Drepung Monastery home of the Dalai Lamas

Drepung Monastery Lhasa Tibet
Drepung Monastery is the largest of the "Big Three Monasteries in Lhasa." Devoted to the cult of Yellow Caps, it is a real fortified city outside the Tibetan capital. As one of the largest monastic universities of Tibet, this is by analogy comparable to a Buddhist university in Sorbonne.

A Top Tibetan Monastery

Drepung Monastery is considered the most important of the three main monasteries of the Yellow Hats sect, the main religion of Tibet. Together with the monasteries of Sera and Ganden, they are the “Three Major Monasteries in Lhasa." Located 5 miles west of Lhasa, Drepung Monastery gives the impression of a fortified city on the slopes of the Gebeiwuze Mountain. Covering an area of 200,000 square meters, it consists of an array of temples, buildings and intersecting passages. The monastery even hosts more than 10,000 monks! Drepung Monastery was also the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the fifth of them decided to build the Potala Palace. This is where the second, third and fourth Dalai Lamas were buried.

Great Buddhist University

Founded in 1416 by a disciple of Tsongkhapa, Drepung Monastery is one of the three largest monastic universities of Tibet Yellow Hats. The monastery is even nicknamed "Nalanda University" in reference to the Buddhist monastic university of the same name located in India. At Drepung Monastery, there were 7 major colleges that then merged into four: Luosailin, Guomang, Deyang and Aba. This entire university is comparable to Oxford or the Sorbonne, but with more of a Buddhist character. In the late afternoon, in the garden of the monastery, small groups of monks gather to discuss Buddhist texts. The group is like an examiner, who keeps a steady pace for the monks who are interviewed. When they win a debate, they can pass a test to obtain a higher degree of Geshi.

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  • Altitude

    3 658M Altitude Drepung Monastery
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