Sumtseling Monastery | 松赞林寺

Sumtseling Monastery is also called Sungtseling OR Song Zan Lin monastery. It is a Gelug pa tradition monastery seated approximately 5 kilometers outside the city of Shangri La (also known as Zhongdian or Gyeltang) in the southern edge of Kham, now it is administrated by Yunnan province. Since its shape is very similar to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, therefore it is often refereed as “Little Potala Palace” .

Sumtseling Monastery was established by the 5th Dalai Lama in 1679. It was built during the rule of Kangxi Emperor (1662-1722) of Qing dynasty. According to the legend that Kangxi Emperor was also associated in searching the reincarnation of 7th Dalai Lama. Its architecture is a synthesis of the Tibetan and Chinese. The monastery is kind like a stronghold that has solid, thick city walls and even five gates. The main hall is a Five-Story Tibetan Towers like building, it is able to accommodate more than 1,600 pilgrims to practice and chanting. The statue of 5th and 7th Dalai Lama are made and being placed in this main hall. It was severely damaged in the 10 years Cultural Revolution and being rebuilt in 1983; The monastery used to house more than 2,000 monks; and now there are still 700 monks study and live in this monastery

Sumtseling Monastery Festivals

Ge-dong Festival

  • Date: From 29th on the 12th month of Tibetan calendar
  • Duration: 3-4 days
  • Programs: Worship deities, including Mask Dance, chanting, praying
  • Festival style: Religious festival

Horse Racing Festival

  • Date: From 5th day of the 5th month of China Lunar Calendar
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Programs: Horse Racing, horse trading, dancing, singing
  • Festival style: cultural folk festival

How to get here

Sumtseling Monastery is situated in the north of Shangri La City, approximately 4 kilometers from the center of the downtown area; it can be easily reached by public transportation, or taxi

  • By bus
  • Line 3, get off the bus at terminal “Song-Zan-Lin-Si-Stop | 松赞林寺站”

  • By Taxi
  • It usually costs 10.00 RMB

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