Ganden Monestary and Kora
Ganden Monestary and Kora Reviews
Breathtaking view from the top Oct 04, 2006
During our trip to Tibet we visited the Ganden Monastery, located 40 kilometers from Lhasa and at a height 4500 meters. A winding road takes you up to a small village of temple halls and related buildings.
Ganden was the first monestary of the Gelugpa order and once had no less than 2000 monks living there before Chinese artillery destroyed a large part of the buildings between 1959 and 1966, which are currently still being restored.
To be perfectly honest, the monastery itself is not the most impressive one you'll find in Tibet. It's located beautifully at a hill and the temple halls are impressive, but there's not as much activity as in other monestaries like Sera or Drepung.
The real treat was behind the monestary. One could walk the Kora, a circumscribing pilgramage around the monestary that would take you around the top of the hill. Reaching the top of the hill and seeing the view of the Kyichu valley beneath me was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. Breathtaking in both the literal and figurative sense (considering the great height and difficult breathing).
Besides this stunning view the kora will take you along altars, prayer flags and even a 'sky burial' site where the dead are cut in pieces and left for the vultures (because of lack of wood for cremations). All in all one of the highlights of our visit to Tibet and something not to be missed when in the Lhasa area.
Part of the Nepal/Tibet 2006 travel blog
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