Attested in Old Tibetan literature as ར་ས (ra sa), which may be interpreted as a compound between ར (ra, “goat”) or ར (ra, “enclosure”) and ས (sa, “place, location”), i.e. literally "goat's place" or "fortified city". The ra in Old Tibetan irregularly developed into lha in the modern form, possibly by association with ལྷ (lha, “god, deity”), i.e. literally "place of gods" or "Holy Land".
ལྷ་ས (lha sa)