Why is Dongzhulin Monastery special
As one of 13 great Lama Monasteries in China, Dongzhulin Monastery was built in 1667 and located in Benzilan Town of Deqin County. With an altitude of 3,000 meters above the sea level, the monastery is geographically located in the low area in the back of Baimang Snow Mountain. With orderly-distributing architecture complex, the lofty monastery can be mistakenly deemed a town when looked from the distance.
Dongzhulin Monastery was formerly named Chongchonggang Monastery which in Tibetan means a monastery by a crane lake. In the beginning, Chongchonggang was a monastery of Kagyupa and had only 16 lamas. Later on, due to its participation in the wars launched by Gunqin Monastery against the Gulugpa, it was converted to Gelupa and merged in 1667 with other 7 small monasteries into Dongzhulin Monastery. In the late Qing Dynasty, there had been over 700 lamas and 10 Living Buddhas in the monastery.
Dongzhulin Monastery Highlights
The Assembly Hall of Dongzhulin Monastery is designed in earth and wooden structure with 4 floors and 82 thick columns. On the first floor, Tsongkhapa and his two disciples named Damarenqing and Kezhujie are enshrined. Tsongkhapa is the founder of Gulugpa, he reformed Buddhism in Tibetan Area in the 15th century; Damnarenqing was his first disciple, while Kezhujie was the First Panchen Lama. Other enshrined Buddhist deities in the first floor include Sakyamuni, Avalokitecvara (Goddess of Mercy), Bhodisattva Manjusri, Bhodisattva Samantabhadra and Drolma. The 2nd and 3rd floors mainly serve as chanting hall, Buddhist chapels and chambers for Buddhist imams. Each floor is magnificently decorated. Buddhist sculptures, Thangkas scroll paintings and frescoes add much to the magnificence. The most impressive statues are the statue of Qingba Buddha (Maitreya) and the statue of Juewolakang (Sakyamuni).
The monastery houses a huge Thangka scroll painting on which one can find an image of a Buddhist Guardian. The Thakang scroll painting is 8.5 meters long and 5.2 meters wide, and is only exhibited on the occasion of Gedong Festival held on December on the Tibetan calendar.
Dongzhulin Monastery has garnered quite a few precious cultural relics. There are gilded Maitreya Buddha, statue of White Drolma, Buddhas of Three Worlds, the ruler of the hell, Manjusri, 18 Arhats statues and Thakang scroll paintings depicting Buddhist stories. There are also a great number of Buddhist stupas and religious instruments and props, being a Buddhist cultural treasure house for the pilgrims.