Drepung Monastery | 哲蚌寺

Drepung Monastery | 哲蚌寺 is one of the “great six” Gelukpa monasteries. The other five are Ganden, Sera, Kumbum (Ta’er), Labrang and Tashilunpo. It is located on the foot of Mount Gephel Utse about 5 kilometers from the west Lhasa. It is thought to be the largest monastery across Tibetan Plateau and is located on the Gambo Utse mountain, five kilometers from the western suburb of Lhasa.

Drepung Monastery was the “Home” monastery of the Dalai Lama. It was found in 1416 by Jamyang Chojey, a direct disciple of Tsongkhapa, whom was the founder of Gelug Pa Tradition of Tibetan religion. It once housed more than 10,000 monks in the early of 20th century. It is named after the sacred abode of Shridhanyakataka in South India.

The influence that Drepung monastery had made within the gelugpa world extending further to the east and northeast through Amdo and Mongolia. The abbot-preceptor of Drepung, known as the Tripa Khenpo, was formerly an influential figure within the Tibetan Ga-Xia Goverment

The monastery complex comprises the central Assembly Hall, the Ganden Palace, and a series of 7 colleges, among of which 4 of these colleges survive, including: Ngakpa, Loseling, Deyang, and Tashi Gomang.

In 1518, the residence of Dokhang Ngonmo in the southwest corner of Drepung was offered to Dalai Lama II, and its name was thereafter changed to Ganden Podrang. It continued to funtction as the residence of the Dalai lamas until Dalai Lama V moved into the newly built Potala Palace in the late 17th century.

To the left of the entrance, Sangak Podrang, which servesa protector shrine and contains a Thangkar image of Dalai Lama V. and a copies of Kan-ju-er (Kangyur) and Tan-ju-er(Tangyur) are contained by the bookcases attached to the side walls. The inner praying chamber contains Thangkar images of Dharmaraja, Bhairava, Six-armed Mahakala and Shridevi

The main courtyard is where the religious dance were performed and where the Shoton Festival (Yugurt Festival) is hold. It is flanked by two-story residential quarters. Beyond the courtyard, the lower story of the palace contains an Assembly hall, which has one Atisha’s image of “Speaking Tara”, and other images of Mahakarunika, and the protector deities. The upper story contains one private rooms for of the Dalai lamas.

There are three other Gelug Pa monasteries that have an important regional influence. One of them is Tashilhunpo Monastery, which was founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama and is located in Shigartse, the second largest city of central Tibet. Tashilhunpo Monastery is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, that is also the second highest ranking Tulku lineage in the Gelug pa tradition.

Address & Contact

Add : No. 276, Beijing West Road | 拉萨市城关区北京西路276号

Contact +86 891 686-0011

Opening hour

09:00 am – 16:00 pm

Monk debating begin at 14:30pm most halls are closed in the afternoon

Entrance fee

RMB 50.00 per person

Altitude

3,650 meters above sea level

How to get there

Drepung monastery is located in the northwest of Lhasa city, it can be reached easily with bus or taxi;
By bus: line 24, 25, to bus stop “Ze Bang Si zhan | 哲蚌寺站”, then hike for about 30 minutes to reach monastery; or by local tractor which costs RMB 5.00 per person one way

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