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Samye Monastery

    The monastery in Chanang County southeast of Lhasa is known as the first real monastery in Tibet. Dating from the mid-8th century, it was the first Buddhist institute in Tibet served by regular monks. This means it was complete with the Three Treasures of Buddhism — Buddha, Dharma (laws and teachings of Buddha), and Sangha (monks).

    Opening hours: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

    Admission: RMB 40

Yamzhog Yumco

    This lake 70 kilometer southwest of Lhasa is one of three holy lakes in Tibet. The other two are Namco and Mapham Yutso.

Tashilhunpo Monastery

    The largest monastery in Xigaze, Tashilhunpo has been the headquarters of the Panchens since the fourth Panchen. It is one of the six major monasteries of the Gelug Sect, the others being Drepung, Sera and Ganden in Lhasa, Kumbum in Qinghai Province, and Labrang in Gansu Province. Tashilhunpo holds the funerary stupas of late Panchens. Its Qamba statue, more than 26 meters in height, is the world's largest indoor bronze Buddhist figure. Its casting consumed 110,000 kilograms of bronze and 250 kilograms of gold.

    Opening hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Admission: RMB 55

Palkhor Monastery

    Built at the dawn of the 15th century, Palkhor Monastery in Gyangze County co-hosts three sects of Tibetan Buddhism — Sakya, Kadam, and Gelug — making it significant in Tibet's religious history. Its buildings are typical of the design of lamaseries in the regions known as "Rear Tibet" during the period from the late 13th to mid-15th century. The nine-story Palkhor Pagoda is a spectacular stack of approximately 100 shrines painted with more than 100,000 Buddha figures. It is therefore also called 100,000-Buddha Pagoda.

    Opening hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Admission: RMB 40

Ruins of the Guge Kingdom

    Located in today's Zanda County, this kingdom of 1,300 years ago made significant contributions to the economic and cultural development of Tibet. It was a pivot on the path of Buddhist transmission from India to central Tibet as well as a hub of trade between Tibet and neighboring regions. The kingdom passed its throne down through 20 kings, before mysteriously disappearing in the 17th century. The ruins stretch up a 300-meter-high hill, consisting of palace sections, 879 cave homes, 445 houses, 58 watchtowers and 28 pagodas.

    Admission: RMB 400

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VOL.59 NO.12 December 2010 Advertise on Site Contact Us