Drepung Monastery | 哲蚌寺

Drepung Monastery is one of the “Great Six” Geluk 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 of Lhasa. It was the “Home” monastery of the Dalai Lama, and being found in 1416 by Jamyang Chojey, a disciple of Tsongkhapa, who was the founder of Gelug Pa. It once housed more than 10,000 monks in the early of 20th century.

Brief History

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.

In 1518, 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.

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.

Address & Contact

Add : No. 276, Beijing West Road | 拉萨市城关区北京西路276号
Contact +86 891 686-0011

Opening hour

09:00am – 16:00pm
Monk debating begin at 14:30pm
most halls are closed in the afternoon

Entrance fee

RMB 50.00 per person


3,650 meters above sea level

Drepung monastery Location

How to get there

Drepung monastery is located in the northwest of Lhasa city, it can be reached easily with bus or taxi;
By bus: line 24, 25, to bus stop “Ze Bang Si zhan | 哲蚌寺站”, then hike for about 30 minutes to reach monastery; or by local tractor which costs RMB 5.00 per person one way

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