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“Highest point” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery
Wangori Mountain, Dazi County, Lhasa 850100, China
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Ranked #4 of 56 Attractions in Lhasa
4.5 of 5 stars 45 Reviews
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
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Owner description: Located only 45 kilometers to the east of Lhasa, this is the first Gelugpa monastery in Tibet, which was founded in 1409 by the great master Tsongkhapa.
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Highest point”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

I traveled to the top of the mountain, higher than Lhasa to visit this monastery. I enjoyed the trip through the countryside and appreciated the great view and clean air.

Visited September 2012
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45 reviews from our community

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Maarsbergen, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Good day trip from Lhasa”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

The Ganden is somewhat of a must-do on most group itineraries. It is close enough to Lhasa to visit on a day trip and far enough tpo feel quite remote. Ganden has seen some major changes over the last couple of years, amongst which the building of a massive Chinese police station right next to the main temple. They don't even need to say 'owned' with a behemoth building like that! The monastery is still a good place to explore and walking the high Kora is the stuff of legends.

Visited September 2011
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great place to visit in Lhasa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012

Really enjoyed this visit. We saw most of the major sites over 5 days in Lhasa, and this was my favorite. First of all, it's very quiet with few tourists (i counted < 10 over 2 hours). We did an hour hike around the hill/mountain which was not very strenuous, but gave great views of the valley. They had just done a sky burial 3 hours prior, and there were 10's of eagles still in the air. Amazing. We were there around noon, and watched the 200 monks chant and read which was fantastic. The drive to/from Lhasa was 90 min or so, and scenic. Highly reccomended.

Visited May 2012
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Auroville, India
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Place to walk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

I made a trekking til Samye temple with a local yak man and his pony. It was just amazing experience.

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Denver, Colorado
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Ganden Monastery”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

If you are going to Lhasa, I highly recommend you visiting Ganden Monastery. Tibet Travel Co-op took a group there in April 2012 right after Tibet was re-opened and everyone had a great time.

Ganden monastery: Located roughly 45km east of Lhasa, Ganden is a Geluk monastery founded in 1409 by Tsongkhapa on the Gokpori ridge of Mount Wangkur. Additions in later centuries increased its capacity to support more than 5,000 monks. Ganden was dynamited to rubble during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s. Later in the 1990’s, buildings covering an area of 11,000 square meters had been renovated with 41 kilos of gold utilized to reguild the roofs, and 1,660 square meters of murals restored over the last four years.

Named after the paradise of Maitreya, Ganden was the first and foremost Gelukpa monastery, constructed by Tsongkapa himself. The site, where he himself meditated was known to have had ancient associations with King Songtsen Gampo and his queens in that Mount Wangkur was named after a coronation ceremony performed on the birth day of the king. The sacred Jowo Rinpoche image of Lhasa is said to have indicated the significance of the site to Tsongkhapa. The Assembly Hall (Tsokchen) was built in 1917 and the two colleges of the Ganden known as Jangtse (North point) and Shartse ( East Point) were respectively founded by two of his closest disciples, respectively Namka Pelzangpo and Neten Rongyelwa. A tantric college (Gyultra) was also established by another of his students named Je Sherab Senge.

Following the death of Tsongkapa in 1419, the succession passed first to Gyeltsabje and later to Khedrupje. In this way, the Ganden Tripa (Throne-holder of Ganden) came to preside over the Gelukpa School, each generally holding office for seven years (although originally longer periods of office were observed).

Visited April 2012
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