Galden Jampaling Monastery and Chamdo Town

Galden Jampaling Monastery (Chambaling Monastery)

The monastery is richly decorated.Built in 1444 by one of the Tsong Khapa's disciples, Jampaling Monastery, aka Chambaling Monastery, is located on a high mesa where Ongqu and Zhaqu Rivers meet and merge into the famous Lancang River in Chamdo Town. It houses the Gelugpa Sect which belongs to Tibetan Buddhism.

Constructed as the first monastery of the Gelugpa Sect in Kham area, Galden Jampaling Monastery has a history of about 540 years. It has the Main Assembly Hall, the Guardian Hall, the Tara Hall, the Sutra Debating Hall and 12 Zhacangs (sutra studying schools).

From the reign of the 14th abbot, the Reincarnation System of living Buddha was adopted. In history, there were five main living Buddhas. Since the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), those living Buddhas have been all conferred by the central government. Today, a bronze seal, a plaque inscribed with 'Gandan Jampaling Monastery' granted by Emperor Kangxi and another plaque bestowed by Emperor Qianlong are still preserved here. In its Golden Age, the monastery housed about 5,000 monks and administered 70 small monasteries.

The most celebrated feature in Galden Jampaling Monastery is the Holy Dance, only performed during the Butter Lamp Festival that celebrates the victory of Sakyamuni against the heretics in a religious debate. The festival falls on January 15th of Tibetan calendar. During the festival, the monks wear ferocious masks and perform this religious dance to exorcise the ghosts and to pray for a good harvest next year.

Hundreds of Buddhist figures and sculptures of hierarchs, wonderful murals and Thangkas in the monastery are also worth visiting. All of them show the exquisite craftsmanship of the artisans in Chamdo.

How to get to Galden Jampaling Monastery

Take Bus 4 to Qiangba Linsi (Galden Jampaling Monastery) directly.

Entrance Fee Free
Opening Hours All day

Chamdo Town

Chamdo Town, located in the east of Tibet Autonomous Region, is the political, economic, cultural, and transportation center of Chamdo Region. 'Chamdo' in Tibetan means estuary. This town lies at the conjunction of two main tributaries of the Lancang (Mekong) River, thus getting its name. As the most important portal to Tibet, it has a superb geographical location.

Chamdo Town has a glorious and long history as well as miraculous culture. This area is mainly inhabited by Tibetans. Studies suggest that human existence in the area dates back to the Neolithic Period over 4,000 years ago. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), this remote town fell into the control of the Tubo Kingdom, which quickly became strong at that time. Chamdo Town experienced many changes and was given different names through the following dynasties. From the period ruled by Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) it has developed into a vitally important town and traffic pass.

Chambaling Monastery is a 'must see' when you come to Chamdo Town. It was found in 1444, with hundreds of magnificent Buddha statues and marvelous murals. The religious dancing here is widely renowned, featured with grand scenes, powerful postures, ferocious masks and dazzling costumes.

Transportation to the area has always been a problem. In 1995, Bamda Airport was built, only 136 kilometers (about 84.5 miles) from Chamdo Town, and international lines have been opened. Travel therefore is much more convenient.
- Last updated on Sep. 12, 2018 -
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