Walk the Potala Kora

Added by John Maurizi

Experience the the Tibetan religious culture and walk along with the Tibetan pilgrims as they pay respect to the home of the Dalai Lhama

A Kora is a walk or trek that circumnavigates a holy location, typically a monastery or stupa. The Potala is the former home of the 14th Dalai Lhama. It was built in the 7th century and has over 1000 rooms and tens of thousand historic Buddhist text and relics.  It is one of the most holy locations for Tibetans. Many locals and pilgrims walk or prostrate the Kora daily. Most people start from either front right corner of the Potala. Walk clockwise and continue until you reach where you started. There are many prayer wheels along the way. My arm actually got so tired and I had to stop turning the wheels. But I kept walking along with the pilgrims who are so dedicated that they spin a Kora prayer wheel with their right hand and spin a hand held prayer wheel in their left.  All the while you can hear the mumbling of mantras, such as "om mani padme hum." Spinning the prayer wheels is not a requirement. 

The walk is an immersion into the Tibetan religious culture and their dedication to Buddhism and the Dalai Lhama.  Even young children are brought along for an early exposure to this tradition.  As you walk along, not only the sights and sounds surround you but the aroma of sweet incense burns in offering stupas.  

This walk is completely flat and about 1.5 miles around.  It is a could activity to experience while you acclimate to the 12,000 feet elevation of Lhasa. To walk in front of the Potala you must pass through a check point where and bag a backpack must pass through a scanner.

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🥇Top Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Yes, definitely try some Yak and momos!

Dunya Restaurant at the Yak Hotel or House of Shambhala Restaurant are two great places for Momo's and a beer.


🥇Top Contributor

almost 4 years ago

A jaw-dropping cultural sight

The Potala Palace is MASSIVE. While walking the Kora, you'll be staring up 13 floors that seem like 100, since the palace was built on top of a hill and reaches almost 1,400 ft. above the valley floor. Also, while you're in Lhasa, you've got to try authentic Tibetan food. There are a few places who offer English menus - but you'll also be served English-style dishes. Venture into a local shop with a translator-dictionary in hand and try the thukpa, yak dishes, and momos.

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