Drepung Monastery is located at the foot of Mount Gephel, is one of the "great three" Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet. The other two are Ganden and Sera.
Drepung is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries and is located on the Gambo Utse mountain, five kilometers from the western suburb of Lhasa.
Freddie Spencer Chapman reported, after his 1936-37 trip to Tibet, that Drepung was at that time the largest monastery in the world, and housed 7,700 monks, "but sometimes as many as 10,000 monks.
Since the 1950s, Drepung Monastery, along with its peers Ganden and Sera, have lost much of their independence and spiritual credibility in the eyes of Tibetans since they operate under the close watch of the Chinese security services. All three were reestablished in exile in the 1950s in Karnataka state in south India. Drepung and Ganden are in Mundgod and Sera is in Bylakuppe.
The Drepung Monastery houses many cultural relics, which adorn and make it more superb. Statues of Manjushri Bodhisattva, and Sitatapatra found on the first storey of the Coqen Hall, rare sutras on the second storey and Jamyang Qoigyi's conch shell given by Tsong Khapa on the third one, all add to the wonderment. Exquisite statues of Tsong Khapa, Kwan-yin Bodhisattva, Manjushri Bodhisattva, Amitayus, and Jamyang Qoigyi in other sutra halls, as well as flowery murals on walls also fully present the wisdom of the Tibetan people.
Recommended Tour Itineraries Including Drepung Monastery
This 15-day tour will take you to visit the six famous cities in China from east to west. You will have an opportunity to visit the capital city Beijing. Then take a short tour to Xi’an. After that, you are going to visit Lhasa, the roof of the world then fly to Chongqing to enjoy the breathtaking view of Yangtze River as well.
Lhasa – Gyantse – Shigatse - EBC - Saga – Darchen - Kailash Trek - Lake Manasarovar – Zhongba - Lhatse - Shigatse - Lhasa