Drepung Monastery

Drepung Monastery Travel Guide, Tibet

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Overview

8km west of Lhasa, Drepung Monastery is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered one of the 'Three Great Monasteries' (the other two are the Ganden Monastery and the Sera Monastery, with a collection of Buddhist chapels and colleges. Founded in 1416, the monastery in its heyday was home to 8,000 In 1530, the second Dalai Lama built his palace here, known as the Ganden Palace, which was used until the fifth Dalai Lama built the Potala. 

The ground of the monastery is organized on the caves and temples for Jamyang Qoigyi, together with two magnificent white pagodas. The buildings of the monastery are centered on these pagodas, The major buildings are Ganden Potrang, Coqen Hall, the four Zhacangs (or Tantric colleges), and Kamcuns.

The Colleges of Drepang include the Ngagpa (focused on Tantric study), the Loseling (devoted to the study of logic and the largest of the colleges), and two other, lesser colleges. Monks are allowed to join a college based on their place of birth. This ages old "rule" gives each of the colleges an regional flair.

Getting there & away

Take the mini buses in front of Barkhor Square in Lhasa and it will take you to either the base of the hill upon which Drepung sits or the parking lot on Drepung slopes.

A walk from the base of the hill to the Monastery takes around 30 min. A taxi ride costs about Y20.

Admission Fee: Y55; Open hours: 09:10 to 12:00

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