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Litang Monastery

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Litang Monastery Introduction

The Litang Monastery is also known as Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery, meaning Happy Buddha Dharma, symbolizing the moral dharma turning and the true essence holds forever. This monastery was founded by the Dalai Lama III in 1580. Back then, the Dalai Lama III traveled to Litang, seeing the unique trend of the mountain here, with the mountains at the north like a statue of the God of Wealth, hand-holding treasures; To the west it is like a giant eagle wings to fly; To the east it is like a giant elephants bending over and lying, while to the south unusual mountain stands; At the foothills, the Litang River looks like a dragon hovering. All these wonders have confirmed the prophecy of the Indian Master Atisha of more than 900 years ago. So, on the giant elephant-like mountains, he changed the original Banggen Monastery of the Ben religion into the Gelug Sect, and changed its name to Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery.

Litang Monastery 

The monastery boasts a history of almost 500 years. Because it is the oldest and largest Tibetan Buddhism monastery in the Kham Area, and has close relationship with the Three Big Monasteries in Lhasa, so there is a famous saying in the Tibetan area: “Three Big Monasteries of Lhasa rank top, Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery of Litang in Kham second, Ta’er Monastery in Amdo third". Historically, the birth of the Dalai Lama VII and the Dalai Lama X occurred in Litang, which to a certain extent has improved Litang's influence. Dalai Lama VII has once been lecturing at the Litang Monastery, and during his stay, the monastery has gained huge reputation. At that time it has become the pilgrimage place for the monks and residents in the surrounding areas. Altogether with the gathering of the Han, Manchu, Mongolian officials, cultures have been in communication here, which in return promoted the development of the monastery. Later, the Xianggen Living Buddha (the junior fellow apprentice of the Dalai Lama XI) has stayed in Litang Monastery and has been canonized as the highest living Buddha of Kham area, which has again been a great contribution to the further development of Litang Monastery.

Litang Monastery 

With its palatial architecture, wide variety of multiplier, various statues, exquisite sculptures and extensive literature collection, the monastery has become a treasure trove of modern Tibetan religion, culture and art. The monastery covers an area of 500 mu, located in the north of the town, at the mountainside of the Tuoluonaka Mountain. Its body posture is lofty and glittering. More than 20 Buddha halls and oratories, more than 20 living Buddha halls and more than 400 monk dormitories cascade like mountains, forming a set of unique, rigorous, spectacular architecture community. The Giant Buddha Hall is located in the central part and its body posture is lofty, radiating a feeling of clouds and gods. Inside the monastery there are various types of gold-plated bronze Shakyamuni, Buddhism classics, Dalai used saddle, murals and precious cultural relics dating back to Ming and Qing dynasties. Within the golden top red palace, the spirit stupas of the Xianggen Living Buddha I and II have been set up; the footprints of the Dalai III and V are the treasure of the Monastery.

Litang Monastery

Now, all of the large main buildings have been fixed, with monks reaching more than 2000. The monthly scripture learning system and the various rituals every month and every year (such as Cham-Dance, Sutra-Debate, Kora, Giant Buddha Exhibition and Butter-Sculpture, etc.) have also been recovered.

Every year on July 10 according to the Gregorian calendar, led by the Litang Monastery, in accordance with the old custom, the largest and the most solemn kora around mountains will be held, in order to worship the Mountain God and mark the birthday of the Dalai Lama VII. This tradition has already a history of more than 300 years.

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