Opened in 1916, the traditional Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, also known as the Mentsekhang, began as a free-minded place for the smartest and most forward thinking doctors and astrophysicists to come together. The large institute covers over 40,000 square meters (10 acres) and is home to over 450 staff members. All of this combined makes it the best and largest traditional hospital in Tibet.
The tradition of Tibetan medicine dates back to B.C. times and is widely known to be very effective. Special wings dedicated to surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, orthopedics and brain studies are all in the Mentsekhang. In the early 1980s the facility was expanded and updated to meet more modern standards. Tibetan medicine is unique because it has a close relationship to the traditional calendar. Thus the two sciences are placed under one roof. Doctors of this practice believe that the body changes from season to season and is more responsive to treatments depending on the time of year. The Mentsekhang also houses the Tibetan Medicine Factory, which has been producing herbal and advanced remedies since the 1960s. It is also responsible for training those specializing in traditional Tibetan medicine. Their mission is to promote and practice the Tibetan system of medicine, astronomy and astrology. Facilities are open to tourists who want to get a glimpse on the medical training and development. A museum and library are also available as a part of the self-guided tour.
Admission: free of charge
Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm