Drak Lhalupuk cave temple, Lhasa, Tibet

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Drak Lhalupuk cave temple, said to be the meditation retreat of King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century, which has relief rock carvings. Clings on a cliff face of the Chakpori hil lCags po ri, literally "Iron Mountain"; is a sacred hill in the city of Lhasa in Tibet. It south of the Potala and just to the left when one is facing the Potala. It is considered to be one of the four holy mountains of central Tibet.

It was the site of the most famous medical school Tibet, known as the Mentsikhang, which was founded in 1413. It was conceived of by Lobsang Gyatso, the "Great" 5th Dalai Lama, and completed by the Regent Sangye Gyatso shortly before 1697.

During the March 1959 Lhasa uprising, the medical school and a temple housing statutes of coral (Tsepame), mother-of-pearl (of Tujechempo) and turquoise (of Drolma) were demolished by PLA Chinese artillery as the Tibetans had placed their cannons up there. It is now crowned by radio antennas. A road has been constructed through the spur that used to connect Chokpori with the Marpo Ri ('Red Hill') on which the Potala is built.

Some rebuilding has since taken place a number of old rock carvings have survived through damage. Some of them are thought to have been carved during the reign of king Songtsän Gampo (605 or 617? - 649 CE) and painted by Nepalese artists. Some buildings have been rebuilt near the base of the hill and there is now again a small temple with prayer wheels.

Tradition has it that the three main hills of Lhasa represent the "Three Protectors of Tibet." Chokpori is the soul-mountain (bla-ri) of Vajrapani, Pongwari that of Manjushri, and Marpori, the hill on which the Potala stands, represents Chenresig or Avalokiteshvara.

JanvanSchijndel, Saptak Ganguly, and 24 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. JanvanSchijndel 21 months ago | reply

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  2. angelsgermain 21 months ago | reply

    Stunning place for a temple.
    Love the colours!

  3. pdxpointer 21 months ago | reply

    Super image!!!

  4. Kelly Bakker 21 months ago | reply

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  5. Liêm Phó Nhòm 21 months ago | reply

    Wonderful capture! And thanks for the info.

  6. njchow82 21 months ago | reply

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  7. SamSpade... 21 months ago | reply

    WOW!!! Where were you when taking this shot ? Beautiful...and thanks for the interesting info.

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