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Chokorgyel Monastery

In a small village on the way to Lhamo Latso Lake , the once magnificent Chokorgyel Monastery now displays forlorn ruins after experiencing several disasters throughout its history. Built by Gendum Gyatso (1475-1542, the second Dalai Lama) in 1509, the monastery lies in one of the ancient geomantic hot spots of Tibet: a vast plain, shaped like an eight-petal lotus, on which is said to have flourished thirteen kinds of propitious flowers. At the confluence of three holy rivers and encircled by four sacred mountains, it symbolizes the perfect harmony of three elements: earth, water and air.  
Gendum Gyatso spent most of his summers and autumns in the monastery, which gradually grew into one of the summer palaces of Dalai Lamas and inevitably a lodging place for the eminent lamas who made pilgrimages to Lhamo Latso for revelations of the reincarnations . During the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama (1617-1682), the Chokorgyel Monastery was extended to cover an area of 4,000 square meters (14,000 square feet) and. At its peak, more than 500 lamas lived here.  
Destroyed by the Dzungar Mongols in 1718, the monastery later further suffered during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). The former splendor of the Chokorgyel Monastery can now only be traced from the broken walls and the ruins of hundreds of stone buildings inside. Pilgrims and travelers to Lhamo Latso often rest here and camp; this may constitute the only reason for the continued existence of the monastery. 
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