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Why does the Potala Palace set the tourist limit?

  • Source : VTIBET.com Author : Tenzin Woebom Time : 09/04/2018 Editor : Tenzin Woebom

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    Magnificent Potala Palace [Photo/Xinhua]


    The current Potala Palace in Tibet's regional capital, Lhasa, covers an area of over 130,000 square meters, and its main building Red Palace reaches 115,703 meters in height, which is a great palace with stupa halls, audience halls, lhakangs, chambers, administration offices, senior seminaries, dratsangs, courtyards and corridors.


    Potala Palace was listed as one of the first batch of key cultural relics protection units in 1961 and selected as UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.


    The interior of the Potala Palace is predominantly made of wood. A survey of the wood inside the structure five years ago determined that the continual tourist traffic through the building has begun doing structural damage to the wood.


    "The Potala Palace has a large flow of tourists, which do great harm to the wood structure. So we monitored it and proved it with statistics. Currently, the tourist limit is 5,000 per day which is also derived from statistics. The more people going there, the easier it will collapse. Potala Palace needs time, enough time to rest. So we decided to allow fewer tourists to visit it. Instead, we will use technology to display it in the future," said Choeden, deputy director of Management Office of Potala Palace.


    Until a few decades ago, the Potala Palace was exclusively for Buddhist monks, meaning the foot traffic through the building was far less than it was today.


    As such, authorities decided to limit the number of tourists to 5,000 per day. The western half of the palace remains off-limits to tourists, as it remains exclusively used by the monks. Authorities say they are keeping tabs on the condition of the interior to ensure damage to the historic and religious site is kept to a minimal. 

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