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Ganden Monastery

Overview

Ganden Monastery, with the altitude of 3800m, built in early A.D. 15th Century, is one of the great three monasteries of Lhasa , the other two are Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery). Ganden Monastery located on the top of Wangbur Mountain, 47 kilometers east of Potala Palace. Tsongkhapa's preserved body was entombed there in a silver and gold encrusted tomb by his disciples in 1419.

 

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It is one of the earliest and largest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, and stands atop of the six famous temples of Gelugpa - a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The Buddha Exhibition Festival in Ganden Monastery is one of the most red-carpet Buddhist ceremonies in Tibet, every year.  The temple is comprised of over 50 structures. The main halls in the temple are the Main Assembly Hall. Zhacangs, Khangtsens, and Myicuns.

 

Ganden used to have a smaller population with some 6,000 monks in the early 20th century ,and now there are about 170 monks. It is consisted of two principal original colleges----Jangtse and Shartse, which means North Peak and East Peak. Three main sights in Ganden Monastery are : the Serdung, the Tsokchen Assembly Hall and the Ngam Cho Khang. The tomb of Tsongkhapa is in the Serdung. The Tsokchen Assembly Hall is the largest hall for praying. There are 108 big poles in Tsokchen Assembly Hall. What is strange is there is a great pole in the center of the hall which is about two centimeters off the ground. The Ngam Cho Khang is the chapel where Tsongkhapa traditionally taught.