Labrang Monastery

Rooftops of Labrang Monastery

In the Tibetan area of Amdo, the Xiahe County, Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu, the Labrang Monastery(བླ་བྲང་དགོན་པ།) houses the largest population of monks outside of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The site is a popular tourist destination and only a four-hour drive from the provincial capital of Lanzhou. History To Tibetan Buddhists this is one of the most important monasteries today …

Dzongsar Monastery

Dzongsar Monastery

History of Dzongsar Monastery Throughout its dozen or so centuries of history, the Dzongsar Monastery (རྫོང་སར་དགོན།) has seen expansion, transformation, utter destruction and ultimately, rebirth. While it may not have been restored to its former glory, what the monastery has seen and accomplished over the years is nonetheless remarkable. Located in Dege County, in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of …

Palyul (Baiyu) Monastery

Mani piles at Baiyu Monastery

Location Initially built in 1665,  Palyul Monastery (དཔལ་ཡུལ་དགོན།), also known as Baiyu Monastery( 白玉寺) in Chinese  sits above the many homes along the hillside, at the center of a small village in the Ganzi Prefecture in the western part of Sichuan province. The monastery overlooks the town and valley below with an elevation around 3,150 meters. Sticking with the traditional …

Drepung Monastery

drepung Monastery Tibet

Historically, the most significant monastery in Tibetan Buddhism, Drepung Monastery(འབྲས་སྤུངས་དགོན་པ།) used to be the seat of political and religious power in Tibet (before the Potala Palace was built). This significance came in part due to its location just outside of Lhasa, and in part due to it being the primary seat of the Gelugpa sect. The Gelugpa sect practices celibacy, …

Samye Monastery

Samye Monastery

History of Samye Monastery Two hours drive southeast of Lhasa sits Samye Monastery(བསམ་ཡས་དགོན་པ།) – the oldest Buddhist training institution in Tibet, established in the lifetime of Padmasambhava in the eight century. The temple monastery compound is enclosed by a circular brick wall. It is said that from above, the circular wall and its contents resemble a Mandala – a Hindu and …

Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery Hillside Tibet

Located 50 km northeast of Lhasa, Ganden Monastery (དགའ་ལྡན་དགོན་པ།)is a relatively quick trip outside of Lhasa for visitors who wish to see the monastery, and enjoy the beautiful view of the valley below. Ganden Monastery is the biggest of the Gelugpa Monasteries, and was the first founded in the sect. Tsongkhapa was the founder of the Gelugpa sect (also known …

Sera Monastery

Sera monastery

Sera Monastery (སེ་ར་དགོན་པ།) is one of the most beautiful monastery compounds you will see in Tibet, and one of Lhasa’s several great religious institutes. Built on the gentle slope of a mountain overlooking Lhasa, its white stone roads and walkways feel almost Mediterranean. The roads are lined with beautiful trees and the debating courtyard looks like a private garden for …