Lhagang monastery is also called “Tagong monastery”. Its full name is “Minyag Lhagang Yongdzog Rabgyal Lhakang Thongdrol Samdrubling” in Tibetan. In its name, the “Yongdzog Rabgyal Lhakang” means the temple of prosperous end.
Because Lhagang monastery was built in 652 AD by the 33rd Tibet king of Songtsam Gampo for his Chinese wife – the Princess Wencheng. And this monastery was the last one among of the 108 temples and monasteries that he ordered to build across Tibetan plateau.
Lhagang monastery is thought to be the 1st Tibetan Buddhism monastery in Kham. It was initially the monastery practicing Kamar Kagyu lineage, then after converted to be Sakya Pa. It now has 108 white stupas behind the main temple and a hundreds of prayer wheels all around the monastery.
Stupa of Mahasiddhas
According to Tibetan Buddhism history, Huchen Kara, whom was one of the Indian Eighty Mahasiddhas, visited this holy place building a stupa and named it as Drupthok Choeten which literally means “Stupa of Mahasiddhas”. Later great scholars of Brahmin Saraha, Brahmin Gunpo, Vairochana, Padmasambhava, Yudra, Phakpa and four other Minyag local scholars built stupas which are still exist with other holy remains like speaking statue of Avalokiteshvara, Divine Conch Shell, Trumpet and conch of Vairochana, footprint of Dharmaraj Phakpa….
Status and development
Lhagang monastery is one of the popular monasteries in the Kham region and it receives thousands of local pilgrims every year to see its most holy image of Jowo Shakyamuni. Four spiritual mountains of Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani, Manjushri and Tara surround the monastery. The statue of Songtsam Gampo and his chinese wife Princess Wenchen of Tang Dynasty are now still worship in the holy temple that is on the left of the assemblly hall.
It now houses about 100 monks and more than 70 monk students have been learning in the Lhagong Buddhist Institution, which receives students across the entire Tibetan plateau including Tibet, Kham and Amdo. One of their studying course is to debating which is arranged in the yard of the monastery. The visitors are allowed to join them but without disturbing their debating process
In recent year, a school is opened and supported by Lhagang monastery that teaches Tibetan language and Buddhism
Lhagang Monastery Data
Tagong town, By the main road
08:00 am – 18:00 pm
Free of charge
How to get to there
Lhagang monastery is about 50 kilometer from Kangding airport, about 1 hours drive, so the quickest way to get to this site is by flight;
There are daily flight between Chengdu and Kangding, then switch to local vehicle to get to Lhagang monastery
- Bus : There are more than 15 local mini bus in between Kangding and Lhagang, with rate RMB 20 per person
- Chartered vehicle: about RMB 200 – 300 round trip