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Tashilhunpo Monastery

theTashilhunpo monastery with peopleTashilhunpo Monastery is one of the Six Big Monasteries of Yellow Hat Sect in Tibet. It is located at the foot of Drolmari (Tara's Mountain), 1.2 miles west of Shigatse, about 250 km southwest of Lhasa. Founded by the first Dalai Lama in 1447, the monastery's structure was expanded by the fourth and successive Panchen Lamas. Tashilhunpo covers an area of nearly 75 acres. The main structures in the monastery are the Maitreya Chapel, the Panchen Lama's Palace, and the Kelsang Temple. Tashilhunpo has been the seat of the Panchen Lama since the fourth Panchen Lama took charge of the monastery, which now houses nearly 800 lamas. The monastery also retains the largest gilded bronze statue of Qamba Buddha in the world.

Standing on the entrance of Tashilhunpo Monastery, visitors can see the grand buildings with golden roofs and white walls. The remarkable Thangka Wall which is nine floors high was built by the First Dalai Lama in 1468. The wall displays the images of Buddha on the 14th, 15th and 16th of May every year following the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. The images are so humongous that one can easily see it in Shigatse City.

Visitors can find The Maitreya Chapel by strolling into the monastery on the west side of Tashilhunpo Monastery. One can find the biggest statue of a sitting Maitreya Buddha inside the chapel. The statue stands 26.2 meters (86 ft) high and is decorated with gold, copper, pearl, amber, coral, diamond and other precious stones. The statue was handcrafted by 900 craftsmen in 9 years. The chapel has been divided into five floors. Visitors can tour the upper floors of the chapel using a wooden staircase to see the statue more clearly and appreciate the superb skill of the Tibetans.


Tashilhunpo Monastery Tour

When traveling to Tibet, the best way to understand the local custom is to pay a visit to the famous monasteries. As well as learn the Buddhist culture, tourists could also enjoy the architecture with strong Tibet style.