Lhasa was once a mystical place on the tibetian plateau behind the Himalaya.
Today, there are a lot of tourists stumble across the many historical sights.
But altough it`s still a fascinating place. A building like the Potala palce is probably unique in this world, and in the tibetian part there are many pittoresque views...
A nice place to visit, altough I had there the feeling that there must be many things destroyed when the newly built chinese part of the city was constructed. The city probably has lost its original face. The views from the tibetian part of the city to the Potala
Drepung Monastery , situated...
Drepung Monastery , situated to the west of Lhasa city, was founded in 1416 by one of Tsong Khapa's disciples. It was the largest and richest of the three major Yellow Sect monasteries in Lhasa, and it also became the most powerful. It is one of the largest monasteries in the world. The 5th Dalai Lama enlarged Drepung and ruled there while the Potala was being built. This magnificent monastery was built on an enormous scale, resembling a huge walled city. From its roofs, one can enjoy a scenic view of Lhasa city. According to religious records, during the foundation of Drepung, Tsong Khapa discoverd a magical white conchshell with counter clockwise whorls, believed to be buried by the Buddha Sakyamuni. Tsong Khapa bestowed this religious treasure to Drepung, and it can still be seen today in the 'Great Sutra Chanting Hall'. As the most powerful of the 'Gelukpa' monasteries, Drepung had seven colleges and, at its height, housed over 10000monks. It owns many splendid murals, elaborate statues and other rich treasures. A giant golden statue of Buddha 'Jiangba Tongzhenma' sits near the precious conch shell. Drepung was also listed as a national cultural relic in 1982.
Pilgrimage is not just a matter of walking to a sacred place and then leaving again. There are a number of activities that must take place to focus the concentration of the pilgrim. The act of kora, or circumambulation of the object of devotion, is one of the main pursuits. Auspicious numbers are three, 13 or 108 koras, with sunrise and sunset being especially auspicious times. Pilgrims will show devotion through prostration (chaktsal), which follows a sequence: placing your hands in a namaste (prayer-like) position, touching your forehead, throat and heart, getting down into a half-prostration and then lying flat out on the ground with arms outstretched. A particularly devout pilgrim will make his entire journey in this way, moving only the length of his body each time, marking his progress by a conch shell.
Offerings are likely to be made during a pilgrimage, such as kathaks (white ceremonial scarves) given to lamas or holy statues as a sign of respect. At altars, offerings such as yak butter, tsampa, fruit, money and seeds are left. Offerings of printed prayers or tsampa are thrown into the air at holy mountain passes, bridges and peaks. Sacred rocks, earth, water or herbs are collected and taken back to those who were unable to partake in the pilgrimage.
WATCH W/ ALTIMETER (it's all about elevation)
bring a watch with an altimeter (i had a suunto xlander).
if you're going to tibet, you'll be encountering elevations you're likely never to encounter again - personal altitude records is what i mean. might as well record it, right?
also, better to be aware of the elevations you reach so that you can better "climb high, sleep low" (pls see warnings/dangers) - the general rule in traveling at high altitude so as to avoid acute mountain sickness (AMS). being aware is key if you're going to stay healthy up here.
Drepung was once the world’s largest monastery, with 10,000 resident monks, who hailed from 321 different branch monasteries and lived according to nationality in various accommodation buildings. Today there are only about 600 monks remaining, but most of the 20,000 square metre complex remains. The name Drepung means head of rice symbolising the way the white buildings cling to the hillside. It was named after the sacred abode of Shridhanyakataka in South India. The monastery was famed in its time for its scholars - there are four major colleges in Drepung, Ngakpa, Loseling, Gomag and Deyang.
Drepung was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje Tshi Palden, a disciple of Tsongkapa. The monastry was expanded by the second Dalai Lama in 1530, when he established the Ganden Palace. This then became the home of the Dalai Lamas (and the head quarters of the Tibetan government) until the fifth Dalai Lama moved his home to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. The tombs of the second, third and fourth Dalai Lama are all found here.