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Samye Monastery

Tsedang Attractions 513

Samye Monastery

Samye Monastery was the first Monastery (Buddhist monastery) built in Tibet. The Monastery is said to be a place to be passed when the late are on their way to heaven after death. The bottom layer of the Samye Monastery is of Tibetan style, the middle layer Chinese, and the top Indian. There are four Indian-style pagodas around the main hall, which are red, white, green and black, representing silence, free, angry and vast.

The murals there are very famous. At present, the murals of the main hall are well preserved, and many Buddhist scriptures and historical events of Buddhism are recorded. In the morning or evening, you can climb to the top of the Haiburi Holy Mountain next to the Samye Monastery, overlooking the panoramic view of the temple and the Yarlung Zangbo River.

It was probably first constructed between 775-9 under the patronage of King Trisong Detsen of Tibet who sought to revitalize Buddhism, which had declined since its introduction by King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century. The monastery is in Dranang, Lhoka. It was supposedly modeled on the design of Odantapuri in what is now Bihar, India.

Address: Zama Mountain, north bank of Yarlung Zangbo River, Zhanang County, Shannan Prefecture

Entrance Ticket: 45 yuan / person

Time reference: 2-3 hours

Photography tips

Except for certain places in the main hall, most parts in the Monastery are allowed to be shot. Of course, you’d better ask the monks’ permission first. The best place to photograph the unique round shape of Samye is Haiburi Holy Mountain in front of the Samye Monastery.

 

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