Temples and Monasteries of Lhasa
- First half 19th century
- Gouache on cotton
- H. 53 1/4 x W. 72 3/4 in. (135.4 x 184.6 cm)
- Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, The George Crofts Collection, 921.1.82
The holy city of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, is the Mecca of the Tibetan Buddhist world. This bird's-eye view of the important pilgrimage sites of Lhasa includes the three temples of Ganden, Drepung, and Sera, the Three Pillars of the Geluk order, seen at the top. Dominating the green landscape is the Potala Palace, named after the abode of Avalokiteshvara. The most important pilgrimage site in Lhasa is the Jokhang Temple (shown in the lower right), built in the 640s during the reign of Songsten Gampo, the first of the Three Religious Kings of Tibet. It houses Tibet's most sacred icon, a sculpture of the young Buddha Shakyamuni brought to Tibet by Princess Wencheng of China.