Ganden One day Tours was best rated tours by our clients. Ganden Monastery is located on Wangbu Wotse Mountain, on the southern bank of Lhasa River in Daktse County, 47 kilometers (29 miles) from Lhasa City. It stands at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) above sea level! It is one of the earliest and largest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, and stands atop of the six famous temples of Gelugpa – a branch of Tibetan Buddhism. Its significance as a religious, artistic, political and cultural relic led to it being preserved by the National Key Cultural Relic Preservation scheme in 1961, and is now known as being one of the ‘Three Great Temples’, together with the Sera Monastery and the Drepung Monastery . Every year, one of the grandest of Buddhist activities – Buddha Painting Unfolding Festival – is conducted here, attracting thousands of visitors and disciples.
In the early 15th century, Tsong Khapa called for the Reformation of Religion, advocating the rooting out the previous disadvantages in religious orders and initiated the Gelugpa. This sect also became known as the Yellow Hat sect, as its disciples were always wearing yellow hats. This order went on to become the biggest sect in Tibetan Buddhism, leading to Tsong Khapa establish the Ganden Monastery. Since dharma is essential to the teachings of the sect, the whole layout of the monastery is built on its principles.
The temple is comprised of over 50 structures. The main halls in the temple are the Main Assembly Hall (or Tsokchen Hall), Dratsang, Khangtsens, and Myicuns.
Tsokchen Hall is positioned in the northern part of the whole complex and faces south. It serves as the main assembly hall. It has three levels, and is 43.8 meters (143.7 feet) wide and 44.7 meters (146.7 feet) long. The Sutra Hall runs through the middle of the first floor, with the three Buddha Halls branching from it. The Sutra Hall is so large that it can hold over 3,000 lamas. Inside the Buddha Halls are statues of the Maitreya Buddha and the master Tsong Khapa, the initiator of Gelugpa. To the west of Tsokchen Hall is the other main hall consisting of the Buddhist Guardian Hall, Mandala Hall, and other complexes. It was built during the early fifteenth century, from 1409 – 1416. Built into its back wall is a huge stone which is said to have flown from India!