Rongbuk Monastery
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Rongbuk Monastery

Update: Jan. 7th, 2013

Rongbuk Monastery

Rongbuk Monastery is located on the top of Tara Mountain, Basum Townsip in Tingri County, Shigatse Prefecture. It is about 90 kilometers away from the seat of the township. It is the highest monastery in the world with an altitude of 5800 meters.

Rongbuk Monastery – History

Rongbuk Monastery is a monastery of Nyingma Sect. Both the monks and nuns live in the monastery. The old Rongbuk Monastery is 3 kilometers away from the south of the new Rongbuk Monastery. The old one is closer to Mt. Everest. There are still relics related to Master Padmasambhava since he cultivated himself here.

The new Rongbuk Monastery was completed in 1902. It had more than 10 branch monasteries (some of them were in Nepal) in its heyday. It has 8 affiliated monasteries today, including a nunnery. Rongbuk Monastery is only about 20 kilometers away from the top of Mt. Everest and it has been the base camp for mountaineers climb the peak from the northern slope.

There is a circumambulation around Rongbuk Monastery. Large quantity of followers of Tibetan Buddhism would come here for pilgrimage. The monastery experienced a large-scale restoration in 1983. The murals stored in the monastery worth great attention.

Rongbuk Monastery – Architecture

Rongbuk Monastery was constructed against the mountain. The main construction is the five-storey building and only two floors are in service today. It is said that this monastery was built in such a high place for peace and quiet. There are numerous Marni heaps piled by the followers of Nyingma Sect for pray for happiness and health.

The statues of Padmasambhava and Sakyamuni are enshrined in Rongbuk Monastery. Both the monks and nuns live and activate in the monastery. There were more than 600 monks and nuns lived in the monastery in its heyday. Once, there were more than 20 chapels and assembly halls. Now, there are only 11 monks and 8 nuns in the monastery with a chapel and an assembly hall.

Take an overlook toward the south from Rongbuk Monastery, tourists would find that Mt. Everest looks like a giant pyramid standing majestically among the towering mountains. The milky white cloud looks like a flag would be seen on a sunny day. That cloud was widely accepted as the highest flag-cloud in the world.

Rongbuk Monastery – Glacier

The Rongbuk River at the foot of Rongbuk Monastery is originated from the three glaciers in southern slope of Mt. Everest. There are 15 glaciers which covers an area of more than 0.1 million square kilometers, among which the largest one is Rongbuk Glacier. Rongbuk Glacier is 26 kilometers long with an average thickness of 120 meters. It is more than 300 meters at its thickest.

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