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Home >> Tibet >> Lhasa >> Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery, Tibet Travel Lhasa tour
Ganden Monastery, Tibet tour Lhasa Travel trip
Ganden Monastery, China Travel Tibet tour Lhasa trip
Ganden Monastery, Tibet tour Travel Lhasa China trip

Ganden Monastery is attainable on a day trip from Lhasa. It lies 45km east of Lhasa, on the Sichuan highway. It is the most dramatically situated of the main temples near Lhasa, high up on the ridge.

The Ganden Monastery was the first monastery of the Gelugpa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism (also known as the Yellow Hat Sect) and remains the power center of this sect today. It was founded in 1417 and the successive leaders of this sect have come to be known as the Ganden Tripa, a post earned through scholastic achievement. The Dalai Lama is the most famous member of this sect.

The word "Ganden" means "joy" in Tibetan and is also the name for the "western heavens" where the Maitreya Buddha (the Future Buddha) resides. Ironically, this Monastery was heavily damaged during Cultural Revolution bombings, making the place somewhat depressing. However, work is underway to repair the damaged buildings of the monastery, so that Ganden Monastery is being quickly restored to its must-see status as one of Lhasa's most impressive monasteries. Seek out the Golden Throne Room of the Dalai Lama. Placed upon the throne, there is a cloth bag containing his yellow hat that he left behind in his escape to exile in India.

There are many burial stupas on the grounds of the Monastery, the most noteworthy of which is the Tomb of the Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. The Tsongkhapa's preserved body used to sit meditatively in the stupa, but the body was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. All that remains today are a few enshrined skull fragments.

Lhasa Travel Attractions
Barkhor Street
Drepung Monastery
Ganden Monastery
Jokhang Temple
Potala Palace
Sera Monastery
Tibet History Museum
Yarlong Tsangpo River
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