Drepung Monastery is one of the six temples of Gelugpa (Yellow Sect) of Tibet Buddhism. Boasts more than 10,000 monks, 141 manors and more than 540 pastures, it is the largest Tibet Buddhism temple.
Drepung Monastery is one of the three major temples in Lhasa; the other two are Gandan Monastery and Sera Monastery. Located Gengpi Wuzi Mountain, west of Lhasa, the whole monastery was built with large scale. Blocks of white buildings are everywhere on that mountain. It looks like a huge pile of rice, hence its name “Zhebang (Drepung)”. “Zhebang” in Tibetan language means “prosperity”.
|Layout:||The whole monastery is facing toward mountains in three directions. To the south is a large hillside field, where is covered with trees and shrub. In front of the hillside field is Lhasa Lake and a vast level land. The Buddhist hall, scripture hall, Dratsang (Buddhist school) and monks’ rooms in the monastery are built upon Gengpi Wuzi Mountain.|
|What to See/Do:||Cuoqin Palace: Located the center of the Monastery, Cuoqin Palace is the main building and covers an area of around 4,500 square meters. In front of the palace is a stone – paved square, which covers an area of 200 square meters. The scripture hall in the palace is grand which contains 221 rooms and 183 columns. The wall and columns are painted and carved with colorful patterns; various colors of draperies are easy to find in the scripture hall. Together with golden bronze statues and altar lamps which burn day and night, it presents a magnificent scene to people.
Four Dratsangs: Dratsang is not only a unit of learning Buddhism texts of Gelugpa Temple, but also the first administration institution apart from Cuoqin Palace. The architectures of Dratsang are usually composed of two sections, one is scripture hall, and the other one is Buddhist halls. In these Dratsangs, you will also see various religious frescos and grand decoration of halls inside.
Scripture Debate Courtyards: Scripture debate courtyards are set up near almost each Dratsang. When the debate begins, all Lamas sit one by one. Every Lama has chance to debate on the platform in principle, but only few of them are eligible to get the highest honor, the degree “Ge Xi”. In Drepung Monastery, unscheduled debates are held from 14:30, you may be lucky to see their wonderful debates in the courtyards.
|Duration:||2 – 3 hours|
|Address:||No. 276, Beijing XiLu, Chengguan District, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region.|
|Opening time:||From 09:00 to 16:00.|
|Public transport:||Zhebangsi stop on bus No. 24 or 25.|