Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery, Lhasa

Sera Monastery
4.5
Historic Sites • Religious Sites
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Sera Monastery (founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey of Sakya Yeshe, disciple of Tsongkhapa) is just located at the foot of Tatipu Hill,located 1.25 miles (2.01 km) north of Lhasa and about 5 km (3.1 mi) north of the Jokhang and it is about 6 km to the northeast direction of Potala Palace. It is famous for the Buddhism activities of” Monks Debate” which happens in afternoon from Monday to Saturday. This is one highlight attraction for travel in Lhasa Tibet.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Popular mentions

4.5
714 reviews
Excellent
361
Very good
270
Average
71
Poor
9
Terrible
3

taitaimimi
113131447 contributions
Very nice !
May 2021 • Family
Temple dedicated to the children, so nice to visit with kids. The must see is the monks practicing for the exam. Great experience. One part of the monastery is under renovation and not open for visits.
Written May 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

bmick1920
Fort Mill, SC40 contributions
Interesting
Oct 2019
The Monastery is beautiful . The "debates" by the monks were the highlight, I suppose, although I had no idea what was going on, other than an overview by our guide.
Written September 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Icke_T70
Stuttgart, Germany31 contributions
Interesting!
Oct 2019
The Monastery is very beautiful. The most interesting thing was the "discussions" of the monks and the understanding of their meaning thanks to our local guide.
Written August 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

The Weak Knee Traveler
Singapore, Singapore11,766 contributions
To See the Daily Debate
Jun 2019 • Couples
In my opinion, the main activity which differentiate this monastery from the others is the daily held here where you can see lots of young Tibetan monks holding debates here. Although we can really understand them, it is still interesting to observe this tradition.
Written May 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Elaine H
Greenville, SC729 contributions
An active monastery.
Oct 2019
It was amazing! It is an actual monastery so the Monks were all around us. The interior was very interesting.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mae
14 contributions
Fantastic
Jan 2020
I enjoyed the arts in this monastery. Met some of the very friendly locals and heard some amazing stories
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BhasinRohit
New Delhi, India38 contributions
Must Visit Monastery in Tibet
Dec 2019
Sera Monastery is one of the most popular monasteries in Tibet that holds significant cultural and religious importance in the history of Tibet and spread and growth of Buddhism. Pro Tip: Try and visit the monastery during the period when you can witness Monks debate on religious matters
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cindy R
186 contributions
Tranquility
Dec 2019
Sera Monastery is nestled in front of some of Lhasa's beautiful mountains. Here it is possible to watch and listen to monks debate philosophical points or to spend time touring the monastery's interior. Each room is adorned with beautiful statues, art, or cultural decor.
Written December 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bob G
Atlanta, GA79 contributions
Well Worth the Visit
Nov 2019
The monastery is a short distance from town and a very interesting place to see. At one time this monastery had 5000 monks in residence but it’s current population is down to about 500.You can wander around the monks prayer and meeting room which is quite large. It contains fascinating relics, many Buddhas, and gives one an idea what part of the monastic life is like. The great reduction in the number of monks does not indicate a lessening of the interest in Buddhism but actually the availability of public education. Before public schools locals would send their children to live and be educated at monasteries. At age 16 the parents and child could decide to leave or remain in training for a religious life. Now few choose this course of learning and, therefore, fewer choose the monastic life.
Written November 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Eric L
Atlanta, GA81 contributions
Daily Debating Ceremony is Great!
Oct 2019 • Solo
Observing the monks debate the daily lesson is spell bounding as it is so different from what most usually experience. You see the monks striking one hand down on another to ward off ignorance, various levels of intensity and, if you stay long enough / time it accordingly, the reversal of roles in terms of who gets to ask vs. answer the questions. I was only able to spend about 30 minutes watching the debate and would have loved to stay an hour or so.
Written November 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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