2. Potala Palace, China
Potala palace in one of the greatest monuments, located Lhasa city of People republic of China. This palace was named after mount potalaka, mythical dwelling of a Buddhist. The construction of this palace originally started in 7th century and transformed into today’s form in 1645 by spiritual advice of great fifth Dalai Lama.
The potala palace features most treasured Tibetan architectural marvels. The palace remained as tallest building in the world from 1653 to 1889, can see entire Lhasa from the roof of the palace, remained as symbol of Buddhism in Tibet.
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. It is now a museum and World Heritage Site.
The palace is named after Mount Potalaka, the mythical abode of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. The 5th Dalai Lama started its construction in 1645 after one of his spiritual advisers, 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. It may overlay the remains of an earlier fortress called the White or Red Palace on the site, built by Songtsän Gampo in 637.
The building measures 400 metres east-west and 350 metres north-south, with sloping stone walls averaging 3 m. thick, and 5 m. thick at the base, and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes. Thirteen stories of buildings—containing over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues—soar 117 metres on top of Marpo Ri, the «Red Hill», rising more than 300 m in total above the valley floor.
Tradition has it that the three main hills of Lhasa represent the «Three Protectors of Tibet». Chokpori, just to the south of the Potala, is the soul-mountain of Vajrapani, Pongwari that of Manjusri, and Marpori, the hill on which the Potala stands, represents Avalokiteśvara.