Ta’er monastery is another name of Kumbum Monastery which is also called “Little Tower Temple”. It was founded in 1583 in a narrow valley close to the village of Lusar of Huangzhong District in the historical region of Amdo, approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Xining.
The place where this monastery is located is the birthplace of Tsongkhapa, the founder of Gelug Pa. It now has more than thirty temples and a thousand or so houses there.
Meaning of Kumbum
“Kumbum” is translated as “100,000 enlightening bodies of the Buddha” in Tibetan. It is named after the 100,000 images of the Buddha Sinhanada that appear on the leaves of the holy sandalwood tree. “Jampaling” is translated as “Maitreya Cloister.” in Tibetan. This refers to the Maitreya temple built by Rinchen-tsondru-gyeltsen to the right of the precious tree.
There are about 400 monks live and study in his monastery. Among of them, 300 are at the Debate College and the rest are distributed evenly among the other three colleges. Traditionally, the majority of the Kumbum monks have been Tibetans from Amdo. The remainder have been Khalkha Mongols from Inner Mongolia , Upper Mongols from Amdo east of Kumbum or Yugurs from Gansu.
Kumbum is still a major pilgrimage for Vajrayana believers and scholars. The Arjia tulkus are traditionally given the position of abbot of Kumbum. The Kumbum monastery is still very much a repository of Tibetan culture and art, including various sculptures, statues and religious artifacts.
Kumbum Monastery Data
Address & Contact
Add : No.56, Jin Tang Alley, Huangzhong Xian
Contact : +86 971 223-3009/223-2357
May 16th to October 15th : 08:00 am – 18:00 pm
October 16th to the next May 15th: 09:00 am – 17:30 pm
2,700 meters above sea level
RMB 80 per ticket
How to get to there
Departure from Train station bus-stop
By Special line 1 to Ta’er monastery (Kumbum monastery), Rate: RMB 5.00 per person
Departurefrom Xin-Ning-Bus stop
By bus line 2, 9, 12, 13 to Ta’er monastery (Kumbum monastery), rate: RMB 5.50, (Add: Xin-Ning Road, No.19)
Departurefrom Guan-Li-Zhan Bus stop:
By bus line 3, 4, 16 to Ta’er monastery (Kumbum monastery), rate: RMB 5.00 (Add: intersection of Nan-chuan East Road and Nan-shan Road)