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Lenggu Monastery

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Lenggu Monastery Introduction

Lenggu Monastery

Lenggu Monastery leans against Xiaozha Holy Mountain and faces to the main peak of Genyen Holy Mountain, suited on a slope with the elevation of 4150 meters between the two holy mountains. There are few monasteries which are located so close to snowcapped mountains even if in the whole Tibetan area. The monastery and the snowcapped mountains form a delightful contrast, which provides people with a holy and pure view. Lenggu Monastery is located in the central part of Genyen Holy Mountain, and most of the buildings inside were reconstructed after 1982. The halls are tall and majestic. All of the over 50 monk rooms are one-story, with walls constructed of stones and roofs paved with boards which are covered by stones. Suffering from so many years’ wind and rain, the roofs get grey black, and give people a feeling of coldness as valleys, which coincide with the name of the monastery. It is suitable for retreat and meditation due to its simplicity and tranquility.

Lenggu Monastery 

Currently around the Genyen Holy Mountain, there are only 3 monasteries, namely Leng (Cold) Gu (Ancient) Monastery, Ku’er Monastery and Rongjiuzhachong Monastery. Large areas of ancient monastery ruins disclose a secret: here was once a Buddhist center in the Kham area. Monastery of Bon religion was constructed near the Genyen Mountain in the 6th Century A.D.; in the middle of the 8th century, Padma Sambhava constructed Samye Monastery in Shannan, and later came to the foot of Genyen Holy Mountain for meditation and stored Buddhist scriptures here. Afterwards, Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal stored over 20 esoteric Buddhist scriptures in Genyen. After extermination of Buddhism by Glang Darma in the 9th century in Lhasa, Kham Region became a shelter for Buddhism, and a number of senior monks came to Genyen Holy Mountain in succession for worship and Buddhism practice. The Buddhist school at that very time was Nyingma School (Red Sect of Lamaism).

Lenggu Monastery 

In the Song Dynasty, the founder of Karma Kargyu (White Sect of Lamaism) named Karma Dusongqinbalai had studied Dharma dissemination near the Geniu Holy Mountain for 19 years from the age of 55 to 74. He managed to construct Lenggu Monastery in 1164 and established Tsurphu Monastery near Lhasa in 1189, widely receiving disciples and creating a new school of Tibetan Buddhism- Karma Kargyu. Later Lenggu Monastery became one of the three major monasteries of Karma Kargyu. From 1204 to 1575, Karma II to Karma VIII came to Genyen Holy Mountain in succession for building monasteries and practicing Buddhism. Karma VII said: “I live here in seclusion for diligently practicing with devout belief, which not only releases myself from the suffering in samsara but also saves all mortal beings with a life-giving rain. I thus come to a perfect virtue and reach the other shore of Buddha.” That was the silver age of Genyen, constructed with over 20 monasteries; after expanded by Karma VII, the Leng Monastery was developed from originally 1 Buddhist yard to 10 Buddhist yards with about 2000 Buddhists, and a continuous stream of believers came here for worship. It is said in the folk that it is supposed to worship Gangbo holy land before worshiping Lhasa. Today on the mountain in the rear of Lenggu Monastery, there are still traces of the caves where Karmas practiced. Karma II’s self-statue has been preserved in Lenggu Monastery up to now, and is known as one of the “Four Treasures of the Holy Land”, with the other three called “Doe Antler” (no antler for doe), “Heart of Genyen” (a rare milk-white stone with beautiful patterns which is honored as Picture of Eight Auspicious Symbols) and “Left-handed Triton” (a treasure consecrated every 12 years).

In the middle of 17th century, Gelug (Yellow Sect of Lamaism) emerged. Since then, the monasteries of Kargyu in Genyen have been changed to those of Gelug, and Tsurphu Monastery has been taken as the major monastery of Geniu. Currently, Kargyu and Gelug coexist in Lenggu Monastery. There are 8 large-scale religious activities each year, among which the most solemn one is Duoma Festival on Tibetan 27th to 29th day of December. During the activity, Lamas who practice Buddhism at ordinary times at home also come back to the monastery, and all the monks chant scriptures and dance in a trance to see off the old and welcome the new. The most solemn events during the activity occur on December 29 when the monks get up at two o’clock in the morning for chanting scriptures and dancing in a trance from 5 and 6 o’clock in the morning to the dusk. On every year of horse which is the animal year of Genyen Holy Mountain, the “Horse Racing around Mountain” will be held, and another solemn festival is the “Memorial Ceremony for Mountain” held on June 3 of each year. Besides, there is “Prayer Meeting” on Tibetan on 5th to 16th day of January (with such activities as Buddha exposure to sun), “Consecration Ceremony” on Tibetan 21th to 25th day of January, “Gongbuduozhu (Dharma Protector) Ceremony” on Tibetan 5th to 9th day of February and “Bazi Playing” on Tibetan 11th day of February, etc.

Lenggu Monastery 

In Genyen, there are such rare animals as wild asses, snow panthers, bears, monkeys, pheasants and marmots, etc, but Tibetan eared pheasants and argalis are the animals with which you may come into close contact. The Lamas in Lenggu Monastery put in food and salt at a certain time every day, and Tibetan eared pheasants and argalis will go downhill in groups to enjoy the food. The people and wild animals live here in harmony, which gives a little spirituality to Lenggu Monastery and presents a unique landscape.

Lenggu Monastery 

There is a medical spring among the trees at the gate to Lenggu Monastery, with clear, bitter and salty spring water. After drinking the spring water, people will vomit to dispel the three sources of disease, respectively wind, gall and saliva. There are often some Tibetans trudging here to get the spring water for drinking. Besides, there is another long life spring, the water of which can enable people to become young and to be young forever.

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