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About Pala Manor
The well protected manor is located at the Banjorlhunbo Village on the southern bank of the Nagchu River at about 4 km to the south of the Gyantse County.
The Pala Family was a famous and powerful noble clan in Tibetan history. 5 people from this family were appointed as Kablon, minister of the local Kashak Cabinet of Tibet. Thus it became 1 of the 8 most important noble clans in old Tibet. In Rear Tibet alone, the family owned 25 agricultural manors and 8 on animal husbandry. Together they owned 6.67 square k, of land, over 7,000 cattle and about 3,000 serfs and slaves. The Pala Manor is just one of them.
The main building of the manor is a 3-storey house with a courtyard. Inside, a lot of pictures and objects still vividly record stories of the extravagant nobles. People will have their own views about the old Tibet after seeing with their own eyes the elaborate items for the lords, the cruel punishment tools for the slaves and serfs, and the horrible cabins where the underclass lived, which are in dire contrast against the spacious buildings of the masters.
The Pala Manor we see today still has 57 houses on an estate with an area of approximately 5000 square metres. The main building is a 3-storey structure that includes a scripture hall, reception hall, and bedrooms. In addition to the lobby used for playing the Chinese game of Majiang there are many other reception halls. The maze of rooms is richly decorated with exquisitely carved beams and painted rafters.
You will be amazed by what can be seen on display here, for many of the original contents of the reception rooms and bedrooms remain on show. There are an ox horn that would be filled with barley wine, fine porcelain bowls for containing ghee, an ivory Majiang set as well as precious fur clothes, glass cups, tins of biscuits and whiskey imported from Britain.
The sun-room walls are hung with tiger and deer skins and further evidence of the wealth of the former owner are such things as a gold saddle and two gramophones that were manufactured in Great Britain. The other recreation rooms include a modern gymnasium with facilities for table tennis, badminton and other physical training equipment including ice-skates.
All the villagers at Banjorlhunbo were serfs or slaves for the Pala Family. Today, they have been able to build houses as grand as the Pala Manor. A newly arrived visitor would find it difficult to locate the Pala Manor.
Pala Manor remains intact as a reminder of the vast contrast in the way in which the nobles and serfs lived in Tibet and as such provides evidence and datum for research into the politics, economy and culture of Tibet while still a society based upon privilege and slavery.
The manor has become a patriotism education base for the Tibet and an important cultural relic site under protection in Shigatse.
Tips of Pala Manor
Pala Manor even has its ancient prison inside. You can have a very deep understanding of the slavery system after visiting there.