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Ganden Monastery

Ganden, the remains of what was once one of the most important monasteries in Tibet, lies about 25 miles to the east of Lhasa.
Butter lamps in Ganden Monastery, Lhasa Ganden Monastery is located in Tagtse County, approximately 48 kilometers (29.8 miles) east of Lhasa. It is one of the Three Great Monasteries of Gelugpa, also the oldest ( the other two are Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery).
In 1409, Tsong Khapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect built the first monastery, Ganden Monastery on the summit of Wangbur Mountain, beside the Lhasa River. The construction marked the establishment of the Tibetan Gelugpa Buddhism. The majestic Ganden Monastery was built on a grand scale, approximately equal to three Potala Palace. It has more than 50 buildings, including the Coqen Hall, which is the main assembly hall; two Zhacangs (Xaze and Jamze), which are the Buddhist colleges; twenty three Kumcuns and twenty Myicuns, which are the administrative units of the lowest level, serving as the places of boarding and lodging for the monks; and nine debating yards.  

Lamas, Ganden Monastery. Lhasa

Since Ganden Monastery is the ancestral monastery of Gelugpa, the abbots of Ganden Monastery, the Ganden Tripas, are regarded as the abbots of Gelugpa as well. The Ganden Tripas are only outranked by the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lamas. Besides over ninety stupas containing the remains of former Ganden Tripas, including Tsong Khapa's, the monastery has many more precious relics dating back from the Ming Dynasty (1368 -- 1644). Among them, the famous ones are a suit of armor presented by the Emperor Qian Long of the Qing Dynasty (1644 -- 1911), twenty four Thangkas woven in fine silks and gold thread presented by the Emperor Yong Le of the Ming Dynasty (1368 -- 1644) and a set of Buddhist sutras written in pure gold.  
Admission Fee: CNY 45
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 16:00

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