The Potala Palace is located in Lhasa, Tibet. It is named after Mount Potalaka and was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. It stands as a symbol of Tibetan Buddhism, built on the Red Mountain at an altitude of 3,700 meters.
Lozang Gyatso, the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, started the construction of the Potala Palace in 1645 after one of his spiritual advisers, Konchog Chophel (d. 1646), pointed out that the site was ideal as a seat of government, situated as it is between Drepung and Sera monasteries and the old city of Lhasa. It may overlay the remains of an earlier fortress, called the White or Red Palace, on the site built by Songtsen Gampo in 637.
Today, the Potala Palace is a museum and was recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.