Yumbulakang Palace locates on the Zhaxici Hill which is 11km southeast to Tsedang Town. It is the first palace building in Tibetan history and also one of the earliest architectures in Tibet. The palace is said to be built by Bon religion followers for the First King of Tibet. Hence the Yumbulakang Palace functioned as the imperial palace for the later masters of Tibet till the 33rd master Sontzen Gampo moved capital to Lhasa. Later Yumbulakang Palace was transformed into a temple. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907) when the Princess Wecheng married to Sontzen Gampo they often spent summer days in Yumbulakang. And in some years later, Yumbulakang was transformed into a Yellow School Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism.
Nowadays the major Buddha in Yumbulakang is Sakyamuni. The murals in Yumbulakang vividly tell the story of the first king, the first architecture, and the first farm field in Tibet.
Yumbulakang consists of two parts: the front part is a multi-layer building, and the back part is a quadrate watching-tower. The two parts stands shoulder by shoulder.
It is said the palace hall was built by Sontzen Gampo. In history the palace hall had three layers and nowadays it has 2 layers left. The front part of the first layer is hallway and the back part of the first layer is Buddha hall. Due to the damage in Chinese Culture Revolution (1966-1976), the Buddha figures all disappear. The second floor also can be divided into two parts. The front part is an empty room and the back part fixed some cabinets inside which some Buddha figure are kept.
The watch-tower-like buildings stands on east. It is regarded as the oldest building of Yumbulakang. Looking from outer side it has 5 layers and in inner side it actually has only three layers. The wall of the building is much thick and the inner space of each layer are all smaller than 3m2. The so small space could not be the main palace building. So people believe it should be part of the oldest imperial buildings.
To south of the palace hall there are monk rooms and room of Dalai Lamas. They are all rebuilt ones on base of original building.
Entrance fee: CNY 60 per person
Opening time: 09:00-18:00
Advise visiting time: 1 hour
Tips for visiting:
The local climate is relatively moderate. So any months in one year is ideal to visit Yumbulakang. Considering the general feature of Tibetan climate, we advise you visit here in June – August.
In Tsedang Town tourists could take a taxi to Yumbulakang. The cost is about CNY60 per way.
Tibetan folk culture is more impacted by religion. So please do not treat them in the way you treat people in city area. And try to avoid to argue with local people or with your driver.
Please listen to your guide’s explanation to taboos of local people carefully and behave as your guide says.
It is much sensitive to talk about politics in Tibet. Please do not talk about issue of Tibet in public.
Monasteries in Tibet are all with unique style. In each Tibetan festival, Tibetan people will put on colorful traditional costume. When you want to take a photo with them or for them, please firstly ask for their promise.
Yumbulakang is in relative isolated country area. The road, food, and hotel condition are poorer than in Lhasa. Please get prepared to face them in advance.