- Mindroling Monastery
A corner of Potola Palace, Tibet
Mindroling Monastery is located at Zhaqi district, southeast part of Zharang County of Shannan area. It stands on south bank of Yarlung Tsangpo River, 43 kilometers from Lhasa Gonggar airport. The monastery was surrounded by the mountains of Miyou on the east, Zhebu on the west, Quedan on the south, Danma on the north and a vast valley in the front. Facing east, the monastery has great hypsography and beautiful scenery.
Mindroling Monastery is 15 kilometers from Zetang County. There are three ways of getting there. First, you may rent a three-wheeled bike in the county, which will cost you about CNY30.00 net once. Second, you can rent a taxi from Zetang; the cost is about CNY80.00 net or CNY100.00 net per car, at most for four people. Or, you may take regular buses that depart for Zharang, Gonggar or Lhasa, and get off at Mindroling Monastery, and then walk there or take a local tractor. Including the time for transportation to and from, it requires a whole day for the tour to Mindroling Monastery. If you wish, you may also stay one night there at the Zharang Hotel, or encamp there by yourselves.
Samye Monastery, Tsetang
Also, there is no good restaurant near Mindroling Monastery, only chophouses. We suggest you bring some snacks or prepare a packed lunch. The admission fee is CNY30.00 net per person.
In this monastery, you can have a chance to enjoy the process of making Tibetan incense, which will leave you with a deep impression.
Mindroling Monastery is one of the six academies of the Nyingmapa-sect. It was heavily damaged in 1718 by the Dzungar Mongols from East Turkistan, and was rebuilt by the seventh Dalai Lama. The temple covers an area of more than 100,000 square meters. You may see that on the wall of the main hall, there are many paintings of Buddha with ferocious faces and extra heads and arms. It is a special characteristic of Nypingmapa temples. According to the explanation of Tibetan Buddhism, those malevolent-looking deities are guardians of the temple defense against enemies and evils. From the view point of art, these exaggerated figures are typical works of Tibetan Mi-sect. On the third floor of the main hall, there are two Buddhist Halls; within one of them you will find the paintings of the famous Lama Image of the Nyingmapa-sect.
The Buddhist monks in Mindroling Monastery are allowed to marry. The succession of the patriarch is not only restricted to father to son, but also to father-in-law and son-in-law. Mindroling Monastery is in an important position of doing research on Nyingmapa-sect's history and tenets.
Mindroling Monastery is also noted for their high attention to astronomical calendar research, presided over the compilation of the Tibetan calendar, Zang calligraphy and Tibetan incense production. According to their tradition, the monastery will choose certain dignitaries, some of whom are assigned to be teachers at Potala Palace. The rest of them are sent to Menzikang in charge of studying the astronomical calendar and compilation of the Tibetan calendar. In addition, according to Tibetans, Nyingchi is famous for Tibetan drugs; The Shannan area is famous for Tibetan medicine. The monks at Mindroling Monastery mix Tibetan drugs into Tibetan incenses which become the most famous incenses of Tibet. If you are interested in this, you may also purchase some of them as souvenirs.
After the visit, transfer back to Zetang.
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