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Four secrets of Potala Palace

2015-06-19 Lily Li
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The Potala Palace [Photo/CRI Online]

At each glimmering break, sanctity radiates from the magnificent Potala Palace, the mysterious castle-like building which drives countless people lost in admiration and curiosity. Why does it remain standing for thousands of years?Why are so many rubbishes left there? Does the legendary underground palace really exist? Is there any accurate number of rooms in Potala Palace?

The major building of the Potala Palace, with 13 floors of stones up to 170 meters in height, stands still as a rock after thousands of years, which sparks people to explore the reason why it stands so firmly at such a height with such a huge size after such a long time.

Firstly, the numerous thick sleeper walls out of square-shaped stones ensure the palace’s safety by laying a solid foundation. The wall with amazingly exquisite design further supports the whole palace. The bench-table piled into rocks underground has reached over 5 meters. The thickness of the palace wall shrinks gradually to 1 meter at the top wall as its height increases, which is really breathtaking, said Ding Changzheng, secretary of party committee of Administrative Office of Potala Palace who has worked there for more than 30 years.

To reinforce the whole palace, the molten iron was poured into parts of the wall, according to the historical document. Therefore, the staff of administrative office often check out if there is any iron in the wall and by far they have found nothing.

"The Padma Grass, the main constructing material, lightens up the wall as well," Ding said, "it is elastic, adiabatic, ventilated and mothproof, hence, it is usually dyed red to paint the wall."

Why are so many rubbishes left there?

In the eyes of Buddhism believers, the Potala Palace is a sacred place, which however has stored up so many rubbishes. In the 1980s, the time of the palace’s first maintenance, the staff gave the place a thorough cleaning in order to make an inventory. It is said that it took a dozen times for a five-ton truck to clear way the rubbishes there at that time.