Ganden monastery is the greatest and the oldest of the six Gelug Sect’s monasteries, which is called one of “the three principal monasteries” (the other two are Dreprung Monastery and Sera Monastery). At its peak, it had a registration of more than 4,000 monks.
Tsong Khapa, founder of Gelug Sect, established it as the first Gelug monastery in 15th century when he carried out the religious reform in Tibet. The full name of Ganden monastery is Xizhuzhuenshengzhou in Chinese. Some scholars call it as “Jushan”or “Jile” monastery. In 1733, Emperor Yongzhen of Qing dynasty bestowed the name “Yongtai”. And Gandenpai (Gelug Sect’s original name) which means exhortation, also named after the Ganden monastery.
Location: Set up by the Gelug sect’s founder Tsong Khapa in the 7th year of Yongle (in Ming dynasty), the Ganden monastery lies in Lhatse County, 57 kilometers east of Lhasa, the Wangbori Mountain with the altitude of 3,800 meters. Besides its typical Tibetan style, it is three times as large as Potala.
Transportation: by bus on the Jokhang square, RMB 20 yuan for round-trip ticket, 2 hours’ route, set off at 7:00 a.m. and return at 14:00 a.m. everyday.
Opening time: 09:00-16:00 a.m.
Price: free for the locals, RMB 30 yuan for one person.
Comment of the scenery: Ganden monastery is the first Gelug monastery in Tibet which features rich historic monuments.
A legend says that when Tsong Khapa was born, there was a Buddhist tree growing from the bleeding cut of his umbilical cord. And there was an image of a lion roaring towards Buddha on every leaf on this tree that had 100,000 leaves.
1. Take bus on the Jokhang square, off at 7:00~7:30a.m. and back at 14:00a.m.everyday, and 2 hours route. RMB 20 yuan for one round-trip ticket.
2. 2 hours is sufficient for a tour
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