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Galden Jampaling Monastery

Biggest monastery of Gelug Sect in Kham area

About Galden Jampaling Monastery

Chamdo was visited by Tsongkhapa in 1373, who suggested that a monastery should be built there. Galden Jampaling Monastery was constructed between 1436 and 1444 by a disciple of Tsongkhapa, Jansem Sherab Zangpo. It contained 5 main temples and housed about 2,500 monks. In accordance with its tradition, there were 3,000 monks when establishing this monastery, ans some more than 2,000 at the beginning of the 19th century. However, it was destroyed in 1912 but the main hall, which was used as a prison, and 2 other buildings survived. Later, this monastery was rebuilt in 1917, housing about 800 monks.

Galden Jampaling Monastery is located on a high mesa where Ongqu and Zhaqu Rivers meet and merge into the famous Lancang River in Chamdo Town. It houses the Gelug Sect which belongs to Tibetan Buddhism. It is also the biggest monastery of Gelug Sect in Kham area (the primary monastery of Gelug Sect is Ganden Monastery), with Main Assembly Hall, the Guardian Hall, the Tara Hall, the Sutra Debating Hall and 12 schools.

The Main Assembly Hall is extremely impressive, especially when it is full of hundreds of monks. The glorious inner sanctum is dominated by Sakyamuni, Tsongkhapa and Atisha. The statue second to the left is the Pakhpala. The beared statue is the the founder of Galden Jampaling Monastery.

Hundreds of Buddhist figures and sculptures of hierarchs, wonderful murals and Thangkas in this monastery are also worth visiting. All of them show the exquisite craftmanship of the artists in Chamdo.

The most celebrated feature here is the Holy Dance, only performed during the Butter Lamp Festival, which celebrates the victory of Sakyamuni against the heretics in a debate. This festival falls on Jan. 15th of Tibetan calendar. Monks will wear masks and perform religious dance to exorcise the ghosts and to pray for a good harvest year. 

Tips of Galden Jampaling Monastery

1. It’s okay to take pictures of monks in this monastery if you get the permission.

2. Standing on the platform of Galden Jampaling Monastery, you can see Ongqu and Zhaqu Rivers merging into one.

Attractions nearby Galden Jampaling Monastery

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