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Reputed to be the first palace in the Tibet history, is also one of the oldest buildings in Tibet. Lying 12km southwest of Tsedang, it perches on mountain top on the east bank of the Yarlung River.
The soaring building is a legendary palace built in the 2nd century by the Bon followers, for the first Tibetan king - Nyatri Tsenpo, who was said to have descended from Heaven. Later it became the summer palace of Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng.
The highest point of Yumbulagang is a watchtower. It’s said that Princess Wencheng lived here for her first summer in Tibet. Standing on the top and looking around, you can enjoy the excellent panoramic view of the valley.
After Songtsen Gampo transferred his capital to Lhasa, Yumbu Lakang became a chapel and was converted to a Gulugpa monastery during the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama.
The original palace is of medium size and it was enlarged by the 5th Dalai Lama and became a Buddhist monastery gradually. Presently, besides the rooms for the monks, there is a bedroom for Dalai Lamas who come here to do religious service.
Tibet kings and their ministers are enshrined in a small chapel. Upstairs is a small chanting hall, which houses Sakyamuni and Chenrezi. A mural gallery above tells Nyatri Tsenpo's arrival from the sky and other stories about him as well as on other aspects of Tibetan history.
Getting there & away
The most convenient way is to rent a motor tricycle at about Y40 for a round-trip,and request a stop at Trandruk Monastery on the way back. Confirm with the driver in advance on how many hours you need, in case he asks for an extra charge later.
Admission Fee: Y60