Drepung Monastery is one of the “Great Six” Gelug pa monasteries. It is thought to be the largest monastery across Tibetan Plateau and is located on the Gambo Utse mountain, 5 kilometers from the west surburb of Lhasa.
It was the “Home” of the Dalai Lama, and being found in 1416 AD by Jamyang Chojey, a disciple of Tsongkhapa who was the founder of Gelug Pa.
In 1518 AD, the residence of Dokhang Ngonmo in the southwest corner of Drepung was offered to Dalai Lama II, and its name was thereafter changed to Ganden Podrang. It continued to function as the residence of the Dalai lamas until Dalai Lama V moved into the Potala Palace built in the late 17th century.
It once housed more than 10,000 monks in the early of 20th century. The monastery complex comprises the central Assembly Hall, the Ganden Palace, and a series of 7 colleges, among of which 4 of those still remain, including: Ngakpa, Loseling, Deyang, and Tashi Gomang.
To the left of the entrance, Sangak Podrang, which serves a protector shrine and contains a Thangkar image of Dalai Lama V, and a copies of Kan-ju-er (Kangyur) and Tan-ju-er(Tangyur) are contained by the bookcases attached to the side walls. The inner praying chamber contains Thangkar images of Dharmaraja, Bhairava, Six-armed Mahakala and Shridevi
The main courtyard is where the religious dance were performed and where the Shoton Festival (Yugurt Festival) is hold. It is flanked by two-story residential quarters. Beyond the courtyard, the lower story of the palace contains an Assembly hall, which has one Atisha’s image of “Speaking Tara”, and other images of Mahakarunika, and the protector deities. The upper story contains one private rooms for of the Dalai lamas.
Drepung monastery Data
Address & Contact
Add : No. 276, Beijing West Road
Contact +86 891 686-0011
09:00am – 16:00pm
Monk debating begin at 14:30pm
most halls are closed in the afternoon
3,650 meters above sea level
RMB 50.00 per person
How to get to there
Drepung monastery is located in the northwest of Lhasa city, it can be reached easily by bus or taxi;
By line 24, 25, to bus stop “Ze Bang Si zhan”, then hike for about 30 minutes to reach monastery; or by local tractor which costs RMB 5.00 per person one way
Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Address: Jia Zu Lin Town, Gongga Xian
IATA Code: LXA
Altitude: 3,600 meters
Contact: +86 891 6216465 / 6827727
Lhasa Bus Station
Address: No.1, Jinzhu Middle Rd,
Contact: +86 891 682 4469
Altitude: 3,650 meters
Working hours: 06:00 am – 19:00 pm