Hong Po Monastery is located in Hong Po Village, Yunling township, Deqin County. Hong Po Village is a peaceful village and covered by the green trees in a valley. Hong Po Monastery is like a pearl inlaid in this beautiful village, with red walls and blue tiles, prayer flags flies in the wind. The monastery it looks simple and solemn.
Hong Po Monastery faces Mt Kawa Karpo which is in the east of the Lancang River. There is a dense virgin forest behind the monastery near the snow covered main peak of the White Horse Snow Mountain, which is regarded as the mountain god of Hong Po Village, as well as the patron saint of the east gate of Mt Kawa Karpo.
Hong Po Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist temple with a history of more than 500 years; It was built in 1514 as to be one of the temples of Kagyu Pa . It was suppressed because of involvement in the rebellion against the Mongolian khan in 1674, and its property was confiscated and the monks were to disband, however, after two years, Hong Po Monastery was restored in 1676, but it was converted to Gelug Pa sect of Tibetan religion, and it was renamed as Gaden Yangpajinglin Monastery by Dalai Lama V.
Hong Po Monastery, Dongzhulin Monastery, Deqinlin Monastery are regarded as the three main Tibetan Monasteries in Deqin County; They all used to be Kagyu monasteries, and they all were converted to Gelug Pa monastery after the rebellion in 1674.
In 1680 (The 19th year of Kang Xi Emprior, Qing Dynasty), Dalai Lama V selected “Gun Song Kainpo” to be the General Host of the three monasteries, he then enthroned at Hong Po Monastery to begin his service. The monthly fee of all monks in the three monasteries were issued by Hong Po Monastery. In Tibetan language “Hong Po” means silver, which was the currency in the ancient history; Therefore, Hongpo Temple was also known as the “Mother Monastery” among the three temples.
Now the whole temple is composed of three parts. The assembly hall is centered,the Amitabha Buddha Hall is ahead,the buildings of monk’s dorm room are surrounding like the stars around the moon. The statues of the four Dharma protectors on the main temple cloister also has the painting style of Chinese Buddhism. Generally, the four Dharma protectors in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are murals. But the ones in Hong Po monastery are clay sculptures, which can be described as a unique work in Tibetan monasteries.
The assembly hall is a place where monks gather for ritual activities enshrine Tsongkhapa and his two disciples, it can accommodate about 500 monks. The murals on the walls of this hall were newly painted during the restoration and reconstruction after the Cultural Revolution.
There is also a small hall behind the main hall enshrining Maitreya Bodhisattva, on both sides, there are eight buddha status of Manjushri, Maitreya Arya, Avalokite Shvara, Mahasthamaprapta, Aksiayamatir, Bodhisattva, Bhairajya Samudgata, Bhaisajya Raja
There are wooden ladders on both sides of the cloister outside the main hall leading to the second floor which is mainly used to worship Dharma protectors. There is a flat Bluestone slab square in front of the main hall, which is an important place for holding large-scale Buddhist events every year.
Before the square, it is the Amitabha Buddha Hall, which was not damaged much during the Cultural Revolution, and basically retained its original appearance. The Amitabha Buddha is divided into two floors. The first floor is the main hall, which is mainly used for worship the Amitabha Buddha, and there is a precious silver stupa with height of 1 meter containing a Sheli of the “Fai-hai Renpoche” whom was from Juli monastery near Xinduqiao in Kham. The second floor is a reception room for important people such as masters, living Buddhas…etc.,
1854 AD (4th years of Xian-Feng, Qing Dynasty), a plaque of “Hua Xing Nan Bang – Ch 化行南邦” was bestowed by Emperor Xian-Feng, which this Royal Gift plaque protected Hong po monastery survived the Wei-Xi Religious Case of 1905 and was not destroyed. This plaque is also regarded as the greatest treasure of this monastery.
Today, the Zha-ba Living-Repoche is a reincarnation of the XIV, living the same life as ordinary Tibetans, with a wife and children
On the Goat Slop, 3 kilometers from Hongpo village, Yun lin towsship
Free of charge
How to get 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, from which there are about more than 15 buses leave for Deqin county where Hong Po Monastery is about 61 kilometers away from, it rouighly takes about 1.5 – 2 hours to make one way trip from Deqin to here;
There is no public bus to this monastery from Deqin, so it is recommended to hire local Taxi or minibus to get to here
Di Qing Airport
Address: No. 1, Shen-Ying Road, Shangri La city
IATA Code: DIG
Altitude: 3,280 meters above sea level
Contact: +86 887 822 9916
Shangri La Bus Station
Address: Xiangbala Avenue | 香巴拉大道
Phone: +86 887 822-3501
Altitude: 3,080 meters above sea level
Working hours: 06:00 am – 19:00 pm