Lhasa, the capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, located on the north bank of Lhasa River with a history more than 1300 years. It is the political, economic, cultural and religious center of Tibet. Lhasa in Tibetan means “the holy place”, or “the land of gods”. As early as seventh century after the emperor Songtsen Gampo unified the whole of Tibet, he moved his capital from Yarlong to Lhasa and founded Tubo Kingdom.
It was said that Lhasa was only a wasteland full of grass when princes Wencheng reached Tibet from Xi’an. Later, the famous Jokhang temple was built. Pilgrims from all over Tibet visit this precious sight, many hotels and residences were built around Jokhang temple, then the embryo of the old township of Lhasa was formed. The red hill that the Potala Palace rides and probably the site of the earliest settlement at Lhasa was built by emperor Songtsen Gampo, construction work of temple’s and palaces have been done during that period of time. Therefore Lhasa, the famous city on the highland came into existence. Lhasa was peacefully liberated in 1951. There are 7 counties and 1 district under the municipality, the Total City area covers 29539 square km and urban area covers 523 square km. Today, Lhasa is a town of over 400,000 inhabitants. Among them nearly 130,000 are city residents. There are 31 nationalities in Lhasa, Tibetans accounts for 87 percent.
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Lhasa stands at 3650 meters above sea level. It is one in the highest cities in the world, Lhasa River runs through the city from east to west, also the physical feature of Lhasa stands from east to west. The climate of Lhasa is semi arid and monsoon. It has 3000 hours of sunshine per year; it is praised as Sunshine City. The annual rainfall varies from 200 mm to 510 mm, mainly from June to September. The highest temperature of Lhasa is 28’C, while lowest is -14’C, during winter temperature falls down to zero degree Celsius mainly because of the thin air, it is dry and windy in winter and spring, Lhasa has 100 to 120 frost free days a year.