Samye Monastery(桑耶寺) is deservedly the most popular destination for travellers in Shanna. Surrounded by barren mountains and dramatic sand dunes and a beautiful river crossing the monastery. As Tibet’s first monastery and the place where Buddhism was established, Samye Monastery is also of major historical and religious importance.
Samye Monastery is Tibet’s very first monastery and has a history that spans more than 1200 years. It was founded in the reign of King Trisong Detsen, who was born close by, though the exact date is subject to some debate – probably between 765 & 780. Whatever the case, Samye Monastery represents the Tibetan state’s first efforts to allow the Buddhist faith to set down roots in the country. The Bon majority at court, whose religion prevailed in Tibet prior to Buddhism, were not at all pleased with this development.
The victory of Buddhism over the Bon dominated establishment was symbolized by Guru Rinpoche;s triumph over the massed demons of Tibet at Hepo Ri, just to the east of Samye Monastery.
Shortly after the founding of Samye Monastery, Tibet’s first seven monks were ordained here by Samye Monastery’s Indian abbot, Shantarakshita, and Indian and Chinese scholars were invited to assist in the translation of Buddhist text into Tibetan.
According to tradition, the Indian monk Śāntarakṣita made the first attempt to construct the monastery while promoting his sutra-centric version of Buddhism. Finding the Samye site auspicious, he set about to build a structure there. However, the building would always collapse after reaching a certain stage. Terrified, the construction workers believed that there was a demon or obstructive tulku in a nearby river making trouble.
When Shantarakshita's contemporary Padmasambhava arrived from northern India, he was able to subdue the energetic problems obstructing the building of Samye. According to the 5th Dalai Lama, Padmasambhava performed the Vajrakilaya dance and enacted the rite of namkha to assist Trisong Detsen and Śāntarakṣita clear away obscurations and hindrances in the building of Samye.
Recommended Tour Itineraries Including Samye Monastery
The tour will take you to some great cities in Tibet and show you the dreamy natural views and the origin of Tibetan Buddhism. After a 4-day visiting in Lhasa, you will head to the east and discover the symbols of the Tibet culture then enjoy the two of top three holy lakes.
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.
This is a tour of exploring the Tibetan culture. You can visit all the influential monasteries, palaces, temples in Yarlung Valley, which is considered as “the cradle of Tibetan civilization”. You can also see Tibetan incense and engraving workshops in Nyemo County – the birthplace of Tibetan language.
Lhasa - Tsetang - Nyingtri -Pomi - Nyingtri - Lhasa - Lake Namtso - Ali - Darchen - Mt.Kailash - Lake Manasarovar - Saga - EBC - Shigatse - Gyantse - Lhasa
This exciting tour covered most of the tourist attractions in Tibet. It’s a great chance to gain insights into the beautiful views, culture and Tibetan Buddhism of the holy land. As a long adventure on the high Plateau, this journey is for warriors who are strong-willed and fearless.
This trekking tour will offer you a unique journey from Ganden to Samye. After an exploration in Lhasa city and suburb, the trekking will start in Ganden. During the following 4 days, you will enjoy the scenery of valleys, mountains, and lakes. You will finally arrive in Samye and have a view of the golden spires of Samye.
The first station is to visit Qinghai Lake, the largest inland and salt lake in China. Then take the train from Xining to Lhasa, which will take you around 22 hours. You can enjoy the most beautiful landscape of Qinghai-Tibet Railway along the way. Short stay in Lhasa, you will visit Mt. Everest and Namtso Lake to enjoy the breathtaking natural landscape.