Drepung Monastery
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Drepung Monastery

Update: Jan. 11th, 2013

Drepung Monastery

Drepung Monastery is located on the southern slope of Wuze Hill, about 10 kilometers away from Lhasa. It was built in 1416 and is the largest one of the monasteries of Gelug Sect. It owned 141 manors and more than 540 pastures before liberation.

Drepung Monastery is the biggest Tibetan Buddhism monastery. The white buildings of Drepung Monastery were constructed against the hill. Take an overlook of the monastery, it looks like a big piles of rice. Drepung means piles of snow-white rice in Tibetan. It is the most highly respected Gelug Sect monastery. It has been listed as a national key protective cultural relic in 1982.

Drepung Monastery – Architecture

Drepung Monastery is about 3800 meter above the sea level. It is also the biggest monastery in the world. There were about 10000 monks in its heyday. It covers an area of 0.2 million square meters. Most of the buildings of Drepung Monastery were constructed during Ming and Qing dynasties.

There are numerous assemblies and chapels in Drepung Monastery. The main building of the monastery – the Main Assembly Hall is very magnificent. There are 183 supporting pillars with amazing carvings. The hall is also decorated with murals and Thangka.

Drepung Monastery is a typical Buddhism monastery. Its construction mainly reflected the dignity of Buddhism. The appearance of the monastery is also decorated with materials related to Buddhism, such as the Dharma-cakra and golden roof. Those factors created a solemn Buddhism atmosphere and made Drepung Monastery more magnificent.

Drepung Monastery – History

Drepung Monastery was built by a famous disciple of Tsongkhapa (founder of Gelug Sect). It was built to meet the demand of the rapid development of Gelug Sect.

Drepung Monastery has trained a large number of talents for Tibetan Buddhism. The Fifth Dalai Lama lived here before he moved to Potala Palace.

The "Sunning the Buddha" held by Drepung Monastery during the Shoton Festival has been one of the most magnificent religious activities in Tibet.

Drepung Monastery – Collections

Drepung Monastery collected plenty of historical and cultural relics and Buddhism sculptures. The vivid and precious statues worshiped in the monastery reflected the advanced sculpture art in Tibet. The colorful murals and Thangka are also of great value.

There are also rare and ancient Buddhism sculptures and classics in Drepung Monastery. They are invaluable heritages left by the industrious and intelligent Tibetan people. They are of great significance for the research of Tibetan history, Religion and art.

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