Yumbulagang Palace the first building in Tibet

Yumbulagang Palace Shannan Tibet
Known as the first building built in Tibet, the Yumbulagang Palace is the summer residence of King Songtsen Gampo before it served as a monastery. Besides its long history, the stunning view above makes the climb worthwhile.

First Tibetan Building

The Yumbulagang palace is said to be built in the second century BC by King Nyatri Tsenpo. At that time, Tibet was still not unified and the region was formed only by nomadic tribes. This king would have managed to take power over part of the territory to build the first permanent building marking the end of nomadic life, the palace of Yumbulagang.

Summer Residence to Monastery

Towering high above agricultural fields and traditional village, the palace served as a summer residence for the king Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng until the capital was changed to Lhasa. Yumbulagang was then transformed into a monastery.
Located on a fairly steep peak, vehicles were not available to the entrance of the palace. We have to be prepared for about a half hour walk. Otherwise, local residents can offer traditional horseback excursions, which can prevent some visitors from getting tired. Although small, the visit is worthwhile because, once above, we then have a breathtaking view of the valley below. It is probably one of the most beautiful views of the Tibetan area.

During the fifth Dalai Lama time, the palace was converted into a monastery of the Yellow Hat. Unfortunately, due to the Cultural Revolution and various other events, the palace was completely destroyed. The building today is actually a reconstruction of 1982. The monastery was even rededicated in 1984 by the Panchen Lama and continues to be recognized for its sanctity.


  • Best time to visit

    Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. 
  • Altitude

    3 600M Altitude Yumbulagang Palace
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