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  Tibet's Earliest Palace  

Yumbu Lakang, reputed to be the first palace in Tibetan history, is also the earliest building in Tibet. Lying 12 kilometers southwest of Tsedang Town of Lhoka prefecture, it is perched atop a small hilltop east of Yarlong River and faces west.

"Yumbu" means female deer, describing the resemblance of the mountain around the site, and "Lakang" means holy palace. Yumbu Lakang means "the palace on back legs of a doe" in the Tibetan language.

The soaring building is said to have been built in the 2nd century BC especially for the first Tibetan king - Nyatri Tsenpo, who was believed to have descended from the Heaven.

Legend says that in the 5th century, a Buddhist sutra fell from the sky onto the roof of Yambu Lakang. Nobody could read the book. However, a sage predicted it would be interpreted between 7th century to 8th, so the sutra was safeguarded in the palace.

Youmpu Lhakang became famous after Songtsan Gambo and Princess Wencheng spent their summer holidays here. It became the summer palace of Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng. These legends really fascinate a lot of people from home and abroad. 

After Songtsen Gampo transferred his capital to Lhasa in the 7th century, Yumbu Lakang became a chapel and was converted to a Gulugpa monastery during the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama.

Tibetan kings and their ministers are enshrined in a small chapel. Upstairs is a small chanting hall, which houses Sakyamuni and Chenrezi. A mural gallery above tells of Nyatri Tsenpo's arrival from the sky and as well as other stories about him.

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