Ganden Monastery is one of the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, China. It is in Dagzê County, Lhasa. The other two are Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery. Ganden Monastery was founded in 1409 by Je Tsongkhapa Lozang-dragpa, founder of the Gelug order. The monastery was destroyed after 1959 but has since been partially rebuilt. Another monastery with the same name and tradition was established in Southern India in 1966 by Tibetan exiles.
Ganden is 40 kilometers (25 mi) northeast of Lhasa. The monastery lies in a hilly natural amphitheater. from the kora route around the monastery, there are dramatic views over the valleys that surround it. Ganden Monastery is at the top of Wangbur Mountain, Dagzê County at an altitude of 4,300m. Its full name is Ganden Namgyal Ling (dga' ldan rmam rgyal gling). Ganden means "joyful" and is the Tibetan name for Tuṣita, the heaven where the bodhisattva Maitreya is said to reside. Namgyal Ling means "victorious temple".
Ganden Monastery was founded by Je Tsongkhapa Lozang-dragpa (1357–1419) in 1409. Tsongkhapa built Ganden's main temple, with large statues and three-dimensional mandalas. He often stayed at Ganden and died there in 1419. Tsongkhapa's preserved body was entombed at Ganden by his disciples in silver and gold-encrusted tomb.
In 2008, over 500 monks, who refused to adhere to the ban against the protective deity Dorje Shugden, enforced by the Dalai Lama's government in exile, were expelled from the Ganden Monastery in Mundgod, Karnataka, and founded in its immediate neighborhood the Shar Gaden Monastery, officially opened in October 2009. As a result, the Dokhang Khangtsen, the biggest division of Gaden Shartse Monastery, where most of the departing monks came from, ceased to exist.
Recommended Tours Including Ganden Monastery
This tour connected two of the holiest lands in Asia. Starting from Lhasa and ending in Kathmandu, it’s a journey of discovery and purification. After 12 days of the exciting and rewarding trip in Tibet, you will cross the border bridge between China and Nepal. Then step into a new world of beauty and peace.