Gandain Monastery

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Gandain Monastery

Gandain Monastery is located in Taktse County about 50 km to the east of Lhasa, at the foot of the 3,800-m-high Mount Wangkuri.

Built by Tsongkhapa, founder of Gelugs Sect of the Tibetan Lamaism, in 1409, the Gandain Monastery was the ancestral temple of Gelug Sect, and was granted the name of Yongtai Temple by Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The monastery is rich in cultural relics and has more than 90 chortens.

The structures of the monastery include a main assembly hall and a number of Tantric colleges. Statues of Maitreya and Tsongkhapa are enshrined and worshiped in the assembly hall which has 108 pillars and has a floor space of 1,600 sq. m, bigg enough to hold 3,300 lamas. Left of the huge hall is a chapel built in 1416 and the fourth Panchen added a gold roof to it in 1610.

Among the towers in Gandain Monastery, Serdhung, a three-storeyed building which houses Tsongkhapa’s and his successors’ stupas, is the most famous. Other buildings include Tri Thok Khang, which is the residence of Tsongkhapa, the Great Scripture Hall and monks’ dorms.