Drepung Monastery is known as one of the three major monasteries of Lhasa along with Sera Monastery and Ganden Monastery. Drepung means ”heaps of rice” in Tibetans. It was built in the western suburbs of Lhasa in 1416. The whole monastery was built leaning the mountain, white colour being the main tone and looks like a white rice heap, thus named as Drepung. When it was first built, there were more than 10,000 monks in the monastery, making it the largest one in Tibetan Buddhism. In 1546, the third Dalai Lama was welcomed into the monastery as the first living Buddha. In the middle of the 17th century, after the Fifth Dalai Lama came to power, he established the local government in the monastery---The Ganden Phodrang and it became the political center of Tibet. There were 7,700 monks in the monastery. Since the Dalai Lama of generations used the Drepung Monastery as the mother monastery, the monastery has the highest status in the Gelug monasteries.
The main buildings include Tsochen Grand Hall、four Dratsangs、Ganden Phodran and more than 50 Kangcun the Zuchin Hall, the four major Zhacang, the Gandanpozhang and more than 50 Kangcun. The size of the Datsan in the monastery is larger than those in other monasteries. The exterior of the Drepung Monastery is decorated with gold dome、dharmachakra and etc., looking magnificent. By 1951, there were more than 10,000 people living in the monastery, making it the largest monastery with the largest number of monks in Tibet. The monastery is abundant with historical relics, Buddhist classics, arts and crafts, and collections. There are many rituals in the Drepung Monastery. On the occasion of auspicious days such as large-scale Buddhist anniversaries and the 15th and 30th day in every month according to Tibetan calendar, the corresponding ceremonies must be held. There are often activities to celebrate together by commons and monks, the biggest of which is the the Shoton Festival on June 30th of the Tibetan calendar. On the day of the Shoton Festival, a large-scale Buddha image of Thangka was displayed at the center of the Drepung Monastery, and a Tibetan opera performance was held. In 1982, Drepung Monastery was listed as a national key cultural relics protection unit. From 1982 to 1989, the government allocated 1.62 million yuan to repair the monastery from various aspects, making it a Buddhist sacred place for Buddhists and tourists from home and abroad.
It is located at the center of the monastery and is the activity center for the whole monastery. It covers an area of about 4,500 square metres and can accommodate 7,000 people at the same time. There is a stone pavilion in front of the main hall, covering an area of more than 2,000 square metres. The main building of the hall is composed of porch, scripture hall, Duisong Lha Khang and Miwang Lha Khang.
Ganden Phodrang of the Drepung Monastery
It is the living place for Dalai Lama in Drepung Monastery, located on the left side of the front of the monastery. It was built in 1530 by the second Dalai Lama. It was the living place of the 2nd to the 5th Dalai Lama before they moved to the Potala Palace. When the Fifth Dalai Lama established a local government and dealt with government affairs in this Phodrang. The Ganden Phodrang once became the political centre in Tibet. The Ganden Phodrang can be divided into three parts: a small courtyard, a large courtyard, and a main building.
There are many precious cultural relics in the monastery, mainly including porcelain, Thangka, and Buddhist books. These cultural relics are of great value for studying the history, religion and art of Tibet.
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Hello I am planning a trip to Katmandu and on to Lhasa and Mt. Kalias. I am pilgrim. Let me know costs and details I intend to fly or go overload from Katmandu Lhasa etc. Thx.
Dear Mr. To***,
Thanks very much for your inquiry. Travelling to Tibet from Nepal, you need to apply for Chinese Group Visa in Kathmandu. Firstly, we'll apply for visa invitation letter with copy of your passport. Next, we'll send visa invitation letter to you and our partner in Kathmandu. When you arrive in Kathmandu, you need to meet with our partner and give them your original passport, then they will go to Chinese embassy and apply for Chinese Group Visa for you. When you board plane from Kathmandu to Lhasa, they'll only check your passport and Chinese Group Visa. Apart from Chinese Group Visa, you also need Tibet Permit, we'lll apply for Tibet Permit for you in Lhasa, and our guide will pick you up at Lhasa airport with your permit. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Thanks & Regards
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