Yumbulagang (Tibetan: ཡུམ་བུ་ལྷ་སྒང༌།, ZYPY: Yumbulhagang or Tibetan: ཡུམ་བུ་བླ་མཁར།, ZYPY: Yumbulakar; also known as Yumbu Lakhang or Yungbulakang Palace) is an ancient structure in the Yarlung Valley, Nêdong County in the vicinity of Zêtang, the seat of Lhoka (Pinyin: Shannan) Prefecture, in the southern Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.
According to legend, it was the first building in Tibet and the palace of the first Tibetan king, Nyatri Tsenpo. Yumbulagang stands on a hill on the eastern bank of the Yarlung River in the Yarlung Valley of southeast Naidong County, about 192 km southeast of Lhasa, and 9 km south of Tsetang.
According to the Bön religious tradition, Yumbulagang was erected in the second century BCE for the first Tibetan king, Nyatri Tsenpo, who descended from the sky. During the reign of the 28th king, Lha Thothori Nyantsen, in the fifth century CE, a golden Stupa, a jewel (and/or a form to the manufacture of dough-Stupas) and a Sutra that no one could read fell from the sky onto the roof of the Yumbulagang; a voice from the sky announced: "in five generations one shall come that understands its meaning!" Later, Yumbulagang became the summer palace of the 33rd Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo and his Chinese princess, Wencheng. After Songtsen Gampo had transferred the seat of his temporal and spiritual authority to Lhasa, Yumbulagang became a shrine and under the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, a monastery of the Gelugpa school.
The castle is divided into front and rear precincts. The front is a three-storey building while the rear is dominated by a tall tower, like a castle. Enshrined at the palace are the statues of Thiesung Sangjie Buddha, King Niechi, the first King of Tibet, Songsten Gampo and other Tubo kings.
Traditionally, it is said that the first cultivated field in Tibet, called Zortang, is located to the northwest, below Yumbulagang. Even today, farmers sprinkle soil from Zortang on their own fields to ensure a good harvest. There used to be a temple, Lharu Menlha, containing images of the Eight Medicine Buddhas near the field.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yumbulagang.|
- Yum bu bla sgang (Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library)
- History of Tibet – A Few Chapters (Part 1)
- "The ancient hilltop palace Yumbu Lhakhang (Yumbulagang), Tibet's oldest building.". National Geographic Creative.