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Tashilumpo Monastery

--It is known as traditional home to Panchen Lama

Tashilhunpo Temple, located in the town of Sigatse is the biggest Gelugpa monastery. Tashilunpo means "Heap of Glory," is one of the Six Big Monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect) in China and the biggest Tibetan Gelugpa Buddhism temple in back Tibet area. It is also known as traditional home to Panchen Lama who is considered to be the second most important religious leader of Tibet.

Tashilunpo Monastery, Sigatse

Tashilunpo Monastery, Sigatse

The monastery was founded by Gedun Drup, a disciple of Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelungpa Sect. Gedun Drup was later recognized as the first Dalai Lama. It formerly built in 1447 and continuously expanded by the successive Panchen Lamas. The monastery is an interesting sprawling amalgam of traditional Tibetan monastic style halls, chapels and other structures connected by precipitous steps and narrow cobblestone alleys. The interplay between Tashilumpo's golden roofs and its white, red and black exterior wall creates a striking composition.

Tashilumpo Monastery is large enough to seem like a small walled town, and there's plenty to see. Highlights include massive collections of jewels and gold Buddha statues, the Assembly Hall and its colorful unfurled thangkas. The most amazing image in this monastery is the statue of the giant Maitreya (Future Buddha) erected by the 9th Panchen Lama in 1914, and took four year for its establishment. This giant statue stands twenty six meters in height and 275kg. of solid gold, great quantity of precious things such as pearls, turquoises, corals and ambers have absolved for its construction. The 4th Panchen Lama's funeral stupa was built in 1662 and it stands eleven meters high and it covered with solid gold and silver.

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