Tibetan architecture with its unique content and formation has met material and spiritual needs of local people, which can be classified into three groups, namely, temples, palaces, and housing.
Tibetan people sincerely believe in Tibetan Buddhism and many families have their children become monks(Lamas) at a very young age. Religious faith is always the first and most important thing for them so that temples have earned a noble social status. Tibetan monastery architectures are the places where local people hold religious activities and play an important role in their daily life. The most famous Tibetan monasteries include but not limited to: Jokhang Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery in Lhasa, Tashihunpo Monastery in Shigatse and Palcho Choke Monastery in Gyantse, etc. Those temples have absorbed the essence of architectures and arts and become the precious treasures in Tibet.
Most of the monasteries were built against the mountains, therefore all buildings rise and lower with the terrain of the hills but in good order, forming a magnificent building complex. On the basis of Tibetan architectural layout, ancient architects also adopted the Chinese roofs. Then architectures featuring in Chinese-Tibetan style took initial shape, some of which can be as tall as 9 storeys.
Tibetan Palace buildings are the places where Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama handle affairs and divided into winter palace and summer palace. Those palaces and Buddha hall in temples belong to the highest level and have high similarity in eaves’ decoration. However, the walls of palaces are painted in yellow and white rather than red.
Winter palace for Panchen Lamas is based in Thashihunpo Monastery at Shigatse. Deqianlingka and Gongdelingka in outshirt are their summer palaces. As for Dalai Lamas, it refers to Potala Palace as winter palace and Norbulingka in western suburb as sumer palace. Built in the times of King Songzan Gambo, Potala Palace in Lhasa has long been regarded as a symbol of Tibetan architectural art and cultural prosperity.
Affected by different geographical environment and climatic conditions, Tibetan folk houses are not always the same. In northern Tibet, people lead a nomadic life and tents are common to see. And it’s more likely to encounter people live in houses made of wooden in Kangba area of eastern Tibet.
However, dwellings in central Tibet like Lhasa, Shigatse and Shannan turn out to be two-storey residential buildings made of brick and wood with a flat roof or a slop roof. Colorful valances are hung around windows and doors. Reds, yellows, blues and whites are interlacing with each other. Brilliant colors also painted on eaves. Evey item around demonstrates Tibetan people’s aesthetic sentiment thoroughly.The best place to experience Tibetan folk life is Barkor Street. Rows upon rows of Tibetan-style shops and blocks upon blocks of Tibetan traditional architecture will definitely leave an unforgettable impression on you.
Just a Reminder
Joining in a small group tour is the very BEST way for solo travelers or traveling Tibet on a budget!
As the Pioneer of Tibet Tourism for global tourists since 1984, TIBET VISTA has been the FIRST TOUR OPERATOR of running join-in group tour business in local and with ability of organizing over 5000 visitors a year. For Tibet Vista’s special contribution to Tibet Tourism especially to Mt. Everest Tour, we were the ONLY company awarded by Tibet Tourism Bureau Shigatse “THE EXCELLENT ORGANIZER OF MT. EVEREST TOUR ”in 2015.View our Tibet Small Group Tour