Zetang Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn

Most Recent Things to Do in Zetang

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    Yumbulagang Monastery

    by blueskyjohn Updated Jun 25, 2013

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    When you first see Yumbulagang from a distance, it is quite an impressive sight. Perched atop a craggy hill makes the main tower here seem much larger than it is. Yumbulagang is said to be the first Monastery in Tibet, built by the first Tibetan King.

    There are only a few monks present and serves more as an attraction now. There are still pilgrims that visit, but they are out numbered by the locals trying to sell you prayer flags.

    The hike up is steep as you would imagine for the photos. It starts on a dirt road, which you take all the way up. There is also a trail you can take that starts off the road about 1/3 of the way up.

    Once on top you have amazing views of the valley with its lush green floor and occasional patch work of yellow canola flowers. There is a kora around the tower with prayer wheels that is nice to complete before entering the Tower temple.

    The highlights are definitely seeing the monastery from a distance and was on top seeing how beautiful the valley floor looks. It is a present surprise after seeing so much brown hills and mountains!

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    Trandruk Monastery

    by blueskyjohn Written Jun 14, 2013

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    Trandruk is another small Monastery with not many monks remaining. It is right on the outskirts of Tsedang and closer to the city than Yumbulagang. It is right on the road with only a small courtyard in front of the main entrance. Again, this monastery has an inner kora with lots of prayer wheels that is nice to do. Trandruk has some of the nicer mural paintings throughout the monastery.

    The big highlight is the thangka of Tara, made from nearly 30,000 pearls.

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    Horse or Camel, your choice!

    by blueskyjohn Written Jun 14, 2013

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    In the parking area for Yumbulagang are a bunch of horses. Not sure what type because they are pretty small. AND, there is one camel! Also, not the common one hump type but this camel has two humps!

    The horses are for hire to take you up the steep short hike to Yumbulagang. The cost is 20rmb but I'm not sure if this includes a round trip ticket. Most people can walk down the hill.

    As for the camel, I didn't ask the cost. The handler wasn't around.

    What are you looking at?
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    Hang a prayer flag at Yumbulagang Monastery

    by blueskyjohn Written Jun 14, 2013

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    Behind Yumbulagang is a ridge covered in prayer flags. During your visit you will be hounded by locals trying to sell you prayer flags to hang on the mountain. I resisted and made my way up to the top which is very steep on unstable rock. Only one of the locals continued to follow me through the rough terrain. She was very elderly and I was surprised how easily she ascended. I felt bad as I kept saying no. Finally I my way done, I gave in. She only wanted 10rmb and it was a pretty good flag. She helped me tie the flag to others, so I guess she gained in merit as well.

    It's nice to know I have these prayers flags blowing in the wind, even after I return and I am half way around the world.

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    Tradruk Monastery

    by ozalp Written Oct 22, 2009

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    Tradruk Monastery is situated 7 km southwest of Tsedang. Monastery belongs to Gelukpa sect and founded in 7th century. It was the winter palace of Songten Gampo and his wives. Tradruk is one of the twelve geomantic temples in Tibet. These temples were built for holding down the huge ogress, Sinmo. Sinmo is a rock ogress and the mother of Tibetan race. She tempted a monkey and their children become progenitors of 6 Tibet clans. She is supine and temples are built on her body parts. Tradruk is the temple on her left shoulder.
    According to the legend there was a lake inhabited by a dragon here. Songsten Gampo defeated it by calling a falcon and it also drank the water of the lake. So the temple had been built here. “Druk” means dragon, so the story explains the name.
    Temple’s area is 4667 m2. There are still some remnants from Songsten Gampo era in the temple. The most important treasure here is a tangka of White Tara embroidered with thousands of pearls (2 million and 9 thousands said our local guide Chun Dun) which is made by princess Wen Cheng herself. She made only three tangkas, one in Potala Palace, and the other in Shigatse. The room with the tangka is on the upper floor and there was an important statue of Padmasambhava and a decoration from yak butter and flour. I don’t think it would last for long.
    The upper floor was like a roof top, surrounded by several rooms. People were chanting in some of them. We also saw some flowers raised by monks here. Some of them were washing clothes, too. This place is where I learned the purpose of the strange device I saw here. It is like a satellite dish but shiny and it is used for focusing the sunlight and heat the water.
    There are several dark shrines inside the temple. Their light source was yak butter. With the scent and colors, the ambiance was so impressing. Monks allowed us to take photos in here, so I have more reliable sources than my memory.

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    Yungbulakang (or Yumbulagang) Palace

    by ozalp Written Oct 22, 2009

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    This is the first palace and the temple we’ve been to in Tibet. It was a last minute add-on because it was forbidden to visit Samye Monastery. We heard that it was because of the riots during Olympic Games.
    Palace had been built in 2nd century B.C. during the rule of first king, Nyatri Tsenpo. According to Bön legends, it is the first building of Tibet. It has been used as a summer palace by 33rd king Songsten Gampo and his Chinese wife princess Wen Cheng. After he had moved his palace to Lhasa, palace became a shrine and turned into a monastery under the reign of 5th Dalai Lama.
    Yungbulakang Palace is where the first Buddhist texts (Sutra) had fallen onto. No one could read them. It is said that it was a story to make people believe. I think the plan worked. Tibetan people are the most devoted believers I have seen.
    The palace is located on a hill and even it is so small, it seems huge when you look up. It is a three storey building. You can reach the palace by walking or hire a donkey, horse or yak to ride. On the way to the palace, there were people selling boiled potatoes with chili pepper, prayer flags, yak butter… Butter is for offering in the temple. There was a stupa in front of the palace. Inner parts were in dark colors, there were pictures or statues of important sacred characters except rebels. Local people offering them butter, money, etc. Under the butter candle light, the rooms have a magical effect. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from the rooms. It was disrespectful to take photographs in sacred places and we’ve been warned several times before coming here. There was an old monk sitting on a sofa in one of the rooms, accepting offers. I wish I took his photo at least. Everything I saw was amazing for me that day.
    We circumambulated the stupa after leaving the palace, and then climbed the back hill. There was a narrow road behind the palace and the upper hill was covered with prayer flags. Our two guides, Turkish and Nepali, both hung up their own prayer flags and we had some nice photographs here.
    Palace had been destroyed during Cultural Revolution and reconstructed in 1980s.

    The palace, the road and old city Prayer flags If you can't climb
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    • Architecture

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