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Trandruk Monastery

Trandruk Monastery is famous throughout Tibet since it was the first Buddhist chapel ever built in Tibet. Trandruk is one of the earliest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, having been founded at the same time as the Jokhang and Ramoche in Lhasa. It lies five kilometers (three miles) south of Tsedang on the road leading to Yumbu Lakhang. Built under the reign of Emperor Songtsen Gampo (AD 617-650), Trandruk later experienced large-scale reconstruction after it converted to Gelugpa. According to legend, the monastery could only be built after Songtsen Gampo turned into a roc and conquered an evil dragon. The name "trandruk" means roc conquering a dragon.



In the fifteenth year of Emperor Taizong's reign, King Songtsen Gampo returned to Lhasa with his Chinese wife, Princess Wencheng. Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng, a Buddhist, always visited the monastery. During their visits to Trandruk, they lodged in an apartment, which remains to this day. However the apartment is badly in need of restoration since it is in poor condition. Princess Wencheng was fond of willow trees and had many of them planted around the monastery.



The main building in Trandruk is the Tshomchen, in which Padmasambhava is enshrined. The Tshomchen was built in the style of Tang Dynasty structures and adopted the characteristics of Nepalese and Indian architecture. The building has many chapels. In one of the chapels, a precious pearl Thangka, representing Chenrezi at rest, is housed The Thangka, or scroll painting, is a special art of Tibetan Buddhism and is an elaborate and intricate depiction of Buddha's various forms and teachings. The Thangka in Tshomchen is made up of 30,000 pearls and hundreds of other gems like diamonds, sapphires, turquoise, rubies and amber. In Tibet, thangkas are frequently the center of Buddhist religious ceremonies. Pilgrims throw money to the thangka to show their respect.


Highlights: The Pearl Thangka
The Pearl Thangka in the Trandruk Monastery is the most renowned and precious. About two meters (seven feet) long and one meter (three feet) wide, this unique scroll painting is made by more than 29,000 pearls, 2,000 coral beads, 180 turquoises and other precious stones including two rubies, one diamond and one sapphire. It depicts a portrait of Kwan-Yin in relaxing carriage with propitious clouds, flowers, birds and petals decorated around. Additionally, one visiting the monastery should not miss the Sakyamuni Thangka embroidered by Princess Wencheng, the wife of Songtsen Gampo and some delicate and pretty masks.

In Tibet, thangkas are frequently the center of Buddhist religious ceremonies. Pilgrims throw money to the thangka to show their respect.

Opening Hour:  9:00am-4:00pm daily
Visiting time:   1-1.5 hrs recommended
Admission fee:  35RMB/pp


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