Located at the southeast corner of Norbulingka, Lhasa, Tibet Museum is the first modern museum in Tibet. It covers an area of 53,959 square meters and has a floor space of 23,508 square meters including an exhibition area of 10,451 square meters. Tibet Museum demonstrates a magnificent traditional Tibetan architectural style. Also it reflects a salient feature of modern architectural art.
The Tibet Museum houses a rich collection of prehistoric cultural relics including Buddha statues in different postures, imperial jade seals, gold albums, gifts granted by emperors, colourful tangkas, and various printed Sanskrit and Tibetan scriptures. Visitors can also see variety of folk art such as unique Tibetan handicrafts, costumes, jewellery, and adornments made of gold, silver, and jade, as well as fine Chinese pottery.
Outside the exhibition hall are green lawns and shadowy trees. Also there are a performance area for modern cultural and physical activities, a garden of local customs and folk culture and manor houses. In addition, Tibet Museum has a cultural gallery, handicraft shop and other service facilities. It is a good place for people to relax while visiting the exhibition.
The area for the exhibition department covers 10,451 square meters. The History of Tibetan Culture Exhibition is divided into pre-history culture, indivisible history, culture and arts, and people's customs, exploring several thousand years of Tibetan history, politics, religion, cultural arts, and customs.
This section is divided into 8 main areas exploring Tibetan culture. Tibet museum has a rich collection treasures, such as various types of prehistoric cultural relic, a variety of texture and shape character statues of Buddha, bodhisattva, past dynasties Tibetan manuscripts written with gold, silver and coral powder, goldenseal which the central government awarded to the big living Buddha, golden vase and jade used in golden vase lot-drawing ceremony, colorful thangka paintings, all kinds of musical instruments, ritual items, distinctive national characteristics of handicrafts, and unique style of pottery and so on. There are many items of Tibetan handicrafts, and invaluable jewellery such as gold, silver and jade items. Here exhibits more than one thousand selected cultural relics, from the Tibetan history, culture, art, religion, folk custom, etc intuitively show to the audience Tibetan unique charm of splendid culture and its long history.
• Decorative Pattern Bowl
Ming and Qing dynasties are ceramic production peak of China, Jingdezhen, the porcelain manufacture center of the national is famous for its exquisite workmanship, wide variety, and gorgeous glaze. The underglaze color, overglaze color and colored glaze were the three mainstream products of Jingdezhen porcelain in Ming and Qing dynasties, therefore, the Ming and Qing dynasties imperial porcelain has a great deal of appreciation and collection value. Blue and white porcelain is underglaze color porcelain, is China's most national characteristics chinaware. Its initial stage was in the Tang dynasty, Yuan dynasty was the mature period, the best quality of blue and white porcelain is in Jingdezhen kiln, loved by people. In the Ming dynasty Yongle Xuande period is the golden period of blue and white porcelain production, various modeling, rich decoration, and bright in color as its main features. Tibet museum of Yongle blue-and-white lotus handled ewer and Xuande blue-and-white seawater line high-foot bowl are the best of Yongxuan blue and white porcelain products.
• Handled Ewer
The exhibited wood grain glaze porcelain bowl in Tibet Museum is a copy of Tibet daily use wooden bowl, the prefect copy made the bowl hard to distinguish. During the Ming and Qing dynasties with characteristic of traditional Tibetan culture adornment such as the Tibetan people's favorite eight auspicious, wrapped branch lotus, Tibetan and Buddhist auspicious language pattern began to appear on the porcelain frequently. The exhibition of the Ming dynasty Xuande period blue and white wrapped branch lotus with eight treasures stripes high-foot bowl, outer wall painted with wrap lotus with eight treasures stripes, the inner was written Tibetan, its art style is very unique.
The features items of Prehistory section ranging in age from 50,000 to 3000 years old. Many of the items like bone objects, stone tools, metal objects, and pottery were unearthed at the Karuo and Qugong sites which are representative of the origins of the Tibetan people and the Neolithic culture of the Tibetan Plateau. There is also a room exhibiting the different kinds of flora found in Tibet as well as several geological samples.
This section centralizes on the different dynastic periods of Tibetan history. The museum owns many books, seals, official documents and gifts from Tibetan emperors, providing an insight into the political exchanges between the Han Dynasty officials and the Tibetan leaders and the relationship between the Chinese central government and the Tibetan regional garpons. Tourists can see the original copy of the 17-point agreement signed in 1951 marking Tibet's re-unification with China.
This section is divided into six main areas, including discoveries of the clothing of Tibetan people's style, daily used tools and utensils, arts and handicrafts, and how they communicated. The museum displays provide an important insight into the domestic practices of the Tibetan people, as well as the influence of Han culture on the Tibetans.
• Twin Clay Pot
Twin Clay Pot was unearthed in Karuo site in Chamdo, its modeling is beautiful, and it has a full figure, ingenious and elaborate design, skillful production process which represents Karuo culture level of ceramics and Karuo ancestors’ superb modeling ability, and it is also a representative of the Neolithic pottery in Tibet and the treasure of Tibet museum.
• The fifth Dalai Lama gold seal
The fifth dalai in order to obtain the support of the central government of Qing dynasty after having the audience with the emperor Shunzhi, he gain the seal conferring by Shunzhi to the fifth dalai. The seal was a pure gold casting, weighed 8.5 kg, and it was carved for the Han, Tibetan, Manchu, Mongol four languages. Since then, the Dalai Lama was assigned by the central government.
• Pattra-leaf scriptures
Pattra-leaf scriptures are Sanskrit books made by Pattra tree leaves grown in South Asia. Because of the ancient Indians adopted many unique drug processing methods in the production of pattra-leaf scriptures, thus pattra-leaf scriptures are not dry, not curly, damaged by worms, not mildew, and are well-preserved rare treasures. They are the first-hand information of study of rare early doctrines and Buddhist culture.
• Blue and white entangled lotus branch grain colored goblet
It belongs to one of the five sacrificial utensils on the alter of niches, it is work from 1736 to 1799 (the Qing dynasty emperor Qianlong period), supervised the manufacture by kilin overseer Tangying. Tall and elegant modeling, fluent beautiful blue and white grain, it is the early Qianlong period standard utensil. And it is kept in pairs, very precious.
It is the fusion of multiple architectural styles. On central axis of Tibet Museum area, in turn, is preface hall, main hall and cultural storage, the overall layout structure is scientific and rigorous. Tibetan Museum architectural style is not just blindly inherited. Lhasa has too many similar buildings, and Tibet Museum destined to become a distinctive one. Tibet Museum retains the characteristics of Tibetan traditional architecture at the same time, and also in combination with the characteristics of very practical and artistic charm of the modern architecture. The niche on the preface hall written preface in Tibetan, Han, and English of three languages; Showrooms chapiters and ceiling decorated with cylindrical flag, home fabrics, and fragranceartist, and the showcase embedded with red copper eight auspicious pattern.
The Tibet Museum exhibition hall is divided into four major parts of the prehistoric culture, indivisible history, culture and art and folk culture. Prehistoric culture exhibition hall shows people old stone tools, such as gallet, steinkern unearthed in the four kilometers elevation of northern Tibet used in daily life in the early time, stone adze, stone zax, stone celt unearthed in Chamdo, and late Neolithic bone awl, spicule clusters and all kinds of red pottery, grey pottery, black pottery utensils, fully represents the former representative of age before Tibet entered into civilization – Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron age.
Thangka refers to the religious scroll painting framed with color stain which used for worshiping. It is an art form with unique features in Tibetan culture. In Tibet, Thangka can be seen everywhere like bar, shop and residence, but not every piece of Thangka can be called cultural relic. But in Tibet Museum culture and art hall, there are exquisite and old Thangka with years, tourists can see them all here.
The themes of the paintings exhibited in the museum include history, policy, culture, social life and so on, which can be called Tibetan “encyclopaedia”. All the displayed Thangka is old, but still gorgeous with bold and unrestrained color. Thus it is not hard to see, the material used to draw Thangka is fastidious, it is said that all makings used the natural plant material, guaranteed the bright color and durable.
You may take bus No.109, 106, 98,86, 200, 201, 203 and 204.