Consisting of three palaces, the first was built in 1755, followed by the Palace of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and then the New Summer Palace built by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. During the invasion in 1950, many of the structures were destroyed, but they have since been restored.
The grounds serve as a recreational park today and the Norbulingka also known as Jewel Park, is the site of many festivals. During festival time in particular, it is worth paying the park a visit as the atmosphere is festive with traditional dance and opera. The ‘Yoghurt Festival’, celebrated in the summer, is held there every year. The festival began in the sixteenth century with lay people giving the monks a huge banquet where yoghurt was part of the menu. Operas and theatre were later added to the festivities. Families and large groups of friends now congregate in the park during the Yoghurt Festival for bonfires and picnics.