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Yaowang Mountain

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Rising up beside Potala Palace, the spired peak of Chakpori Hill (Yaowang Mountain) is 3725 meters in elevation with ascending steps to the top. The mountain is opposite the Potala Palace, the symbol of Tibet. It's best known for its ideal location for tourists to take pcitures of the Palace. 



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Quite a few figures of Buddha, gods in different poses, and Buddhist scripture in Tibetan characters are engraved on the cliff. There is an extremely well preserved grotto with a history of more than a thousand years on the southeast mountainside. The grotto is 27 square meters (0.0067 acre) and in the shape of unequal rectangle. There are 69 stone statues engraved on the rock, vivid and lifelike, which represent the soul of Tibetan stone inscription art. At the north foot of the mountain is a spring. The fountain, pure and sweet, was named "Holy Water". It is said that the fountain was the favourite of the Dalai Lama half a century ago.



History

During the middle of 17th century, in the early Qing Dynasty, a temple was erected on the top of the mountain. Within this temple was placed a sapphire figure of a certain Tibetan Medicine King. Legend has it that the King was the avatar of Sakyamuni, who was able to treat patients no matter what the disease or how difficult the cure. During the period of the fifth Dalai Lama (1642-1682), lamas from all over the country were brought to this temple to systematically study and coordinate the knowledge of traditional Tibetan medicine. Later, the temple became the Tibetan Medicine Bureau, but over time it fell into ruin.



Ideal Photo Location

Yaowang Mountain is also the ideal location for taking photographs of Potala Palace. In the early morning of holidays or peak seasons, dense crowds of photographers and photography aficionados come here to shoot a rare view of Potala Palace irradiated by the first rays of the sun.



Tips

The platform opens from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., almost full of tourists all the time. To get the best shot, you'd better go there around the sunrise, sunset or after it gets dark. Make sure you have plenty of time to take pics, since you might have to wait for a long time to get a good spot. Take out your tripod if possible. 


As more and more tall buildings have been built in Lhasa recently, there are few spots left in the city that have a good view of the Palace, which makes the Mountain even more popular. However, you can also go to Longwangtan Park (龙王潭公园)nearby, where you can see the Palace together with its reflection in the water (even better!).