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One of Tibet's most historically significant monasteries and home to magnificent stupa-tombs and Buddhist statues.

Perched on a hill overlooking Shigatse, the 15th century Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the great Yellow Sect monasteries of Tibet. Adorned with glistening golden roofs, fragranced by thick incense and linked by timeless cobbled alleyways, the monastery is of immense historical importance and now one of the largest functioning centres of Buddhism in the region.

It is the traditional home of the Panchen Lama, the second highest ranking spiritual leader after the Dalai Lama and in its heyday before the Cultural Revolution was home to over 5,000 monks. Most of these fled, whilst hundreds followed the Dalai Lama through the Himalayas to India to establish a new Tashilhunpo across the border. But the monastery survived relatively intact and now hundreds live and study within the whitewashed walls, alongside a magnificent wealth of Buddhist statues, tombs and artwork.

Among the highlights to be seen here are the lavishly decorated stupa-tombs of the fourth to tenth Panchen Lamas and the 26 metre high Future Buddha statue - the largest gilded bronze statue in the world, adorned with precious stones. The monastery also houses some fine and rare examples of Buddhist paintings and murals, which depict Buddhist beliefs and historical aspects of Tibetan society.

Some of our favourite places to visit and things to do in Tibet
What to do in Tibet

9294 Palcho Monastery & Kumbum

Palcho Monastery & Kumbum

Follow the path to enlightenment of the rare Gyantse Kumbum and enjoy fine views over the Dzong hilltop fortress.

9293 Yamdrok Lake

Yamdrok Lake

Hidden in the Tibetan mountains, the sacred Yamdrok Lake is a stunning sight and a deeply sacred place for Tibetans.

9297 Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monastery

Fortress-like Sakya is known as the "Great Wall of Tibet" and boasts an important collection of cultural relics.



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