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Reting Monastery

* The origination of every Buddhism sect of Tibet.
History: Built from 1057
Distance from downtown: 240Km /4Hours Drive 
Entrance fee: RMB 60 per person 
Open Hours: 7:00-19:00
* Address:  Linzhou Country, Lhasa, Tibet
* Best visiting time: All year around

Reting Monastery
Reting Monastery
Reting Monastery
Reting Monastery
Reting Monastery
Reting Monastery
Reting Monastery
Reting Monastery
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Reting Monastery is a historically important Buddhist monastery in Linzhou County in the Lhasa Prefecture of central Tibet, 180 kilometers away from Lhasa. Reting Monastery in the stony valley of the Reting Rongchu River seen from above. The main temple and assembly hall are in the centre of the complex topped by a gilded roof. In a country full of spectacular natural beauty, Reting was a pastoral heaven. At 13,350 feet, the monastery overlooks this perfectly smooth green and placid valley, a milky snow-fed river running through the bottom.

Reting Monastery was founded by Atisha's chief disciple Dromtonpa in 1056 in the Reting Tsampo Valley north of Lhasa as the seat of the Kadampa lineage. He brought some of Atisha's relics with him. It was the first major monastery of the Sarma revival. Tsongkapa (1357 – 1419) reformed the Kadampa School which then became known as the Gelug School and Reting became an important Gelugpa monastery, the seat of the Reting Rinpoche. Initially, disciples of Dromtonpa served as abbots of the monastery. In the 18th century, the 7th Dalai Lama installed his sutra tutor, Ngawang Qoidain, as the Hutogtu of Reting Monastery, and he became the first Living Buddha azheng. An incarnation system was later introduced at the monastery to select the soul boy of the deceased Living Buddha Reting. The 5th Living Buddha Reting, Tubdain Gyainbai Yexei, served as the Prince Regent on the death of the 13th Daial Lama. He supported the Chinese central government policy for national unity, but was eventually murdered.

The Reting Rinpoches were responsible for the successful search and discovery of the 14th Dalai Lama. The Reting Rinpoches were among the candidates for Regent during the minority of a Dalai Lama. Thus, the Reting Rinpoche was Regent between 1845 and 1855 and, again, from 1933-1947. The latter Regent, the Fifth Reting Rinpoche, was involved in the search for the present Dalai Lama and became his Senior Tutor, later abdicated his position and was found guilty of colluding with the Chinese and died in a Tibetan prison in 1947. In fact his Shugdenpa accusers who were in power are generally held responsible for his murder were colluding with the Chinese Ambon. They also destroyed the Gelug Reting Monastery and killed many in Lhasa.

The monastery holds the Kuyoqoiba (Cuckoo Worshipping) Ceremony on the 15th day of the fourth month in the Tibetan calendar. On the 15th day of the 7th month every 12 years, the monastery also stages the Pobentanggor Festival during which ten thousand believers walk around the soul rock in procession and worship Buddha statues.

Most of the famous monasteries in Tibet are found in mountainous gullies with little of no tree cover. However, this is not the case with Reting Monastery, which lies under luxuriant trees.

The river valley where Reting Monastery is situated is abnormally shaped. A stream meanders along the valley, which is so quiet that the sound of the rippling water is clearly discernible. Groves extend far and wide over the entire slope on the left bank, while the right bank is buried under snow. The area is a perennial pastureland in sharp contrast with other barren gullies.

Before reaching Reting Monastery one is intoxicated by tens of thousands of cypress trees, some as high as 20-30 meters and so thick that it takes several people linking arms to surround them. The area is like a beautiful painting scroll. The azure sky is reflected in the river. The 70-degree mountain slope is dotted with cypress trees and groves, with hordes and magpies in the sky and grazing yaks cropping the grass.

Unlike most of famous monasteries, Reting Monastery is an unsophisticated clay-stone structure. The 100 square-meter Main Hall enshrines the statue of Atisha, while statues of Atisha, Zongdunba and others stand in the Rear Hall. The western wing of the Main Hall is contains statues of Atisha and sculptures of the 1st-6th Living Buddha Razheng, plus the holy stupa for the 6th Living Buddha Reting. Surrounding the monastery are 108 springs and 108 dagobas among ancient cypress trees.

Travel Tips:
  • Admission fee: RMB 30 (USD 5) per person
  • Open hours: 9:00-17:00
  • Recommended Visiting Time: Three hours
  • Camp near the monastery will be a good adventure.

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