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You are hereHomeNews › Tibet Museum: a must-see in Lhasa

Tibet Museum: a must-see in Lhasa


When travelling in Lhasa, the plateau city in southwest China's Tibet, most people are willing to plan their sightseeing trips around countless monasteries, palaces, lanes or natural landscapes.

However, when you land on this soil, you will feel that one pair of eyes are definitely not enough for there is so much to see. How about to find  a station to get an overview of Tibetan history, culture, arts, natural resources,etc.?

The Tibet Museum is a perfect place you must not miss.

Just opposite to the Norbulingka (once Dalai Lama's summer palace, now a public park) in the southeast of Lhasa, this modern museum was built and opened in 1999, totally funded by the Chinese Central Government.

Covering 53,959 square meters in all, the three-storey building is designed in traditional Tibetan architectural style, divided into two main parts: the exhibition area and storage area.

As the ground floor is reserved for souvenir sales and temporary exhibitions, the second floor is designed and set for the permanent historical and cultural exhibitions.

In the "prehistory" section, a good number of archeological discoveries, such as ancient pottery, Stone Age tools, prehistoric relics in Tibet are displayed.

In  "Indivisible History" Hall, an astounding collection of authentic articles used by the ancient local government is exhibited, such as official seals granted by Chinese emperors for local religious leaders, as well as archives that evidently prove the close political and social connections between the Tibetan region and the inland China.

Among items on display, two objects are recommended. The first is the golden urn specially made by Qing Emperor Qianlong for the selection and lot-drawing of the reincarnation of prominent lamas or living Buddha in Tibet, as an official ritual of the Chinese Central Government.

The second is a letter from Chairman Mao Zedong to the 14th Dalai Lama on April 10, 1954, which is also very interesting, as few people have seen or even known such a correspondence. The letter is handwritten with brush pen in regular Chinese script, reading that what the 14th Dalai Lama had done after the peaceful liberation of Tibet was highly appreciated and was believed to do good to both Buddhist and secular circles. Also Chairman Mao noted in the letter to present the Dalai Lama a  milk splitter and a radio set for gifts.

On the other half of the second floor, the cultural and arts exhibition area is segmented into two themes: Tibetan cultural and arts, and Tibetan life style.

The Hall of Tibetan Culture and Arts contains eight exhibition sections including Tibetan-script books, documents and scrolls, Tibetan drama, musical instruments, astronomy and calendar, Tibetan medicine, sculpture, and Thangka paintings.

The other hall explores and shows the life style of the Tibetan people, including Tibetan costumes and dresses, tools and utensils, arts and handicrafts, and ways of communication. The artifacts on display also indicate the undeniable influence of Han culture on Tibetan culture.

The third floor of the museum now is open for the exhibitions of "Jade and Porcelain" and "Natural Resources", which also attracts a large number of visitors every day.

Closed on Monday, the Tibet Museum is now open to the public for free. Auto guide and rental service are available at 20 yuan for each.