Exploring The Potala Palace of Tibet

The Potala Palace is one of the national heritages of Tibet. A former residence of Dalai Lama, the palace has been converted into a museum for the public.


The Potala Palace

The Potala Palace was known as the winter palace of the Dalai Lama. He resided in the Potala during the winter in Tibet, and descended below to Norbulingka Palace to spend his summer.

Located at the sheer altitude of 3,700 m (12,100 ft),one can have 360 degrees view of the Lhasa city. The religious and cultural significance of the palace is immense among the locals as well as the foreigners, therefore, it is used as an ensemble or the image of Tibet.

The palace contains 698 murals, almost 10,000 painted scrolls, numerous sculptures, carpets, canopies, curtains, porcelain, jade, and fine objects of gold and silver, as well as a large collection of sutras and important historical documents.

The palace measures 400 m east-west and 350 m north-south, with stone walls averaging 3 m. thick, and 5 m. (more than 16 ft) thick at the base. It’s believed that the molten copper was poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes. 13 stories contain over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues.


The Palace was constructed in 1645 by the 5th Dalai Lama and it supposedly overlays the fortress built by King Songtsang Gompo in 637. The 5th Dalai Lama, Lozang Gyatso, began constructing a palace after the spiritual advisor Konchog Chophel pointed out that the site was ideal as a seat of government, situated as it is between Drepung and Sera monasteries and the old city of Lhasa.

The construction took 3 years to complete, and the interior along with furnishings took another 45 years to complete. The Dalai Lama and his ministers moved into the palace only in 1649.

The new palace got its name from a hill on Cape Comorin at the southern tip of India—a rocky point sacred to the bodhisattva of compassion, who is known as Avalokitesvara, or Chenrezi.

The palace was slightly damaged during the Tibetan uprising against the Chinese invasion in 1954. UNESCO inscribed it into world heritage sites in 1994, and later Norbulingka and Jokhang Temple were added to the list as the extensions in 2001 and 2002.

Red Palace

Red Palace

Red Palace

The biggest section of the palace is the Red Palace which is completely devoted to religious prayers and spiritual purposes. It houses many intricate passages, hallways, chapels, shrines and libraries. With the limited public access, the Red palace remains open for observations.

It consists of many sub-sections of the building, known as; Great West Hall, The Saint’s Chapel, North Chapel, South Chapel, East Chapel, West Chapel, First Gallery, Second Gallery, Third Gallery, Tombs of former 13 Dalai Lamas.

White Palace

White Palace (Potala)

White Palace is a part of Potala Palace comprising of living quarters, seminary and print house

White Palace is a section of the Potala palace comprising of living quaters for Dalai Lama, offices, seminary and a printing house. It was constructed by the 5th Dalai Lama, and was expanded by the 13th Dalai Lama during 20th century. A small section of the palace, it was used only as the quarters, along with housing the tomb of former 8 Dalai Lamas. Today, it’s a part of the museum with public access.


  1. The first royal complex on Red Hill (Potala Palace’s site) was built in the 7th century during Tubo Kingdom.
  2. The Red Palace is 117 m higher from the ground and is completely separate from the White Palace.
  3. Tubo King SongTsang Gompo lived in the royal complex with his two consorts; Princess Bhrikuti (Nepal) and Princess Wenchen (China).
  4. Potala Palace is allowed less than 2,300 tourists and pilgrims to enter each day, so purchase your tickets 1 day beforehand in order to secure entry.
  5. Visiting the golden roofs costs an extra fee of 10 RMB. Taking photos inside the room also charges extra fee.


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Tiger Conservation in Nepal Infographic

Tiger conservation program is a recent undertaking of WWF and other responsible stakeholders in order to prevent depletion and increase the number of Royal Bengal Tigers in the wild.

There are estimated total of 3,200 Bengal tigers left in the world, with 198 tigers in Nepal alone.  With the commitment of doubling their numbers by 2022, WWF in 2010 organized ‘The Year of Tiger.’ The relentless conservation programs and prevention of poaching and human encroachment has helped to increase their number in Nepal, while setting an example for other countries to initiate similar strategy and protection programs in their country.

World Wildlife Fund has published an infographic highlighting the status of tigers in the world, more precisely in Nepal, from 1950 to 2015.

Tiger Conservation Status (1950-2015)

Tiger Conservation Status (1950-2015)

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Bhutan in Pictures

In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907.

~CIA Factbook


About Bhutan

[Read Bhutan Travel Guide]

Bhutan (Dzongkha འབྲུག་ཡུལ ) officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India.

It is the center of cultural and natural riches in South Asia. In another way, Bhutan is renowned for its national policies; one of which can be –“One of the last countries to introduce Television to its people, and later, Internet.” In 2008, it made the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and held its first general election.


Important Information

  • You can visit Bhutan any time of the year. Visitors tend to stay away during the Monsoon (June, July & August) when the weather is sometimes a little wet for sightseeing.
  • Bhutan’s currency is the Ngultrum (Nu) equivalent to Indian Rupee.
  • Though not compulsory, you must research and prepare yourself about tipping, clothing and dining gestures of Bhutan.
  • Anyone found guilty of killing a highly endangered and culturally sacred black-necked crane could be sentenced to life in prison.

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Yak Attack: High Mountain Bike Race

Yak Attack Nepal

Yak Attack Nepal

One of the toughest bike endurance races in the planet earth, the Yak Attack also claims to be the highest mountain bike race in the world or just say hold the title of the highest mountain bike race in the world. Born in 2007 with only handful of riders the Yak Attack has grown into series of mountain bike races worldwide.

Covering over 400 km, 12000m overall altitude gain, climbing the height of 5416 meter above sea level, flipping weather from +30c to -15c tests the most of experienced rider. Don’t even consider giving a try if you are not super fit.

The 8 stage Yak attack is definitely not for armchair riders or nor for the elites. Physical fitness and mental toughness to endure the extreme is the key to get to the finish line.

Race Stage

Stage   Location Distance Ascent Elevation
Stage 1 SHIVAPURI TO NAWAKOT 42.5KM 890M 1980m
Stage 2 NUWAKOT to GORKHA 91.1KM 2700M 1200m
Stage 3 GORKHA TO BESI SAHAR 59.2KM 1198M 1000m
Stage 4 BESI SAHAR TO CHAME 71KM 290M 2700m
Stage 5 CHAME TO MANANG 29.7KM 1249M 3540m
Stage 6 MANANG TO THORONG PHEDI 16.1KM 1238M 4450m
Stage 8 KAGBENI TO TATOPANI 58KM 958M 1100m

The idea of yak attack was not only to provide a stage where adventurous mountain bikers could test themselves against one of the world’s toughest terrains and climates, but also to showcase the astonishing loads of trails that made Nepal a mountain biker’s paradise.

With the experience of 8 years YakAttack is no more limited within Nepal, it has expanded its races to Sri Lanka “Rumble in the Jungle” and Patagonia “AlpacAttack“.

Yak Attack Nepal 2015 is round the corner [Nov 6th – 18th], Check out the complete Itinerary and detail. If you’re interested then the entries for the 2016 will open on December 1st 2015. Fill in the application form to get started.

Recalling the Ghosts of the Mountains

Snow Leopards or the Ghost of the Mountains are endemic to the Himalaya and rocky terrains of Asia. A symbol of high-mountains, the sightings of the snow leopards are very rare.

Their numbers have tumbled by over 20 percent in less than 20 years. With as few as 4,000 left in the wild, this magnificent big cat could soon vanish for good.



Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopards (Uncia uncia) are one of the big-cats founds in the Central and south Asian regions. A high-altitude predator, they inhabit alpine and sub-alpine zones at the elevation of 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft). In the northern range countries, they also occur at lower elevations.

They are also known as the ghost of the mountains for their discreet habitat, elusiveness and rare sightings. It’s also a national-heritage animal of the both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It weighs around 27 – 55 kg. Despite it smaller size, its tail tends to be longer, reaching up to 80-100 cm. With thick and long fur and dark shades, it can easily camouflage itself from its prey and predators.

Snow Leopards are known to have acute sense of vision, 4x better than humans, therefore, they can easily hunt in the dark.

Habitat Loss

Snow Leopards are already categorized as the Endangered Species by IUCN Red List. There are total of only 4,000 snow leopards left in the wild, and are found in 11 different countries, namely; Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tazikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, China, India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Bhutan and Nepal. A high-altitude predators, they are scattered throughout the vast mountain ranges of the Pamir, Tien Shan, Altai, Karakoram and Himalaya.

The major reasons for their declination;

  1. Poaching: They are mainly poached for hides, skin, bones to make medicinal products.
  2. Conflict with Communities: There has been many instances of the leopards killing cattle due to declination of their natural prey.
  3. Shrinking Homes: The encroachment of humans in the wild territory has caused the loss of their habitat.
  4. Changing Climates: The climate change has hampered the mountainous landscapes causing the leopards to move elsewhere or dwindle in numbers.

Conservation Status

Most nations lack resources or planning to initiate a proper conservation program for the dwindling numbers of snow leopards. Nepal, on the other hand, has initiated a well-planned project of geo-tagging the leopards and tracking their movement to prevent poaching.

'Snow Leopard' Conservation

Snow Leopard habitat