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Lhasa (LAW-suh)

1.      Capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, SW China

2.      Lhasa Apso: Small dog originating in Tibet

Common clues: _____ apso (dog breed); Tibet's capital

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Frequency in English language: 33557 / 86800

Video: Lhasa to Kathmandu

Lhasa, sometimes spelled Llasa, is the traditional capital of Tibet and the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. It is also the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama.

Potala Palace, Lhasa's most famous landmark

Lhasa literally means "place of the gods", although ancient Tibetan documents and inscriptions demonstrate that the place was first called Rasa, which means "courtyard place" or "goat place". Its altitude is about 3,650 m (12,000 ft), making it one of the highest cities in the world. The city is home to about 200,000 inhabitants.

The Lhasa Apso is a small breed of dog originally from Tibet. They were used as watchdogs inside Tibetan monasteries for over 1200 years, for which they are uniquely suited with keen intelligence, acute hearing, and instincts for identifying friends from strangers.

It is believed that the breed originated from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet (hence the name) around 800 BC. These dogs were raised by the aristocratic part of the Tibetan society and by Tibetan monks in the monasteries. They were very valuable both spiritually and materialistically. To be presented with a Lhasa Apso was to be blessed with good fortune.

Lhasa Apsos have adopted an incentive to be wary of strangers from their owners, who, due to the geographical location of Tibet, were also cautious of outsiders. The heavy coat of Lhasas can also be explained by the geographical features of Tibet: the temperature frequently drops below freezing thus making it hard for a dog to survive without sufficient insulation. Lhasas were rarely groomed by their owners thus allowing the breed to adapt to the harsh weather.

Apparently monks believe that Lhasas are reincarnated lions and as such hold them in high esteem. Golden Lhasas are said to house the souls of the Dalai Lamas. Lhasas tend to have a very long lifespan of 15-18 years. The oldest living dog in history was a Lhasa, documented 29 years of age in 1939.



This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lhasa Apso" and “Lhasa”.