Minzholing Monastery
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Minzholing Monastery

Update: Jan. 7th, 2013

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Minzholing Monastery - Brief Introduction

Minzholing Monastery is located in Chanang County, Shannan Prefecture. It is one of the three great and important monasteries of Nyingma Sect - the oldest sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It was first built in the late 10th century and it was called Minzholing Monastery after it was rebuilt in middle 17th century. It has been listed as a state-level cultural relic.

Minzholing Monastery faces the east and is surrounded by mountains. There is beautiful environment with green mountains and clean waters. Minzholing Monastery covers an area of about 0.1 million square meters and is surrounded by a polygon enclosing wall.

Minzholing Monastery - Architecture

The three-storey Lakhang Shrine is the main building of Minzholing Monastery. There are various sculptures carved on the walls of the shrine. Take a close look, you would find that these sculptures are pictures of the guards who protect the Buddha. All theses guards sculptures are have several heads and arms. Tourists might also be thrilled by the ferocious expressions of these sculptures.

In fact, such kind of sculptures are always been enshrined in the monasteries of Nyingma Sect and it has been a distinctive characteristic of the monasteries of Nyingma Sect. These exaggerate sculptures of the gods are typical symbols of the Esoteric Buddhism. They have close relationship with the Bon Art.

The shrines in Minzholing Monastery are decorated with murals and paintings of the Lamas of Nyingma Sect. The biggest shrine in the monastery is the two-storey Osmanthus Khang. The walls piled up with rubbles in Minzholing Monastery are very famous in Tibet. They are of great value for the research of Tibetan architectural art and style.

Minzholing Monastery - Contributions

Minzholing Monastery paid great attention to the research of the Buddhism scriptures and classics, astronomical calendar, calligraphy rhetoric and Tibetan medicines. Minzholing Monastery is noted for its achievements in these fields. There was a tradition that Minzholing Monastery would select eminent Buddhists to hold lectures in the Potala Palace. It has been praised as the first academy of Lamaism in Tibet.

Minzholing Monastery was also responsible for the recommendation of the Chronology of the Tibetan Calendar. The calendar has been formulated by Minzholing Monastery over the years. Minzholing Monastery played important role in the research of the history and religious doctrines of Nyingma Sect.

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