Gyantse Horse Racing Festival

  • by Larry
  • Last Updated: 2017-09-11

Gyantse is a beautiful place located on the south of Tibet with an altitude of 4000 meters in average. Gyantse means “the peak of victory ” in Tibetan and it lies among the mountains. Many ancient customs continues for hundreds of years and the locals live a traditional life there. There are so many fesival handed down in the ancient town and the Gyantse Damar Festival is the most famous one. Originated from the 15th century, the annual athletic competition takes place on the 4th month of the Tibetan calender(on July 10, 2017). Various of content included in Gyantse horse racing festival such as archery, wrestling, Tibetan Opera, and divine rituals are take place there. Also, there is an attractive trading market where you can pick some speciality of Tibet and a picnic where you can enjoy a good time with hospitable local Tibetans.

When Gyantse Damar Festival comes, the Tibetans live in the region and some travelers from all over the world would come to attend the celebration. Thousands of tents are set up near the city, which makes this area a splendid view from afar. The athletes and artists compete on the plain where various of flowers are blooming at the time in July. Watching the festivities and competition will be an exciting experience which you can not miss during your tibet tour in July. Also, visiting towns nearby would be a good choice for you.

Tourist Attractions in Gyantse
The Palkhor Monastery and Kumbum Stupa are the top attractions in Gyantse. Unlike the other stupas in Tibet, The Kumbum Stupa is an unique stupa with a style of Nepal. As a giant architectural stupa reach heights of 34m, The Kumbum Stupa means “hundred thousand images of Buddha” in Tibetan. It is situated in the Palkhor Monastery and once it was one of the most important center for Sakya sects in Tibetan Buddhism.

The Palkhor Monastery is a typical Tibetan Buddhism Monastery combined stupa with temple. It was set up by the local prince Rabten Kunsang Phak and 1st Panchen Khedrup Je in 15th century. The Palkhor Monastery is very special, because it’s the only temple in Tibet houses monks from different sects. The monks from the Gelugpa, Sakyapa and Kahdampa sects co-exist in perfect harmony in this monastery. The main structure of The Palkhor Monastery is a three-story building. It’s incredible that hundreds of thousand statues of Buddha are storaged there. Each of them are exquisite and valuable.

The Kumbum Stupa is one of the most especial temples all over the world. Erected in 1418-1427, the masterpiece is built with 9-story temples piled up like a pyramid. It’s designed to be a mandala which is a model of cosmos in Buddhism. It’s considered that monks could be enlightened when they practice Dharma there. With a great number of artworks, The Kumbum Stupa could be one of the most standout place in Tibet.


It is said that the Gyantse Damar Festival was first taken place in the 1408. At the beginning it was just a local athletic competition. As the time goes by, it became an important competition all through Tibet. Buddhist activities, dancing to the god, song and dance performances and other events were added in. With the increasing number of people come to the celebration, a trade market was also built up for Tibetans.

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