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Pabongka: cradle of Tibetan characters

(China Tibet Online)

08:53, December 19, 2012

Pabongka Temple (Tibetan: “Rock Palace”) is built on two giant tortoise-shaped rocks, Lhasa, Tibet. (China Tibet Online/Melinda Jin)

Pabongka Temple, located in the northern suburb of Lhasa, is different from other temples in its architectural style. It neither have towering walls that separate it from the outside nor magnificent architectures and decorations. Yet, it is the cradle of Tibetan characters, one of Lhasa's famous places of interest.

Some 1,300 years ago, Songtsen Gampo, founder of the Tubo Kingdom, built this 9-storey temple, in which he did self-practice.

After Thonmi Sambhota came back from India after finished his Sankirt study, he created Tibetan characters and left his personal writings here.

Pabongka Temple is full of miracles. Princess Wencheng from Tang Dynasty, who married Songtsen Gampo, once lived here and practiced Buddhism with her husband. The white house built on the rocks is for Songtsen Gampo while the yellow one on the top is for Princess Wencheng.

Pabongka Temple also hosts the self portraits of three Buddhas, and practice caves of some celebrated Tibetan figures including Songtsen Gampo, gaining a sacred status in the eyes of Tibetan people. Despite vicissitude of time, this building is still standing on the rocks with magnificent momentum.

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