Why is the Palkhor Chode Monastery special?
The Palkhor Chode Monastery occupies an important place in Tibetan Buddhism history because different Buddism sects, like Gelugpa, Sakyapa, are compatible in this monastery.
Palkhor Chode Monastery Highlights
Palkhor Chode Monastery, also named Palcho Monastery, is very different from other monasteries. Built as a Tibetan monastery, its structural style is very unique.
The monastery houses monks from the Gelugpa, Sakyapa and Kahdampa orders. Although they once quarreled and fought, the different orders eventually discovered a way to get along with each other. The monastery is the only one known to house monks from different orders in harmony. As a result, its structural style, deities enshrined and murals are very special.
Tshomchen, the Main Assembly Hall of Palkhor, was built between the end of fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth century.
The ground floor of the three-story building is a Chanting Hall with 48 columns, which are decorated with old silk "tangkas". An eight-meter high (26 feet) bronze statuary of Maitreya is also on display. The gilded figure is made from 1.4 tons (3086 pounds) of bronze.
On the second floor, "Bodhisattva Manjushri" and "Arhats", from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), were enshrined in the chapels. Its Arhat Chapel is famous throughout Tibet.
On the roof, a chapel houses a collection of 15 "mandala" murals, which are three meters (ten feet) in diameter. Additionally, the monastery collects about 100 robes and costumes worn in Tibetan opera, all of which were made of silk, embroidery and tapestry during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).