History of Palkhor Monastery

Palkhor Monastery was built in a prosperous social period with sound historical culture background. In fourteenth and fifteenth century Tibetan economy, culture, religion, technology and art developed very quickly. In 1408 after the Lhasa Praying Rituals held by Tsongkhapa, the construction of Tibetan Buddha monastery reached a climax. Lots of important and famous monastery including Gandain Monastery (1408), Zhaibung Monastery (1416), Sera Monastery (1419), Qamdo Qambaling Monastery (1444) and Tashilunpo Monastery (1447) etc. were gradually built. Prince of Dharma Jamze Khripa Shodangongsanpa owned civil and military skills, and politically democratic. He especially stressed the development of religious culture projects. In 1403 he invited the disciple of Tsongkhapa Master Kezujie to come to Gyangts and appointed him Gyangts Buddhism Manager sponsoring the construction of Palkhor Monastery. In 1418, after several times of money raising and discussion, the construction of Palkhor Monastery began. The main hall and other sub-halls took eight years to finish. Later Lord of the Gyangts Buddha feuded with Kezujie, so Kezujie left Gyangts. But the great construction of the monastery and compilation of Buddhism sutra didn’t stop. In 1427 Myriad Buddha Stupa started, and was finished after ten years. Because it was built in the division period of counterbalance Tibetan sects, it gathered Gelugpa, Sakyapa and Kahdampa. Each denomination occupied five or six Zhacang (the highest power position in monastery). At the beginning the Gelugpa could not unify the other denominations, so it stayed harmoniously with the Sakya, Shalu and other denominations. But this situation and the precise scholarship are maintained forever in the monastery, which made Palkhor Monastery develop a school of its own among thousands of Tibetan Buddhism monasteries. In addition, lots of mural and carved statues are also attractions to tourists. It is said that the famous hierarch Buton master painted these mural especially the Dkyil-Khors.

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