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Sera Monastery, Lhasa

Worshipped not just as one of the six main Gelugpa monasteries of Tibet Buddhism, Sera Monastery has assumed another responsibility of cultivating eminent monks by serving as a religious educational institution. It was originally built by Jamchen Chojey Sakya Yeshe of Zel Gungtang (1355–1435), a disciple of Je Tsongkhapa in 1419.

Hearing perpetual chanting of Buddhist scriptures by lamas echoing in the Tsochin Hall and seeing the routine activity of Buddhist debating in the large debating courtyard, a palpable sense of holiness floods through the whole body. Thousands of murals on the building walls make visitors coming to worship the Monastery and feel as if they were in the heaven of Buddhism, accepting the baptism of the Buddhist doctrines and powers. Sera Monastery library and printing press guide you to get an all-round comprehension about the Monastery’s past and the present.

While the Sera Kora provides you another opportunity to get an in-depth understanding about the architectural structure of Sera building complex and how this monastery can be functioned like a self-contained city. Please follow our professional guide below and make the most of Sera Monastery tour.

Basic Facts:

Chinese name: 色拉寺 Sèlā Sì

Altitude: 3,700 m (12,139 ft.)

Location: Approximately 5 km north of central Lhasa

Founder: Sakya Yeshe (From 1354 A.D. to 1439 A.D), also known as Jamchen Choje, disciple of Tsongkhapa

Type: One of Lhasa’s Great Three Gelugpa Monasteries

Opening Hours & Ticket: 09:00-16:00; CNY 50/Person (all year round)

Ticket Purchase Procedure: Currently, no advanced booking is needed. Our Tibetan guide will properly handle the ticket purchase.

How to Get There: If you do not choose to get Sera Monastery by taxi, then take buss No. 6, No. 16, No. 20, No. 23 and No. 24 and get off at Sela Si bus station. Sera Monastery is only few minutes’ talk from the station.

Sera Monastery Photo Gallery

All Articles about Sera Monastery

In addition to the dramatic monk debate, you may also visit the prominent Sera Monastery Library and have a glimpse of the Tibetan monks’ daily life while strolling in this historical Buddhist academy. To ensure the best Sera Monastery tour experience, we kindly provide the latest and the most easy-to-use Sera Monastery travel guide for you. Follow the insider tips to perfect your Sera Monastery tour plan.

Sera Monastery Monk Debate: A Must-see Experience for Visiting Lhasa

Sera Monastery is one of three famous monasteries in Lhasa located in the southern slope of the Serawoze Mountain in northern suburbs of Lhasa. Built in 1419, this complex of structure has gone through several restorations and still stands as one of the landmarks of Lhasa nowadays.

Sera Monastery houses many precious relics, arts and scriptures, such as “Ganggyur”, the most precious statue enshrined in the Coqen Hall, as well as the silk Thangka painting made with colorful silk thread in complicated embroidery techniques. However, for most tourists, monk debates should be a must-see in Sera Monastery. Here, you will enjoy a visual feast and become deeply immersed in a religious world.

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Sera Monastery Architecture: the Layout and Construction of this Famous Buddhist University

Sera Monastery, built in 1419, is located on the northern suburb of Lhasa. As one of the representatives of “great three” Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, Sera is a great seat of learning in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Since the ancient time, it has been a holy place for sacred living Buddhas subduing sermons. Nowadays, it serves not only as a traditional Tibet monastery but also a popular tourist destinations.

Sera Monastery takes 28 acres of land, and houses several institutions in its neighboring areas. It mainly consists of three parts: Great Assembly Hall, the main hall of Sera; three “Zhacangs” (colleges), built for housing Buddha statues and making monks learning here; 32 Kamcuns (dormitory), also called Homdong Kangtsang, providing residence for monks. In the early time, Sera Me College and Ngagpa College are center of the monastery. Later, through times of expansion, the monastery finally reached nowadays’ scale. Dense but not crowded, mixed but not chaotic, buildings of Sera reflect the unique style of Gelugpai Temple, making it a real fortress of religion.

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Sera Monastery History: Stories and Historical Events behind This Towering Gelupga Monastery

Sera Monastery, composed of three main colleges and a main hall as well as 32 kamcuns, is one of the great seats of learning in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition established in 1419, Chinese Ming Dynasty.

Primarily, there are two Sera Monasteries. The original Sera is very near Lhasa in Tibet, and another is the Sera Monastery established in exile in Bylakuppe, India. The Lhasa site once held a population of something like 5000 monks. Although this number has reduced now, it’s still an important religious center in Tibet for monks to learn and cultivate.

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Sera Monastery Library: Another Cultural Highlight When Visiting Sera Monastery

If your impression about Tibetan monasteries has always been an unswerving feeling of solemnity and holiness, then the Sera Monastery which is known as one of three largest monasteries in Lhasa unveils other aspects of monasteries in Tibet. Located in north of Lhasa City, Sera Monastery has been the center for the propagation of Buddhist Dharma and the enlightenment of Buddhist Masters for centuries. Daily Buddhist doctrine debating held by young Lamas (Respectful address for monastics) in Sera Monastery has always been the hot Buddhism-related topics discussed by lots of visitors all day long.

Buddhist doctrine debating is not just some dispute or argument about trivial matters happening around, rather it serves as a kind of auxiliary method for Lamas to penetrate things and get enlightened from meditation after the debate. More formal Discussions or even warmer debates related to Buddhist Dharma are regularly held by eminent monks in Sera Monastery, which make this monastery a prominent place for Buddha doctrine propagation and studying in Lhasa or even Tibet.

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Recommended Tour Itineraries Including Sera Monastery

As one of six main Tibetan Buddhist Gelugpa monasteries, Sera Monastery has been the prominent Buddhist center where eminent monks and living Buddha expounded the Tibetan Buddhist scriptures and texts since ancient times. Check the top 4 highly recommended Tibet tours that start from Sera Monastery and beyond.

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