Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), has a prefecture area of 30,000 square kilometers and its Tibetan name means "The Land of the Gods". It sits on the north bank of River Lhasa, a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangbo River, at an altitude of 3,700 meters.
The total population of the city is around 373,000 and the total population in the urban area only is close to 130,000. People of 31 nationalities live in the city and Tibetans take up 87% of the total population.
With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, Lhasa is famed as "the City of Sunshine". It is the center of Tibet's political, economic, cultural and religious activities.
There are many historic sites and famous relics in the city proper and its suburbs, among which the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery are world famous.
The history of city dates back to the 7th century AD, when the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo conquered many tribes, united Tibet, transferred the capital from Yarlung to Lhasa, and established Tubo Regime.
The 11th century had seen the Buddhism spreading widely and Lhasa became the center for many eminent and learned monks to preach the religion. In the time of the 7th Dalai Lama, a very famous palace, Norbulingkha, 2 kilometers away from the Potala Palace, was built. From then on, the ancient section of Lhasa city was formed, with Potala Palace as its center, Barkhor Street and Norbulingkha Palace on both sides. Now, Lhasa is one of the most charming and mysterious cities in China.