Sakya Monastery
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Sakya Monastery

Update: Jan. 7th, 2013

Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monastery is one of the most important monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism. It has been listed as a key cultural relic under state protection in 1961.

Sakya Monastery was built by Konchock Gyelpo – descendant of a noble family in Tubo Kingdom in 1073. Sakya means grayish white earth in Tibetan. It is said that Konchock Gyelpo found the earth here is very special and this place might be a auspicious place, so he decided to build a monastery here.

Sakya Monastery – History

In early 13th century, the Mongolian tribes leaded by Genghis Khan united the central plains of China. Tibet was added to the domain of Chinese Yuan Dynasty. Sakya Sect came to its heyday when its leader Phagspa became the magistracy of Tibet under the guide of Chinese Yuan Dynasty.

In late 14th century, with the decline and extinction of Yuan Dynasty, status of Sakya was replaced by Kagyu. But Sakya didn't go to destruction, it survived.

Sakyapa is of great importance for the development of Tibetan culture. It helped Chinese Yuan Dynasty united Tibet and set an end to the 400-year war in Tibet.

Sakya Monastery – Architecture

The Mongolian architectural style of Sakya Monastery is quite different from the monasteries in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet. Sakya Monastery is composed of the Southern Monastery and the Northern Monastery. The original construction of Sakya Monastery was really simple and crude. Later, it was expanded gradually.

The Sakya Monastery covers an area of 14760 square meters. The Southern Monastery is basically constructed as the ancient defensive city. It could even be praised as a solid defensive castle. The Main Chanting Assembly takes an area of 5775 square meters and the roof is supported by 40 giant wooden pillars. The assembly could accommodate about 10000 Buddhists chanting the Buddhism sculptures at the same time.

There are also stupas of the Sakya Trizins in the Southern Monastery of Sakya Monastery. It experienced several restorations in history. Especially in the restoration in 1948, Sakya Monastery was greatly changed. But it is also a typical monastery which integrated the Tibetan and Han architectural styles.

Sakya Monastery – Cultural Relics

Sakya Monastery has a history of more than 900 years. There are rich cultural relics in the monastery, among which the Buddhism sculptures here are most noted. The number of the sculptures and classics in Sakya Monastery reaches 24000. Most of the sculptures are precious manuscripts.

Besides, there is also a great quantity of historical files in Sakya Monastery, including the documents related to the revenue, litigation. These documents are of great significance for the research of the Tibetan feudal serfdom system.

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