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Drepung Monastery

* The largest and most influential monastery of Gelupa sect (Yellow Hat) of Tibetan Buddhism. 

History: Built from 1416 AD
Distance from downtown: 8 Km / 0.5 Hours Drive 
Entrance fee: RMB 50 per person
Open Hours: 09:00-17:00
* Address: No.276, Beijing West Road, Lhasa   

*  TEL:  0891-6860011
*  The best visiting time: May-- October

Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
Drepung Monastery
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Drepung Monastery is located eight kilometres northwest of Lhasa on the Gephel Utse ridge above West Dekyi lam. It was founded in 1416 by jamyang Choje Tashi Palden (1398-1449), and named after the sacred abode of Shridhanyakataka in South India. Jamyang Choje was one of Tsongkhapa’s foremost disciples, and it is known that Tsongkhapa himself taught at the site of the new monastery. The complex developed rapidly with the assistance of the Phakmodru kings, expecially Nedong Namka Zangpo, so that there were 2000 monks in its second year of existence. In the early years of the 16th century, Dalai Lama II took possession of the Ganden Podrang at Drepung, which was later to become an important centre of political power in Tibet. At the time when Dalai Lama V assumed spiritual and temporal power in 1641, Drepung had over 10000 monks, who hailed from 321 different branch monasteries and lived according to nationality in 50-60 different houses, making it the largest monastery in the world. Drepung’s influence within the Gelukpa world extended far 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 government.

Much of the 20000 square metres complex at Drepung has survived unscathed, despite repeated plunder inflicted upon it – by king Tsangpa Desi of Zhigatse during the civil war in 1618, by the Mongols in 1635, by Lhazang Qan in 1706, and by the Chinese during the recent Cultural Revolution. Many of the surviving buildings date from the 17th -18th century. The monastery reopened in 1980, with a population of approximately 500, most of them young novices, but in recent years the numbers have been considerably reduced in consequence of the active programme of political indoctrination initiated here by communist party cadres.

The complex comprises the Central Assembly Hall (tsokchen Lhakhang), the Ganden Palace (Ganden Podrang), and a series of seven colleges (Tratsang), ech originally under the fontrol of one or other of Jamyang Choje’s and each containing its own residential units (Khangtsang). Four of these colleges survive to the present, namely: Ngakpa, Loseling, Deyang, and Tashi Gomang. The other three, Dulwa, Sha-khor, and Tosamling, unfortunately declined during the 18th century. The pilgrim’s circumambulatory route around Drepung follows the sequence described here, viz: Ganden Podrng, Assembly Hall, Ngakpa Tratsang, Jamyang Lhakhang, Loseling Tratsang, Tashi Gomang Tratsang, and Deyang Tratsang.

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