Yaowang Hill
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Yaowang Hill

Update: Jan. 11th, 2013

Yaowang Hill

Yaowang Hill is located on the right side of Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It is 3725 meters above the sea level. To develop the Tibetan medicine, the local official Sangye Gyatso built a medicine academy on the hill in late 17th century. He also selected some lamas from the monasteries here to study the medicine. There is a statue of Yaowang (Medicinal King) in the academy, so Han people called the academy Yaowang Monastery and called the hill Yowang Hill.

Yaowang Hill is opposite to Potala Palace and it is the best place to take an overview of Potala Palace, especially on half way up to Yaowang Hill. There are always a lot of tourists and shutterbugs collected here to wait for the special and beautiful moment – the first ray of sunshine shines on Potala Palace.

Yaowang Hill – Yaowang Monastery

There is a small cave monastery on the east side of Yowang Hill. It is a grotto monastery with particular structure. The monastery has a history of more than 1000 years. It is a rare well-preserved monastery which located on the steep hill slope in Lhasa. Experienced several ups and downs, the small monastery became more attractive and of high dignity.

The Yaowang Monastery is an irregular rectangle and covers an area about 27 square meters. There is a newel at the entrance of the cave. The narrow corridor between the newel and the walls of the cave acted as the pilgrimage corridor of the Buddhists. There are 69 stone carved Buddhist statues in the wall. There are also statues of Songtsen Gambo, Princess Wencheng of Chinese Tang Dynasty and some other famous characters in Lhasa.

Yaowang Hill – Legend

It is said that the top of Yaowang Hill is where Princess Wencheng worshiped her hometown toward the east. The grotto monastery was excavated during the regime of Songtsen Gambo. It is said that the workers who excavated the grotto monastery were paid with salt. The salt was in short supply and was very precious at that time. After more than one thousand years, the grotto monastery remains well-preserved experienced several ups and downs.

Yaowang Hill – History

The heap of rubble on Yaowang Hill was originally the Tibetan medicinal academy. It was called Yaowang Monastery since it had a religious character. It is sand that Sakya could cure all the diseases and Yaowang (Medicinal King) is an incarnation of Sakya. Tibetan Medicine has a history of more than one thousand years since it first appeared in Tubo Kingdom Period.

Princess Wencheng of Chinese Tang Dynasty brought Han culture to Tibet when she married Songtsen Gambo in 7th century. Later, Princess Jincheng also brought some traditional Chinese medical science to Tibet. Some of the theories and measures of traditional Chinese medical science were merged into Tibetan medicine.

Yaowang Monastery collected a number of knowledgeable Tibetan medicine doctors and it developed into a Tibetan medicine academy in 17th century.

In late 17th century, Sangye Gyatso selected lamas from monasteries here to study the Tibetan medicine. After 1960s, the original doctors belong to Yaowang Monastery became doctors of Tibetan medicine hospital.

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