The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.
As Gould was ill, and Nepean and Dagg had not yet reached Lhasa, when we first visited the Potala, we arranged another visit for today.
The Potala defies description. The strong individuality of its stark massiveness challenges comparison with any building in the world. Whether riding out before dawn, you see it with the clear moonlight lighting up the white washed walls of its whole immense length, pierced with regular lines of windows like some gigantic liner, and in height too rising tier above tier to the amazing gilded roofs of the tombs of the great Priest-Rulers of Tibet; or whether you climb one of its many flights of stone steps, and thread you way up dark, slippery staircases eventually to reach the lavishly bejewelled shrine of the last and greatest Dalai Lama, You cannot fail to be impressed, not only by its unique character, but by its' sheer immensity.
Author: Frederick Spencer Chapman [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]
Page Reference: Pt IX p.2