Songzanlin Monastery Ganden Sumtseling Gompa

Songzanlin Monastery Shangri-la Yunnan
The Songzanlin monastery, nicknamed little Potala Palace for its resemblance to the palace of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, is the largest lamasery of Yunnan. Located almost at the gate of Tibet, this monastery contains incomparable treasures and frescoes, which depict the life of the Buddha. Here, you can feel the sacred atmosphere.

Small Potala Palace

This Tibetan Buddhist monastery is often regarded as the little Potala Palace, considering that the grand in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. Its architecture is reminiscent much of the palace of the Dalai Lama. The identified windows of black, white and red walls are typical of Tibetan temples. It is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, which is not surprising given that it lies on the border of Tibet. In the Tibetan language, the Songzanlin monastery is named Ganden Sumtseling Gompa, which is not very easy to pronounce...

 Various Halls

Although damaged at the time of the Cultural Revolution, this monastery dating back to 1679 was partially rebuilt. It is still inhabited by more than 500 monks of the great sect of the Yellow Hats. It consists of two lamaseries Zhacang and Jikang, and represents a complex of halls. Each room has particular function.

The Wheel of Life

In the main building, the superb frescoes of the life of Buddha are represented. Besides, the wheel of life, characteristic of Tibetan Buddhism is presented. There are depicted the six worlds of reincarnation: that of paradise, the demi-God, humanity, hell, hungry ghosts and animals. In the center, the three branches of life govern the laws of reincarnation: ignorance, hatred and greed. In addition to these magnificent frescoes, Songzanlin contains rare Buddhist books written on palm leaves, as well as eight sculptures covered with gold of the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni.

The Path of the Pilgrims

Hiking around the Songzanlin monastery is delightful. Any visitor then takes the path of the pilgrims who perform their prayers in circling the sacred place. The panoramas from the village of Shangri-La are quite beautiful. Not far away, there are also locals who would be delighted to open their door to strangers and share a bit of their Yak-based specialties.

  • Best time to visit

    Apr. May. Jun. Sep. Oct. Nov. 
  • Altitude

    3 200M Altitude Songzanlin Monastery
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