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“Breathtaking view!”
Review of Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery
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$72.00*
and up
1 Day Tour of Ulaanbaatar City Including Lunch...
Ranked #3 of 64 things to do in Lhasa
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Owner description: Ganden Monastery, also known as Ganden Namgyeling, is one of the three great Gelug university monasteries (the other two are Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery) of Tibet, China. It was constructed in 1409 near Lhasa by the founder of the Gelug order, Je Tsongkhapa Lozang-dragpa. Back in 1958, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, took his last degree examination here. However, Ganden was destroyed after 1959, right now it has been partially rebuilt. Right now, there are several major constructions in the monastery, namely, the Lagyi Hall, Chitokang, Yangbagyain Hall, Xaze, Jamze Zhacang Buddhist Colleges and kamcuns and Myicuns. The Lagyi Hall is a 3-storey building. And it takes up 2,000 square meters and can contain 3,000 people at the same time.
Reviewed December 8, 2014

If you only have time to visit 1 Monastery in Lhasa, this is definitely a good choice! The monastery is built on a mountain, about 4300m above sea level, and the view of the valley is gorgeous. There are many donkeys roaming around the monastery ground, a hit for my "Shrek-loving" little boy. On the way up the winding roads, you can see many yaks grazing on the slopes.

1  Thank Geriseow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"monks chanting"
in 6 reviews
"day trip"
in 7 reviews
"cultural revolution"
in 3 reviews
"assembly hall"
in 3 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 2 reviews
"take photos"
in 2 reviews
"tibetan buddhism"
in 2 reviews
"hike"
in 9 reviews
"monastery"
in 49 reviews
"kora"
in 11 reviews
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Reviewed December 2, 2014

one of the highlights of my trip seeing the monks debating so interesting to watch....loved this trip

Thank christine1428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2014

This was my favorite monastery out of all the monasteries we visited in Tibet because of the fantastic views we managed to see while doing the kora around it.

GETTING THERE
Ganden Monastery lies on the outskirts of Lhasa, some 36km away from the city centre, and it also involves a fun drive up a very, VERY windy road. Be prepared to set aside at least half a day for Ganden: it would be a real waste to have to rush through sightseeing once you get there.

WHAT TO SEE
Ganden Monastery is still undergoing reconstruction work from the intense damage it sustained from the 1959 rebellion, and you can see some of the work being done by the hardworking Tibetans (i.e. we saw a whole roof of them dilligently fixing up the monastery's roof).

As a... "side effect" of the reconstruction work, we also noticed that many of the animals in the area have fur of various shades of red and pink, most likely due to the red dye that they use for the walls of the monastery.

If you go to Ganden, PLEASE do the kora around it. It is INCREDIBLE. For a city kid like me, it was a little nerve-wrecking at first to be walking along a narrow cliff's edge feeling like the strong winds blowing were going to cast me off down into the deep valley beneath, but well, we got over it. For the views, it is every bit well-worth the effort to conquer your fear of heights / trekking along cliffs; if I get the chance to go back there again, I intend to climb up the nearby peak from the carpark to get a panorama of the monastery AND the valley beneath it!

2  Thank b31indax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2014

We were fortunate enough to have good weather for our visit and this is important given that the views are a special part of the trip.

The drive there was of some interest as we drove out of Lhasa, seeing all the continuing construction. Generally, the countryside was attractive, that is apart from the bone jarring sections where we had to drive on poor surfaces because of the freeway construction going on.

The ascent from the valley was great as we zig-zagged upwards driving around a large number of hairpin bends.

The views from the top are great so one can imagine why this site was originally chosen.

The monastery itself has several areas of considerable interest. We were fortunate to catch the tail end of a prayer session in the assembly hall.

A trip here is strongly recommended if the weather forecast is favourable.

1  Thank DavidG897
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 21, 2014

This monastery is set high up in the hills. It offers majestic views of the surrounding mountains and snow capped peaks. They even allow you to photograph the interior for a small fee. There is also an ancient hand operated printing press still in service printing scriptures daily.

1  Thank Samdave69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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