Pre-1950 photographs show Reting Monastery( 热振寺) sprawled gracefully across the flank of a juniper-clad hill in the Rong-chu Valley. Reting Monastery was devastated by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. Still, the site is one of the most beautiful in the region.
Reting Monastery dates back to 1056. It was initially associated with Atisha (Jowo-je) but in its later years it had an important connection with the Gelugpa order and the Dalai Lamas. Two regents – the de facto rulers of Tibet for the interregnum between the death of a Dalai Lama and the majority of his next reincarnation – were chosen from the Reting abbots.
Reting is 25km from the crossroads settlement of Phongdo, which has a ruined dzong and is overlooked by a mountain of near-perfect conical proportions. There are a handful of shops and restaurants here.
Reting Monastery is still graced by surrounding juniper forest, said to have sprouted from the hairs of its former Dromtompa. A 40mins kora leads from the guesthouse around the monastery ruins, passing several stone carvings, a series of eight chortens and an active sky burial site. Further up the hillside id the medication retreat where Tsongkhapa composed the Graduated Path, a Key Gelugpa text. The large escarpment draped with prayer flags to the right is the Sengye Drak (Lion’s Rock), where there are several more retreats.
Recommended Tour Itineraries Including Reting Monastery
This journey starts from exploring Lhasa city, then drive to Namtso for a ‘Heavenly Lake’ experience. On the way, you will enjoy the vast grassland and charming natural scenery. The last station is to head to Tsedang for discovering the "cradle of Tibetan civilization" and Samye Monastery, the first monastery in Tibet.