Drepung Monastery (Zhebang Si)

Drepung Monastery (Zhebang Si), Lhasa

Drepung Monastery (Zhebang Si)

Drepung Monastery (Zhebang Si)
4.5
Historic Sites • Religious Sites
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Built in 1416, this is considered one of the largest monasteries in the world with more than 10,000 monks living inside its walls during the height of its activities.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
322 reviews
Excellent
184
Very good
128
Average
10
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0
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Johann&Sandra
8,374 contributions
Built in 1416, Drepung Monastery is the largest monastery in Tibet, and at its peak was the largest monastery in the world. Like the other monasteries in Lhasa, it is from the Gelug sect, which most Tibetans now belong to. What makes a visit to Drepung special, I think, is that it is set in a mountainous setting, just outside of town, and most of the pilgrims that visit here are from the countryside, rather than from the city of Lhasa. Combined with the small dwellings in the rocks where people still live, monks raising sheep, and chickens and cats running around, it makes for a holistic experience.

The first through fifth Dalai Lamas lived in the Drepung Monastery, before the fifth Dalai Lama relocated to the Potala Palace. You will find many Tibetan villagers here, as well as many monks, though far fewer than at their peak of 10,000. Also find a collection of Buddhas, the thrones from the first five Dalai Lamas, and visit the monks' kitchen, instruction rooms, etc. This place feels much more like what you might imagine a Tibetan monastery would feel like than Jokhang Temple, which is in the middle of the city.

It is rewarding to visit with a guide, who can share with you the history and legends associated with this historical place, of which there are many. Unlike the Potala Palace, Summer Palace, and Jokhang Temple, you are allowed to take photos inside here for about 20Y per room. It is respectful not to take photos, however, inside the monastery. Make sure to wear appropriate dress - long sleeves, long pants, dark colors.
Written September 20, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TheEagleGuy
Stockport, UK505 contributions
The temple part of the monastery is pretty much the same as all other temples you are likely to see in Lhasa. The thing that makes Drepung different is the debating of the monks. This happens in the afternoon after their meditation and is a bit of a spectacle. So make sure that you go there at that time.

Basically the debate takes part as a question and answer session between two or more monks. As the answers are delivered the other monk will clap his hands or do other gestures depending on how good the answer is.
Written September 9, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cindy R
186 contributions
Dec 2019
When you visit DePrung you are immersed in the culture and spirituality of Tibet. The monastery is beautiful with carvings and exquisite artwork everywhere.
On a cautionary note, incense is burning throughout and the rooms are small and closed, so those with breathing or eye sensitivity issues might find that problematic.
Written December 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

EiweEiwe
Bonn, Germany62 contributions
Sep 2019
A historical monastery in a breathtaking environment. Al almost 4.000 meters every step is hard, but the history of the monastery is wirth it.
Written October 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AdventurT
Kathmandu, Nepal46 contributions
Jan 2019 • Friends
Having a guided tour around in Lhasa with Drepung Monastery was an incredible day. It so much spiritual feeling to visit inside the monastery and also take a short of worship on the festival was beyond my imagination. I really feel blessed.
Written February 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

75NorthernGirl
Ontario, Canada419 contributions
Jul 2018 • Friends
A very large Monastery with plenty to look at and see. Were treated to some debating monks at the end of the tour. There was a small market on the way out. A great place to visit.
Written July 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

welltravelled019
Toronto, Canada229 contributions
May 2018 • Couples
The monks study hall was the highlight of this Monestry.
Also the large painting of the know it all female Buddha was very interesting.
Written May 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Benjamin T
Edmonton, Canada167 contributions
Jun 2017 • Couples
This was actually one of our favourite monasteries that we visited in Tibet. It is really cool how it is on a hillside and the architecture here is stunning. Unfortunately pictures are not allowed to be taken whilst inside the buildings but that is okay as it adds to its inherent sanctitide!
Written June 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bitten_by_the_bug_10
London, UK324 contributions
May 2017 • Couples
If you only have time for one monastery visit in Lhasa make it this one.

Beautiful buildings, setting and atmosphere in spades. History and religion ooze out of the walls.

Gorgeous views across Lhasa and to the mountains beyond.
Written May 29, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Cyrill B
Thun, Switzerland16 contributions
Sep 2016 • Solo
In this monastery you'll get to see a lot of statues. It takes about half a day to visit, is definitely worth this time.
Written September 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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