Yungbu Lakhang
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Yungbu Lakhang

Update: Jan. 11th, 2013

Yungbu Lakhang

Yungbu Lakhang is located on the mountain on the eastern bank of Yarlung River and is about 11 kilometers away from Tsedang Town. Yungbu means doe and Lakhang means holy palace in Tibetan. The palace got its name since the mountain looks like a doe.

Yungbu Lakhang is the first palace in the history of Tibet and also one of the oldest constructions in Tibet. It was built in the second century B.C. It was changed to a monastery from palace during the regime of Songtsen Gambo. Songtsen Gambo and Princess Wencheng of Chinese Tang Dynasty would come here to spend the summer. The Fifth Dalai Lama added more constructions on the original palace and turned it a monastery of Gelug Sect.

Yungbu Lakhang – History

Yungbu Lakhang was said to be the oldest architecture in Tibet. It was not a monastery but the palace of the leader of Yarlung Tribe originally.

During the reign of the 28th Tibetan King, a golden stupa, a jewel and a sutra were added to the roof of the original palace in the 5th century. Yungbu Lakhang became the summer residence of the 33rd Tibetan King – Songtsen Gambo and Princess Wencheng of Chinese Tang Dynasty.

Yungbu Lakhang became a monastery of Gelug Sect under the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama after Songtsen Gambo moved to Potala Palace in Lhasa.

After the liberation of Tibet, the government attached great importance to the protection of the cultural relics. Yungbu Lakhang was listed as a key cultural relic under protection of Tibet Autonomous Region in 1962. Though it experienced disastrous calamity, Yungbu Lakhang has been well recovered after a two-year restoration since 1982.

Yungbu Lakhang – Architecture

Castle-style Watchtower

The Castle-style Watchtower is located in the middle of the western Yungbu Lakhang. It is the tallest building in the monastery and said to be built by the first Tibetan King – Nyatri Tsenpo. It is 11 meters high, 4.6 meters long from the south to north and 3.5 meters wide from the east to the west.

It seems that the Castle-style Watchtower is a five-storey building. Actually it has only three floors. The tower is of little interior area with thick walls. The first floor only covers an area of 2.28 square meters and the left floors also covers only 4.18 square meters respectively.

Palace Hall

The Palace Hall of Yungbu Lakhang is said to be built by Songtsen Gambo. The existing Palace Hall is a two-storey building after restoration. The hallway is 6.3 meters long from the south to the north and 5.2 meters wide from the east to the west. The Buddhism Assembly in the Palace Hall is 6.3 meters wide from the south to the north and 9.3 meters from the east to the west with 8 giant supporting pillars.

There are statues of some important figures in the history of Tibet stated in the Palace Hall, including Songtsen Gambo and Princess Wencheng. There are also precious Buddhism sculptures and classics, as well as vivid murals presenting the stories related to Buddha.

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