Dongzhulin Monastery sits overlooking the beautiful Jinsha River Gorge (Yangtze). Dongzhulin, though not as famous as Songzanlin, is more popular with the local Tibetans. It has several “living” Buddhas and each year the Mask Dancing Ceremony attracts thousands of followers.
Dongzhulin Monastery was built in 1667, before Sumtseling monastery, and at one time housed treasures which rivaled Potala Palace, inlcuding gilded Maitreya, statue of White Drolma, Buddhas of Three Worlds, the ruler of the hell, Manjusri, 18 Arhats statues and Tangkar scroll paintings depicting Buddhist stories. Unfortunately it was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution and the current structure was restored in 1987.
Previously, it was named “Chong-Chong-Gang Monastery” that means a monastery by a crane lake. Originally, It was a Kagyupa tradition monastery, however, it was converted to Gelupa and merged in 1667 with other 7 small monasteries, and finally becoming Dongzhulin Monastery. In the late Qing Dynasty, there had been over 700 lamas and 10 Living Buddhas in this monastery.
The Assembly Hall of Dongzhulin Monastery is designed in earth and wooden structure with 4 floors and 82 thick pillars. On the first floor, Tsongkhapa and his two disciples named Damarenqing and Kezhujie are enshrined. Some other enshrined Buddhism deities on the same floor are Sakyamuni, Avalokitecvara (Goddess of Mercy), Bhodisattva Manjusri, Bhodisattva Samantabhadra and Drolma. The chanting hall, Buddhist chapels and chambers for Buddhist imams are settled on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Among of those, the most impressive statues are the statue of Qingba Buddha (Maitreya) and the statue of Juewolakang (Sakyamuni). It also houses a huge Tangkar, which is 8.5 meters long and 5.2 meters wide, and is mostly unfolded on the Gedong Festival in December according to Tibetan calendar.
Dongzhulin Monastery Data
3,050 meters above sea level
Gelug pa Monastery
RMB 30.00 per person
On the east Slop of Nan-Yong-Gan-Ding, Shu-Song village, Ben-zi-lan county
Tips on visit
For getting to Dongzhulin Monastery, the first step is to take flights or land transportation to arrive in Shangri La city, which is the capital town of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, and then after you will have to switch to local transportation from Shangri La city to this monastery.
There are about more than 15 buses leave for or passing through Benzilan county where Dongzhulin Monastery is about 23 kilometers away from.
Be advised: There is NO bus to this monastery from Benzilan, so you will have to take local minibus which usually charges RMB 30.00 – 50.00 per person one way
Airport & Bus Station
Di Qing Airport
Address: No. 1, Shen-Ying Road
IATA Code: DIG
Altitude: 3,280 meters
Phone: +86 887 822 9916
Shangri La Bus Station
Address: Xiangbala Avenue
Phone: +86 887 822-3501
Altitude: 3,080 meters
Working hours: 06:00 – 19:00