Songzanlin Monastery

building complex of Songzanlin
Songzanlin, also Ganden Sumtseling Gompa
Being the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan, Songzanlin Monastery, also known as Guihua Monastery, is one of the famous monasteries in the Kang region. It is located near Shangri -La County, at the foot of Foping Mountain.

Construction of the monastery began in 1679 and was completed two years later. The monastery seems like a group of ancient castles and is composed of two lamaseries, Zhacang and Jikang. The gilded copper roof endows the monastery with strong Tibetan features and the 108 (an auspicious number in Buddhism) columns downstairs also feature the it with characteristics of Han nationality. The main halls in the monastery are magnificent, and on both the left and right sides are wonderful frescos, depicting Buddhist tales and legends. The inside-halls are exquisite with cloisters running through. The cloisters are all decorated with beautiful sculptures and consummate frescos.

The monastery is full of treasures. There are a lot of golden figures of Buddha josses, golden lamps, Tibetan lections, silver censers and so on. All of these are wonderful collections accumulated from each dynasty. They are precious productions made by people of both Tibet nationality and Han nationality.

Songzanlin Monastery has another alias - 'the little Potala Palace ', so named because the whole monastery is in the traditional style with mysterious atmosphere. In 1679, Dalailama chose this place by divination, and it went on to become the uppermost public place in Yunan which features the particular local characteristics. Annually, the Gedong Festival is celebrated here by the Tibetans. Pious believers, with their knees and foreheads knocking the ground at every step, come here to pray.

Songzanlin, the biggest Tibetan monastery in Yunnan
In front of one of the three main halls
Songzanlin Monastery, Shangri-La
Prayer wheels
The monastery is situated in the high altitude region over 3,300 meters (about 10,827 feet) high. It snows even in August, and has a rainy season that runs from June through September. Therefore, spring and summer are the best seasons for people to visit it.

Bus route: There are autobuses in Shangri-la County which can take you to this beautiful scenic spot directly, and the buses No.3 can also take you there without stop.

Admission Fee: CNY 115
Time for a Visit:
Two hours

- Last modified on Oct. 19, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Songzanlin Monastery
Asked by Tom from THAILAND | Oct. 18, 2018 22:03Reply
Can I make for Songzanlin Monastry and Napa Hai lake in only same afternoon trip?
Due to I have arrival time for Shangri-La at 10.00 am and next late morning I have to take a bus for Lijiang. so that I have time for travelling in Shangri-La only 5-6 hrs. Anyone can suggest me for this trip?
Answers (2)
Answered by Sophia from USA | Oct. 19, 2018 00:29

If you hire a car to visit the two places, I think it may be possible.
Answered by Tom from THAILAND | Oct. 19, 2018 01:36

Thank you very much Sophia!!!
Asked by Hendra12 from INDONESIA | Apr. 02, 2018 04:58Reply
Which one better time to visit Songzanlin Monastery ?
hello all,

I will be in Shangrila either 11-12-13 April 2018
Which time is better to visit or pm time ?

Thank you
Answers (2)
Answered by David from RUSSIA | Apr. 02, 2018 21:56

Any day is okay, and you are suggested to go there in the morning to enjoy the sunrise!
Answered by Hendra12 from INDONESIA | Apr. 03, 2018 00:54

Hello David,

Thanks a lot for ur information . Have good days, mate ! :)
Asked by Lidia from CHINA | Feb. 02, 2018 07:53Reply
How bad is it (weather wise) if I go to visit Shangri-la around next week (jan6/7)?
Answers (1)
Answered by Monica from FRANCE | Feb. 04, 2018 21:54

It’s reported to be snowy and the temperature can down to 6C below zero. You need to take your down coat, padded coat and warm pants.
Asked by Jan from SINGAPORE | Oct. 28, 2017 10:59Reply
Entrance fee to Songzanlin monastry
How much does an elderly above 70 years old have to play?

And how much does a 17 year old has to pay? What does he need to present to enjoy the discounted price please?
Answers (1)
Answered by Eglise from FRANCE | Oct. 30, 2017 02:55

Sorry to tell you, as I know, no discount is for foreigners. But you can take your passport and ask the staff for confirming when buying tickets.
Asked by Reni from INDONESIA | Aug. 21, 2017 02:12Reply
Hi, is Pudacuo national park far away from Songzanlin Monastery?
What's the simple transportation to go there from Shangri-La city? What's the point of interest in the monastery?
Answers (1)
Answered by Nida from UNITED KINGDOM | Aug. 21, 2017 22:20

Yes, it’s a little far, about 40km between the park and monastery. You can hire a car or take bus 3 to Songzanlin Monastery from the city, it’s not far.
You can enjoy the building, cultural relics and the Buddha statues inside.
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