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Tibet Tashilhunpo Monastery

Tibet Tashilhunpo Monastery
Tibet Tashilhunpo Monastery
Perhaps, Tashilhunpo Monastery is the best buddhist temple and the most influential religious destination in Tibet. As the meditation center of Dalai Lama, Tashilhunpo Monastery is quite traditional and shows the glory of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Tashilhunpo Monastery means luck assembly In Tibetan language. It was built by Gendunzhuba, the first Dalai Lama, at the east hillside of the Nima Mountain west of Shigatse City in 1447. It is the biggest temple in Xigaze region of Tibet and one of the Tibet’s four great temples. In addition, it is one of the six most famous temples of Huang Religion (Huangjiao). It is the place to contain bodies and souls of Panchen Lamas of past generations.

The grand Tashilhunpo Monastery, with an area of 150 thousand square meters, is surrounded by mountains and rivers. Around it are palace walls built along the mountains in length of more than 3000 meters decorated with golden roofs and green tiles. There are 57 scripture halls and 3600 rooms in the temple. The Cuoqin Hall, the marketplace for the temple’s all Lamas to recite scriptures and worship the Buddha, is located in the central of the Zha Temple. Stupas of Panchens of the fourth to tenth generations were put in the Soul Tower Temple. Gyinalhakang, the Han Chinese Buddhist Temple, houses many gifts to the Panchen from the Chinese emperors of past dynasties, such as ancient porcelain wares, gold and silver goblets, tea sets, bowls and plates, jade containers and refined fabrics. The earliest objects, the nine bronze Buddha statues, are said to have been brought to Tibet by Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618- 907). The side hall of the Han Chinese Buddhist Temple is the meeting room where the Qing-dynasty grand minister resident of Tibet and the Panchen used to meet. Inside the hall hangs a huge picture of a Qing-dynasty emperor in kasaya holding a Dharma wheel. Before the picture is a tablet inscribed with Long live Emperor Daoguang (reigning 1821- 1851). When the emperor issued a decree, the Panchen would kowtow to express his gratitude before the tablet after receiving it. Cultural relics preserved in the Han Buddha Hall (Hanfutang), obviously, proved the subjection relation between Tibet and the central government. In the east of the Monastery stand seven stupa halls, among which the most famous one is the Jueganxia Temple, which enshrines the body of the fourth Penchen Lama.

As you enter the monastery, you will find a wall overlooking the monastery, which was built by the order of the first Dalai Lama in the year 1468. On 14th, 15th and 16th May of every year according to the Tibetan calendar, the wall displays images of Lord Buddha. And when looking the monastery, from entry you will see the mighty building with white walls and shining golden roof. Proceed to the West Side of the temple where the Maitreya Chapel holds the biggest statue of a sitting Maitreya Buddha, almost 86 feet in height, well decorated with gold, diamond, pearl and every other rare stone that you can think of. It is spellbinding to know that it is purely handcrafted by around 900 craftsmen and took more than 9 years in its construction. Take the wooden staircase to other higher levels of the Chapel from where you can more clearly see and appreciate the Lord’s monolith. The other attraction of the monastery is the Stupa tomb of the tenth Panchen Lama. It lies east of the chapel and is covered with 614 kg of gold and innumerable number of jewels and precious stones.

Near to the stupa there is the Panchen Lama’s palace which is still not open to visitors. As move to the east of the palace, you will come across another stupa, this time of the fourth Panchen Lama. This stupa is also completely covered with gold and silver. Apart from these grand palaces and Stupas, also enjoy the uniqueness and resplendence of the paintings that adorn the walls of this monastery.

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