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Zelzhol Monastery(孜珠寺) is located in Dingqing County, Qamdo Prefecture. Known as "the city of the sky", Zelchol is one of the highest Monasteries in Tibet, suspended on Zelzhol Mountain at an altitude of 4,800 meters, and it is the most important monastery of the oldest and most primitive Bonismo religion in Tibet.

Brief Intro

Zelzhol Monastery is about 42 kilometers away from the county seat, about 1 hour and 30 minutes drive. Zelzhol, derived from Tibetan transliteration, means "six peaks", referring to the fact that Zelzhol is a mountain with six peaks. The characteristic of Zelzhol Mountain is that the mountain body is hollowed out, just like the lowercase English letter "n". Such a mountain is relatively common in Dingqing, but it is rare to see three consecutive hollows on the mountain, which also makes Zelzhol Mountain famous. According to the classic records, Zelzhol Monastery is the dojo of Guanyin Bodhisattva.  The six peaks symbolize Guanyin Bodhisattva's compassion and wisdom to save sentient beings in the six realms and help them move from trouble to the road of liberation.

Zelzhol Monastery is far away from secular society, so it has always maintained a pure atmosphere of practicing Dharma. For three thousand years, regardless of famines, disasters, wars or turmoil, although Zelzhol Monastery was disturbed or even demolished, the Dharma can always be passed down here. Many classics and rituals of Bon Buddhism got completely preserved and inherited at Zelzhol Monastery.

In History

Zelzhol Monastery was first built 3,000 years ago. It was initiated by the second generation of Tibetan king Mutri Tsenpo. It was created and inherited by the first master Mubang Sadong, the great achiever. It is now the forty-third generation. The abbot Lama is honored as "Zelzhol Living Buddha", and the current abbot is Ding Zhenzu Puerse Living Buddha.

There are four sacred mountains in the Bon religion, mainly Gangdisi Mountain in Ngari, Bonri Mountain in Nyingchi, Zelzhol Mountain in Qamdo, and Meiri Snow Mountain in Deqin. When the Buddha Shenrab Mivo was promoting Buddhism, he once taught the Dharma in Zelzhol Mountain and gave great blessings. And it is predicted that in the future, Zelzhol Mountain will have a profound impact on the development and dissemination of Bon Buddhism, and there will be many great achievers who benefit all sentient beings. Since then, 80 great achievers have emerged among the practitioners of the holy mountain in the past and left their precious relics. Master Padmasambhava also practiced here and left handprints and footprints on the cave walls. There're so many sacred sites in Zelzhol Mountain such as Buddha statues, mandalas and mantras naturally appearing in the rock walls of caves, etc. At the same time, Zelzhol Mountain also has a tunnel around the mountain that represents the six great divisions in the wheel of karma. Many Tibetans come here to worship devoutly from thousands of miles away.

Bon Religion

Regarding the relation between Zelzhol Monastery and Bonismo Sect, there is actually another very interesting statement. According to legend, the ancient Zhangzhung Kingdom divided the country into three boundaries in the shape of a ring. They are inner ring, middle ring and outer ring respectively. The center of the inner ring is Mount Kailash, which is regarded as the center of the world by several religions. The center of the middle ring is Tangra Yumco in Nagqu, and the center of the outer ring is Zelzhol Monastery.

Travel Tips

The best time to visit Zelzhol Monastery is from late June to mid-August every year. At the end of June every year, Zelzhol Monastery holds an annual Dharma Assembly with Cham dance. Counting from the year of the rooster in the Tibetan calendar, every 13 years, Zelzhol Temple holds a large-scale Dharma Assembly that emphasizes cause and effect and teaches people to do good deeds, as well as performs cham dance - "Heaven and Hell" advocating peace. You can only see this kind of cham dance at Zelzhol Monastery in Tibet.

It is about 350 kilometers from Qamdo to Zelzhol Monastery, taking 7 to 8 hours. The road to Zelzhol Monastery is not well all the way. Turning from the national highway to the last 10 kilometers of mountain roads to Zelzhol Monastery, the altitude climbs nearly 1,000 meters. The road to the top of the Mountain is arduous and tortuous, full of sand and gravel dirt road, potholes, and rugged winding. The mountain road follows the cliffs, and there are deep ravines on one side.

As Ding Zhenzu Puerse, the living Buddha of Zelzhol Monastery said: "Zelzhol Monastery is not accessible to ordinary people, except for those who are very destined..."

Attractions nearby Zelzhol Monastery

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