Home » China Travel Guide » Tibet Travel Guide » Lhasa Travel Guide » Lhasa Attractions » Norbulingka



Located in the western suburbs of Lhasa and at the bank of the Kyichu River, Norbulingka Park (Chinese pinyin: Luo bu lin ka), which was once the summer retreat of the Dalai Lamas from the 1780s until the late 1950s. With a total area of 360,000 meters squared, Norbulingka is the biggest park in Tibet that has the most beautiful scenery and largest number of historic relics. In 2001, Norbulingka was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

In Tibetan language, Norbulingka translates as “Treasured Park.” This area was originally a wasteland with wild animals and weeds. Then, the 7th Dalai Lama was so fond of it and visited it often that Norbulingka was constructed by him. Construction began in 1755 and was completed by the 8th Dalai Lama.

Since then Norbulingka Park, which is about 2 kilometers southwest of the Potala Palace, has been the summer residence for Dalai Lamas. There, they solved political problems and held festive celebrations for centuries. Its present scale was reached due to the successive expansions and renovations over the past 200 years. There are now 374 rooms inside the park surrounded by pavilions, pagodas, and gardens. 

Norbulingka Park consists of several palaces: Kelsang Potrang named after the 7th Dalai Lama, Tsokyil Potrang, Golden Linka, Takten Migyur Potrang, and the New Palace constructed in 1954 by the current Dalai Lama. The New Palace contains chapels, gardens with pools and fountains.

The gardens are great spots to have a picnic because they are a beautiful venue for theaters and festivals, especially the Shoton Festival in June.The yogurt banquet is the liveliest festival of summer in Tibet. During this festival, Tibetan Opera is performed in Norbulingka, thus it is also named the “Tibetan Opera Festival.”

Norbulingka Park has significant cultural value. Not only does it embrace nature, but also reflects the ethnic and religious enclaves of the Tibet.