Tashilunpo Monastery was founded in 1447 and is the largest Yellow Hat sect monastery in Tibet. Shigaste is Tibet’s 2nd most important city, and Tashilunpo was the seat of the Panchen Lamas. Tashilunpo contains chortens, temples and the Panchen Lama’s palace.
Tashilhunpo Monastery is the biggest functioning monastery in Tibet and one of the 6 biggest Gelukpa monasteries. At its peak, Tashilunpo had more than 4,000 monks in its 4 monasteries. Upon the death of a Panchen Lama, it was the 4 abbots of these monasteries that would lead the search for his infant reincarnation.
The monastery is a striking red, white and black Tibetan structure with a golden roof. Within the monastery, there is a 5-storey temple, which contains a 26 meters (86ft) sitting statue of the Maitreya Buddha. The statue was cast from 6,700 ounces of gold and over 115,000 kg of copper, making it the biggest copper Buddhist statue in the world.
You can see bunch of colorful flowers in the monasteries. If you were lucky, you will encounter female monks, Bhikkhuni here. They are so few, so this is like a big prize. Also, there is a ritual dance show, telling the Buddhist stories, by the monastery.
Location: on the southern slope of the Nyima Mountain to the west of the Shigatse city
Transportation: The Tashilhunpo Monastery is in the west part of Shigatse, therefore you can walk there or take a pedicab.
Ticket: CNY 55
Opening hours: 09:00 to 17:00