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Highlights Archives: Drepung Monastery

Situated at the foot of the Mountain Gambo Utse, 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the western suburb of Lhasa, the Drepung Monastery is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered one of the ‘Three Great Monasteries’ (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery. Covering an area of 250,000 square meters (299,007 square yards), it held 7,700 monks in total and possessed 141 fazendas and 540 pastures in its heyday, and is the largest-scale monastery among the ones of the same kind. Seen from afar, its grand, white construction gives the monastery the appearance of a heap of rice. As such, it was given the name ‘Drepung Monastery’ which, in the Tibetan language, means Monastery of Collecting-Rice. The monastery was established in 1416 by Tsong Khapa’s disciple Jamyang Qoigyi, who was versed in both Esoteric and Exotoric Buddhism and became the first Kampo there. With the support of plutocrats, it developed as the richest monastery of Gelugpa and became the mother temple of Dalai Lamas. In 1546, the third Dalai was welcomed as the first Living Buddha into the monastery. At the invitation of Mongolia’s king, he went to Qinghai Province to preach. He was dignified with the title ‘the third Dalai Lama’ the first and second Dalai were entitled, too. It is the very place that the second, third, and the fourth Dalai Lama held the Sitting-in-Bed Ceremony, as well as the residence of the fifth Dalai before his nomination by the government of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911). The Drepung Monastery houses many cultural relics, which adorn the monastery and make it more superb. Statues of Manjushri Bodhisattva, and Sitatapatra found on the first storey of the Coqen Hall, rare sutras on the second storey and Jamyang Qoigyi’s conch shell given by Tsong Khapa on the third one, all add to the wonderment of the monastery. Exquisite statues of Tsong Khapa, Kwan-yin Bodhisattva, Manjushri Bodhisattva, Amitayus, and Jamyang Qoigyi in other sutra halls, as well as flowery murals on walls also fully present the wisdom of the Tibetan people.

Lhasa

Lhasa is one of the most mystical cities in the world. This is not only because of its remoteness and high altitude at 3,650 meters (11,975 feet) that makes its accessibility limited, but also because of its impressive heritage of over a thousand years of cultural and spiritual history. All this has helped the city [...]



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The Minority Cultures of China 12 Days / 11 Nights WOW 10

Chengdu is the capital of “Heavenly State” (Tian Fu Zhi Guo), habitat of giant pandas and city of cotton-rose hibiscus. Located in the west of Sichuan Basin and in the center of Chengdu Plain, Chengdu covers a total area of 12.3 thousand square kilometers with a population of over 11 million. Benefiting from Dujiangyan Irrigation Project which was constructed in 256 B.C.


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The Legend of China Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights WOW 9

Beijing is one of the world’s truly imposing cities, with a 3,000-year history and 11 million people. Covering 16,808 square kilometers in area, it is the political, cultural and economic center of the People’s Republic of China. Situated in northeast China, Beijing adjoins the Inner Mongolian Highland to the northwest and the Great Northern Plain to the south.


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