
8.5 x 11, Hardcover
160 pages, 2003
20% off: $31.96
Splendor of Tibet is a magnificent and spectacular photographic book about the Potala Palace, the palace of the Dalai Lamas.
Located at the center of Lhasa, capital of Tibet, and at an elevation of 12,139 feet (3,700 meters), this 13-story, 1,000-room colossal and majestic architectural marvel is the world's highest and largest castle palace. The structure is composed of the White Palace and the Red Palace. The former was the winter residence of the Dalai Lamas which also housed the former Tibetan government; the latter lodges primarily the tombs of the Dalai Lamas and various kinds of Buddhist shrines. With its numerous murals, paintings, Buddhist statues and scripts, the Potala Palace is also the most comprehensive art and religious treasure house of Tibet.
The Potala Palace has its origin in the seventh century when the Tibetan king Songsten Gampo ordered its construction with 999 rooms and a meditation chamber. The building was later destroyed by thunderbolts and war fires. It was not until in 1645 that the Fifth Dalai Lama decided to rebuild the palace in an effort to consolidate his theocracy. The Potala assumed its present form and scale in 1936 when the Thirteenth Dalai Lama's stupa-tomb was completed.
At the heart of Splendor of Tibet are over 150 rare and extraordinary color photographs of the Potala Palace taken with very special permissions, especially those of murals, thang-ka paintings, stupa-tombs, Buddhist statues and scriptures, porcelain vessels, enamel work, jade ware, brocade, Dalai Lamas' seals, and palace exteriors that are normally not accessible for public photography. These stunning and awe-inspiring photographs bring together a magnitude of Tibetan history, religion and culture and open the reader onto a broad spectrum of the Buddhist life and the unique custom of Tibet, making one marvel at the ornate manifestation and esoteric prophecies of the Potala Palace.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
||Phuntsok Namgyal is the deputy director of the Tibetan Cultural
Relics Administration and a member of the Chinese Association for Cultural
Relics Preservation Technology. A researcher of the Tibetan cultural heritage,
he is the author of two books: The Potala Palace: An Architectural Marvel
and Zhaxi Lhunbo Monastery: The Temple of the Penchan Lamas.
SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THE BOOK