September 1, 2009

Rongbuk Monastery is located in the Shigatse Region, southwest of the mysterious Tibet Autonomous Region, and to the north of the oblate Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world. Nowadays, with the golden travel boom to Mt. Everest, Rongbuk Monastery is gradually becoming a highlight for the tourists.

Rongbuk Monastery
Rongbuk Monastery was built by a local lama in about 1899. The altitude is  about 5, 000 m. (16, 404.2 ft.), which is the highest among all the temples in the world. It is a five-tier building, but only 2 floors are in use now. In the frontispiece of the main hall, were sacrificed the statues of Sakyamuni and Geru Rinpoche. And the mural paintings inside are especially worthy of appreciation.
Every year from 15th April of the Tibetan Calendar the monastery will hold a Buddhist dancing ceremony, which will last for three days. This is held to celebrate the birth of Sakyamuni, which is known as Saka Dawa Festival. During the play, many monks disguise themselves as Rabbis and dance many scenes one after another, and most scenes portray different characters and clothing. The noisy and special activity often attracts many local residents and visitors to the temple. Another Tibetan festival is held on 29th December of Tibetan Calendar to placate wandering ghosts, and monks wearing masks also perform this grand ceremony.

September 1, 2009

  Dingri  is a small city located 183 km southeast of Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. In the 19th century it is said to have contained some 1,000 houses, a bazaar, a gompa and a fort. It is now the capital of Shannan prefecture and the second-largest town in the region.
It is at an elevation of 3,100 meters and has a population of about 52,000. It is only about 4 km to the northeast of the town of Nêdong but they have now basically merged into one city. It is situated near the flank of Mount Gongbori and is home to the ruins of the ancient Gajiu Monastery. It is known as the cradle of Tibetan’s civilization. Samye, Tibet’s first monastery, is located 30 km from Dingri and was founded in 779 CE by King Trisong Detsen.
The 14th century monastery of Dingri, Ganden Chökhorling, was originally Kagyupa but was taken over by the Gelugpas in the 18th century.

About 5 km south of Dingri is Changzhug Monastery founded during the reign of Songtsen Gampo and about 10 km further is Yumbulagang which, according to legend, was built as a palace for the first king, Nyatri Tsenpo, and was the first building in Tibet. There are several hotels and a guesthouse.