Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monastery Shigatse Tibet
As the first temple of the colored sect, the Sakya Monastery is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Reputed as “Second Dunhuang”, it boasts the numerous Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, murals and Thangkas which will give you an insight into Tibetan religion, history, philosophy, literature, agriculture.

Mongolian Style Monastery

Located 150 kilometers away from Shigatse, it is very different from other monasteries of Tibet which are made in a typical Tibetan style. The Sakya Monastery was built in a Mongolian style. Based perfection in the rocky landscape of Mount Bonpori, the monastery has a greyish color. This has also earned its name, Sakya, meaning greyish earth in Tibetan. Dark gray buildings are decorated with white horizontal stripes on the roofs and red stripes vertically in the corners. These are the colors that are then darn for Sakya sect.

Colorful Sakya Sect

Sakya is actually the name of a Tibetan sect. Although less known than the Yellow Hats sect or the Red Hats, the colored or motley sect built this monastery and it served as the main temple of Sakya lineage. This is Khon Konchok Gyalpo, the founder of the Sakya sect who built the first part of the monastery in 1073. Located on the side of Mount Bonpori, the northern part of the temple has unfortunately been largely destroyed. It is the fifth leader of the sect Drogon Chogyal Phagpa who enlarged the monastery and it’s what we see today. Establishing links with great Genghis Khan, he was in charge of religious affairs and the administration of Tibet for more than 70 years.

Rich Treasures

Containing many Buddhist texts and ancient books, the Sakya Monastery is dubbed the second Dunhuang. The treasures it boasts are of great rarity. Some of its works are even among the most beautiful in all of Tibet. We notice the sumptuous frescoes spanning 10,000 m² and Thangkas dating back to 4,600 years ago. More importantly, the two libraries contain more relics. The first spans 18 000 m², contains some books written in gold powder. It includes the largest canonical book in the world, weighing 500 kilograms! The second was discovered in 2003. Its 84,000 rolls were found by chance and were in perfect condition.

  • Best time to visit

    May. Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. 
  • Altitude

    3 800M Altitude Sakya Monastery
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  • 18-day venture out at Tibet

    18-day venture out at Tibet

    18 days - from $4,370

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