Episode 154: For Your Eyes Only

Infinitely Improbable. The team finally made it to the Potala Palace today. It was closed yesterday for some kind of administrative meetings so I’m very pleased they were able to visit this amazing complex.

The earliest parts of the current palace date back to the 17th century and when I visited with Scott back in 2007 I distinctly remember feeling the age of the place. Actually, I remember having the feeling that it was much older. All of the interior of the Potala is off-limits to photography so it’s impossible to properly describe with pictures. I also find that words fail to do the place justice.

The Potala is extremely large and it really is more than a palace. It’s a community unto itself with places for work, places for worship, places for living and even places for the dead. In fact, somewhere in the core of this great building are the burial tombs of previous Dalai Lamas. These great chambers completely enclose stupa after jewel-and-gold-encrusted stupa containing the remains of these auspicious men. And I’m not talking about small monuments, either. No, the burial stupas are huge. The tombs are dimly lit and the enclosing walls are blackened by centuries of smoke from the many butter lamps providing the illumination.

This palpable age, large space and dim illumination led me to describe the Potala Palace as feeling less like it was man-made and more like it’s genesis was geologic. Judging from the rest of the team’s reactions, I think we’re all a bit lost finding descriptive words.

I didn’t see the Palace with the group. Nope, I went somewhere far more important. I went to hang out with Damion in the hospital. He’s going to pull through just fine.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 26:30

  • TR

    nice video…the Panchen lama on the clock is the former while the one you speak of is his reincarnation (s)…peace