The Summer Palace (Norbulingka) is the home of the exiled Dalai Lama in Lhasa City. While is it his official residence, he has not stepped foot in it since 1959.
On March 10, 1959 His Holiness received an invitation to attend a Chinese dance troupe show with conditions no Tibetan soldiers were to attend and his bodyguards were to be unarmed. The population of Lhasa became anxious and thousands gathered around the Summer Palace determined to thwart any threat to their young leader.
On March 17 the Nechung Oracle gave His Holiness explicit instruction to leave the country. This instruction was further confirmed by His Holiness when a divinity was performed. Even though the odds of a successful escape were terrifyingly high, several minutes before 10pm His Holiness, disguised as a solider, slipped past the massive crowd with a small escort. Meeting up with the rest of the entourage he escaped Lhasa and on March 20 safely reached the Indian border. The Indian government had already agreed to provide asylum to His Holiness and his followers in India. To this day, he remains in exile.
photo location: Summer Palace, Lhasa, Tibet
copyright, Kate McKenna. All Rights Reserved.