Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery is ranked as the three most renowned Gelukpa school Buddhist monasteries in Tibet together with Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery. 45 km east of Lhasa City, Ganden Monastery stands on the 3,800-meter-high Wangbur Mountain of Tagtse County. The Ganden was founded in 1409 as the first monastery of Gelukpa sect by the sect great master--Jey Tsongkhhapa and served as the heart and soul of Gelukpa administration and worship.

The Ganden has undergone massive destructions in the rebellion of 1959 and Cultural Revolution in 1970s and could not resume its past majesty even after large-scale reconstruction since 1980s. Ganden Monastery offers three main sights: the Serdung, which houses the golden-silver tomb pagoda of Tsongkhapa, the Tsokchen Assembly Hall and the Ngam Cho Khang Chapel where Tsongkhapa taught his students. Over 90 Holy Stupas, fine artworks and frescoes can also be viewed here.

The pilgrimage route hiking is a highlight of the Ganden. This hour-long hiking can reward you with downward view of Lhasa River Valley, small villages, Tibetan pilgrim aspects like prostrating pilgrims, fluttering colorful prayer flags, yak-butter-offerings-rubbed rocks and small shrines in rock fissures.

Every 15th, June in Tibetan calendar will see the three-week Thangka Unfolding Ceremony during which 24 Thankas bestowed by a Ming dynasty emperor in 15 century will be exhibited.