Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lhassa (Lha-sa, "God's Seat,") the capital of Thibet, stands in the middle of an elevated plain more than 11,000 feetabove the sea-level, in lat. 29° 39' N. and long. 90° 57' E., according to Nain Singh. The river Ki-chu flows past the south of the city, which is surrounded by a wall with barren hills in the background. Outside are large suburbs, in which many of the houses are built of sheep and goats' horns set in clay. Lhassa is the centre of the' Buddhist religion. The Grand Lama (Dalai Lama), the civil and ecclesiastical ruler, under the Chinese, of Thibet, lives in the Potala, a hill on the N.W. of the city crowded with temples and palaces. The temple of Labrang contains a life-size image of the Buddha and other holy persons, to whose shrines pilgrims come from all parts of Asia. Two other temples are those of Ramo Cuhe and Mora. There are numerous monasteries in the country round Lhassa, those of the Foui Ling, Dai-pung, and the Galdan Lamaserai, whose abbot is a great dignitary, being the chief. Lhassa is the centre of the caravan trade of Asia. Large quantities of tea are imported from China; for it are exchanged Thibetan wool-stuffs, earthenware, and pastille sticks, which are made by the inhabitants. Much of the trade is in the hands of the Kashmiris, who are Mohammedans. Beside some Chinese, the inhabitants include not a few immigrants from Nepal and Bhotan, who are skilful metal-workers. The Lhassa women have a curious custom of staining their faces with black unguent; they go about freely, and do much of the retail trade.