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Pala Manor

Pala Manor is now the best preserved manor of a slaveholder family, the Pala, in Tibet. Over the long history covering more than 300 years of the prosperity and decline of this big family, there were altogether five who held the title of Gelun, an important post in the old Tibetan government. By virtue of their wealth and position, the Pala family held a number of manors and many slaves. Fortunately, the Pala Manor in Shigatse is in a good condition and is now a tourist attraction that has proved to be popular with visitors from all over the world as it provides a valuable insight into a former life style in Tibet. The Pala Manor faces south and two tall poles carrying an abundance of sutra streamers stand before it. Traditionally, these were to bring blessings upon the family but also served to show just how wealthy they were. The ground within the boundary walls is covered with light blue flagstones. Passing through the gate tower you will come into the inner yard of the manor. Here the spacious yard was mainly used for drying wool in the warm sunshine. On the north side of this yard there stands the main three-storey high main building where the lairds lived and entertained their guests. This building, which is the core of the complex is finely decorated and a further indication of the great wealth of the former owners. The building is divided into a sutra hall, drawing room, bedroom and a special hall purely for playing mah-jong. The visitor can see some of the many sutra books and Buddha shrines for which the manor was famous and which are in perfect condition even today. Exhibits include examples of rare food, dish wares, rare wine and very precious fur clothes. These things show us just how extremely luxurious life was for the owner of Pala Manor. However, by contrast to the luxury of the lairds, there are still whips, ankle-irons and punishment cells that were used for controlling and persecuting the poor slaves, who once lived within the manor compound in low, narrow, wet and dark rooms that are little more than cages. Pala Manor is a stern reminder of the days when rich nobles held slaves in thrall in old Tibet.  
Admission fee:
CNY 15 (another CNY 15 for photographing)

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