Shigatse, officially known as Xigazê, is a prefecture-level city of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama, is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. The monastery was sacked when the Gorkha Kingdom invaded Tibet and captured Shigatse in 1791 before a combined Tibetan and Chinese army drove them back as far as the outskirts of Kathmandu, when they were forced to agree to keep the peace in the future, pay tribute every five years, and return what they had looted from Tashi Lhunpo.
The monastery is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking tulku lineage in the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The “Tashi” or Panchen Lama had temporal power over three small districts, though not over the town of Shigatse itself, which was administered by a dzongpön (prefect) appointed from Lhasa. Located on a hill in the center of the city, the full name in Tibetan of the monastery means “all fortune and happiness gathered here”.
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The town of Gyantse is strategically located in the Nyang Chu valley on the ancient trade routes from the Chumbi Valley, Yatung and Sikkim, which met here. From Gyantse, routes led to Shigatse downstream and also over the Karo La (Pass) to Central…
Lhasa is a city and administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Lhasa is the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau after Xining and, at an altitude of 3,490 m, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. The city has…
Other Monasteries in Tibet
Ganden Monastery (also Gaden or Gandain or Ganden Namgyeling) is one of the “great three” Gelug university monasteries of Tibet. Ganden Monastery was founded in 1409 by Je Tsongkhapa Lozang-dragpa, founder of the Gelug order. Monastery is at the…
The Tibetan Plateau, also known in China as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qingzang Plateau or Himalayan Plateau, is a vast elevated plateau in Central Asia and East Asia, covering most of the Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province in…