Dongzhulin Monastery was built in 1667, and at one time housed treasures which rivaled Potala Palace, such as: gilded Maitreya, statue of White Drolma, Buddhas of Three Worlds, the ruler of the hell, Manjusri, 18 Arhats statues and Tangkar scroll paintings depicting Buddhist stories. Unfortunately it was badly damaged during the Cultural Revolution and the current structure was restored in 1987.
Previously, it was named “Chong-Chong-Gang Monastery” that means a monastery by a crane lake. Originally, It was a Kagyu Pa tradition monastery. It converted to Gelu Pa merging with other 7 small monasteries nearby and finally becoming Dongzhulin Monastery in 1667. In the late Qing Dynasty, there were over 700 lamas and 10 Living Buddhas in this monastery.
The Assembly Hall of Dongzhulin Monastery was designed in earth and wooden structure with 4 floors and 82 thick pillars. On the first floor, Tsongkhapa and his two disciples (Damarenqing and Kezhujie) are enshrined.
Some other enshrined Buddhism deities on the same floor are Sakyamuni, Avalokitecvara (Goddess of Mercy), Bhodisattva Manjusri, Bhodisattva Samantabhadra and Drolma.
The chanting hall, Buddhist chapels and chambers for Buddhist images are settled on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Among of those, the most impressive statues are the statue of Qingba Buddha (Maitreya) and the statue of Juewolakang (Sakyamuni).
It also houses a huge Tangkar with 8.5 meters long and 5.2 meters wide, and it is unfolded on the Gedong Festival in the 12th month of Tibetan calendar.
Dongzhulin Monastery sits on the slop of a mountain that overlook the beautiful Jinsha River Gorge (Yangtze). It is not well-known, more popular with the local Tibetans. The Mask Dancing Ceremony attracts thousands of followers each year.
How to get to there
Usually, the first step is to take flights or land transportation to arrive in Shangri La city, the capital town of Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. There are about more than 15 buses leave for or passing through Benzilan county everyday. Dongzhulin Monastery is about 23 kilometers away from Benzilan county
Be advised There is no direct public bus to this monastery from Benzilan, so you will have to use local minibus which usuaolly charges RMB 30 per person one way
Di Qing Airport
Address: No. 1, Shen-Ying Road
IATA Code: DIG
Altitude: 3,280 meters above sea level
Contact: +86 887 822 9916
Shangri La city Bus Station
Address: Xiangbala Avenue
Phone: +86 887 822-3501
Altitude: 3,080 meters above sea level
Working hours: 06:00 am – 19:00 pm