Three Great Monasteries in Lhasa
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Three Great Monasteries in Lhasa

Update: May 30th, 2014


Tourists interested in Tibetan Buddhism might know that there are three great monasteries in Lhasa - Ganden Monastery in the eastern suburb, Drepung Monastery in the western suburb, and Sera Monastery in the northern suburb. These three great monasteries were constructed by the Master Tsongkhapa and his disciples, and be respected as the three great monasteries of Gelug Sect.

Three Great Monasteries in Lhasa - Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery ranks first in status among the six monasteries of Gelug Sect in Tibetan Buddhism. It is located in Datze County in the east of Lhasa, about 48 kilometers away from the world famous Potala Palace. Stretches from the south to the north, Wangboer Mountain is located on the southern bank of Lhasa River. With an altitude of 3800 meters, Ganden Monastery is situated in the valley of Wangboer Mountain. Ganden Monastery is highly respected as the first monastery among the 6 monasteries.

Ganden Monastery was created in early 15th century. The construction area of Ganden Monastery expanded to 77500 square meters at its heyday. The construction of Ganden Monastery symbols the prosperity of Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Tourists been to Ganden Monastery were always impressed by its magnificent architectural complex. With long history and profound Buddhism culture, Ganden Monastery attracts numerous pilgrims here for worshiping. There is a circumambulation around Ganden Monastery which takes about 40 minutes walking for complete one circle.

Three Great Monasteries in Lhasa - Drepung Monastery

Drepung Monastery is located in the western suburb of Lhasa City. With a floor area around 0.2 million square meters, Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet. Drepung Monastery developed rapidly since it was constructed. Academy was established in Drepung Monastery to spread the Buddhism classics. It is recorded that there were about 7000 Buddhists in Drepung Monastery in its heyday.

Except for its long history and profound Buddhism culture, Drepung Monastery is also quite noted for its Buddha exhibition ceremony held on the annual Shoton Festival. A large number of Buddhism followers and visitors would like to pay a visit to Drepung Monastery in early morning on the first day of Shoton Festival to witness the impressive scene. A large Thangka of Sakyamuni would be exhibited on the exhibition deck.

Three Great Monasteries in Lhasa - Sera Monastery

Though Sera Monastery is much smaller than Drepung Monastery, it also enjoys high reputation among both pilgrims and visitors from different corners of the world. There is solemn Buddhism scripture debating ceremony among Buddhists in Sera Monastery from Monday to Friday. It should be noted that the debating is only available on the afternoon, and visitors are strongly suggested to follow the traditions and never violet the taboos in the monastery.

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