the home of the Panchen Lama, is located
on the hillside overlooking Shigatse
northwest of the town. It was established
in 1447 by Genden Trup, a disciple
of the founder of the Gelugpa Order.
Genden Trup was later named the first
Dalai Lama. Later, the fifth Dalai
Lama named the Abbot of Tashilhunpo
as the first Panchen Lama, second
only to the Dalai Lama. Ever since
then, the title of Panchen Lama has
been one and the same with the Abbot
of this monastery.
This temple for the most
part escaped the ravages of the Cultural
Revolution and its chapels contain
countless statues and mural decorated
halls. Find the Chapel of Maitreya
as you enter the Monastery. Inside
there is a 26 meter high statue of
the Maitreya Buddha which is the largest
bronze Buddha statue in the world.
Also, the tombs (burial stupas or
chorten) of most of the Panchen Lamas
are housed in the Monastery. Worthy
of note is the Tomb of the tenth Panchen
Lama who passed away in 1989.
The most magnificent part
of the Monastery is the Kelsang Temple
in the northeast area of the compound.
There, you'll find enough chapels,
statues and murals to keep you enthralled
for several trips. Wander around and
take it all in slowly. There is just
too much in this one building, from
Chapels dedicated to the Maitreya
Buddha to the Tara protection goddesses.
Shigatse Travel Attractions
Palace of Panchen