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Samye Monastery

--The first monastery in Tibet.

Sitting on the foot of Mt. Haibu Rishen, Samye Monastery is situated in the serene Shannan Region, Tibet, to the north of Tsangpo River. It was built in the year of 779 able supervision of Tibetan King Trisong Detsen. It is the first monastery built in Tibet and the first complete with jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. So it is very popular with all Buddhist pilgrims from around the world. With its unique features, this splendid temple draws lots of visitors from near and far.

Samye Monastery

Samye Monastery

The whole construction of Samye Monastery is both grandiose and complicated. The goal of the builders was replicate the universe exactly as described in Buddhist sutras. It is renowned for the characteristic art of its buildings and the vivid mural as well as other ancient relics stored within them. The central world Mount Meru is represented by the majestic Wuzi Hall. The Sun and Moon chapels stand in the north and south. Four larger halls and eight smaller halls are distributed around all sides of the central hall, symbolizing the four large continents and eight small ones. In the four corners lie the Red, White, Black, and Green Pagodas guarding the Dharma like the Heavenly Kings. A circular wall surrounds the temple as if marking the periphery of the world.

There are many substantial murals in the Monastery, especially in the Wuzi Hall.On the porch of the middle story is inscribed the reputed 'Painted Historical Records' of Tibet, which contains the religious history of Tibet and many related legends. The murals depicting the 'Historical Records of Samye Monastery' and the 'Biography of Padmasambhava' on the other two levels are also of high aesthetic value.

Layout of Samye Monastery

Layout of Samye Monastery

In the past, when Buddhism was very popular in Tibet, famous lamas of almost every monastery in Tibet came to Samye Monastery to steep themselves in religious doctrine. Thus, Samye Monastery can be said to be the cradle of Tibetan Buddhism.

Vistors to Samye Monastery are overwhelmed by the peaceful atmosphere that surrounds the monastery and makes it a wonderful place where one can escape the hustle and bustle of the modern world. A Xanadu is waiting for you!

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