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Muli Monastery

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Muli Monastery Introduction

Muli Monastery is located in the Muli Tibetan Autonomous County, 60 kilometers from the county center, and some 300 kilometers from Xichang City. At its zenith, the whole Muli Monastery complex covered more than 8 hectares, once the largest and the most magnificent monastery of Gelugpa (Yellow Sect) in Kham Tibetan area, having a special religious position here. Technically, today’s Muli Monastery is a relic adjoining the reconstructed new one, which is just as resplendent as its glorious past.

Muli Monastery

American explorer Joseph Rock’s book is the only historical material that gives more reference to Muli. Rock crossed thousands of miles to China 70 years ago, making an arduous journey to this miraculous and beautiful place. He described Muli as “God’s Fairyland” and brought this isolated village outside, revealing its splendid landscapes and obscure customs to the world. A depiction in Rock’s travel note: “In dream, I return back to that mountain-surrounded fairyland-Muli.”

Muli Monastery

Muli Monastery is built up mainly by woods, assimilating the style of Han. The 20-meter high Tibetan style main hall is adjacent to hundreds of chambers that Lamas and monks live in. In spatial combination, all the buildings, connected by winding corridors, rise and fall at a harmony design, with courtyards overlapping each other. Hallways and pilasters are drawn with colorful frescos and patterns. The Front Hall enshrines three statues of Amitayus Buddha, Maitreya Buddha and Manjushri Bodhisattva. In front of them displays the throne for the Living Buddha of Muli, embellished all around by brocades, canopies and other decorations, making it solemn and serene. Sitting gravely in the Rear Hall is a 10-meter tall bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha with sacred countenance and eye-dazzling glory. The Small Hall enshrines more statues like Manjushri Bodhisattva, Panchen Lama and Tsongkhapa, who is the patriarch of Gelugpa (Yellow Sect). In its heyday, Muli Monastery housed more than 7000 monks, becoming the political, religious and cultural center of the world-renowned “Lama Kingdom”.