Why Lhasa is called the Forbidden City?
Lhasa is the capital of Tibet in China. This city is situated at 11,975 ft in the Tibetan Himalayas near the Lhasa River. Lhasa was well known as religious center in Tibet from about 9th century AD. It became capital of Tibet in 1642. In 1951, when the Chinese communists controlled the region Lhasa was still the capital of Tibet. Lhasa was declared capital to Tibet Autonomous region in 1965. The temples Gtsug-lag-Khang and Klu-Khang are the ancient landmarks which are considered sacred in Tibet. The winter residence of Dalai Lama, various monasteries, and Potala palace are some important places in Tibet. Religious leaders used to reside in Lhasa and hence the city was not accessible to everyone. It is considered remote and was exclusive to Buddhism in Tibet. Hence it is called ‘Forbidden City,.
The importance of the city declined during the ruling of Tibetan king who was very much religious. The Dalai Lama V has considered this city as holy and then it became religiously significant. Many important monasteries like Sera and Ganden are situated in the areas surrounding Lhasa. This city is situated in the banks of Brahmaputra tributary called Yarlung Zangbo. Before the Chinese occupied this region Lhasa was center to Lamaism. Most of the population in Lhasa was Lamaist monks. The buildings in Lhasa are not that rich in architecture but are religious constructions. The majestic Potala which is the palace for Dalai Lama is situated in Lhasa which is very big. The Drepung monastery which is located nearer to the city also garnishes a religious look and odour to the city. The sacred temple in Lhasa called Jokang will not appear magnificent from outside but houses the jeweled idol of young Buddha. Due to all the above characteristic features of religious glory attributed to the Lhasa city, it is not made accessible to the visitors and foreigners. So it is called as ‘Forbidden city,.