Tour Guide Hiring & Car Rental Service in China
Location:Shangri-la, Yunnan

Gadan Songzanlin Monastery

Being the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan Province, Gadan•Songzanlin Monastery, also known as Guihua Monastery, is one of the famous monasteries in the Kang region (referring to the Tibetan areas of Yunnan and Sichuan); it is located at 3 kilometers north of Shangri-la County, at the foot of Foping Mountain. Construction of the monastery began from 1679 to 1681, in the Kangxi period of the Qing Dynasty. In 1679, the fifth Dalai Lama chose this place by divination, and it went on to become the uppermost public place in Yunnan which features the peculiar local characteristics.

Songzanlin Monastery looks like a group of ancient castles and is composed of two lamaseries, Zhacang (Sakyamuni Hall) and Jikang (Zongkaba Hall), and 8 Kangsen (8 small monasteries for eight Buddhist parishes of Shangri-la); the gilded copper roof endows the monastery with strong Tibetan flavor and the 108 (an auspicious number in Buddhism) columns in the hall also feature the monastery with characteristics of Chinese Han; the main halls in the monastery are marvelous, and on both the left and the right sides are wonderful frescos, depicting Buddhist tales and legends. The inside-halls are exquisite with cloisters running through; the cloisters are all decorated with beautiful sculptures and consummate frescos. To a large extend, we can undoubtedly say that Songzanlin Monastery is full of treasures; there are a lot of golden figures of Buddha josses, golden lamps, Tibetan lections, silver censers etc; all of these are wonderful collections passed down from several dynasties and are precious productions made by both Tibetans and others. Moreover, the whole Songzanlin is structured in the traditional Tibetan style with mysterious atmosphere, so it deserves to be nicknamed as “the Small Potala Palace”.

The famous fesscoes in Songzanlin Monastery include Si Rui He Mu Tu (the four animals living in harmony), Meng Ren Yu Hu Tu ( the Mongol vanquished the tiger), the Life Wheel, Liu Chang Shou Tu (six longevities: human beings, mountains, rivers or water, plants, birds, animals ), Ba Bao Tu ( eight mascots of the Tibetan people: umbrella, golden fish, triumph flag, jar, spiral, lotus flower ) etc.

Annually, the Gedong Festival is celebrated here by the Tibetans; multitudes of pilgrims, from far away or nearby, head for Shangri-la for pious prostrating.

The life wheel(Karma Diagram)

This Thangka depicts the wheel of life; the wheel of life is a detailed representation of basic Buddhist belief: trans-migratory existence or transmigration. The form in which a being is reborn into the universe depends on its karma; this suffering of rebirth affects the whole living universe; the wheel is held in the embrace of the ruler of death, showing that all beings must eventually meet death; outside the wheel is a figure of lord Buddha, who is free from the moral and mental obstruction that can prevent all living beings from achieving enlightenment; the Buddha’s presence outside the wheel implies his escape from the cycle of life. The wheel is divided into three parts: axles, spokes and rim.

The axle depicts three evils: ignorance, lust and hatred in the form of a pig, a cock and a snake respectively, we must be aware of these three evils. The outer axle shows the manifestation of a white bright heaven and a dark black hell; the spokes divide our universe into six realms: gods, demigods, human beings, animals, starving ghosts and hells; in each realm, suffering exists, the beings of the six realms can’t escape from the sufferings of the universe,; also, in each realm, compassion of lord Buddha is pervading from every direction,; this helps all beings towards the path to enlightenment and release from the sufferings of rebirth!

You may also like:

Luoping Nine-Dragon (Jiulong) Waterfalls Twenty kilometers to the northeast of Luoping County, the Jiulong Cascades is located on the Jiulong River by Yidulei Village and is one of the most magnificent sights of Luoping. The cascades are scattered is on a two-kilometer-long section of the river. It is the mo...
Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Base Giant panda is not only a Chinese national treasure but are also beloved by people the world over. They are found only in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. In total there are fewer than 1000, of which 80% are distributed within the territory of Sichuan province. T...
Tropical Botanical Garden in Menglun The Tropical Botanical Garden of Menglun is located on Hulu Island of Menglun Township, 96 kilometers from Jinghong City. It is called the " Green Gem on the Crown of the Kingdom of Plants " and is the first embryo of the " Biological Society of Multi-levels and Mu...
Grape Valley Grape Valley sits on the western slopes of the Flaming Mountains, thirty-minute drive northeast from the Turpan county. Looking at the Flaming Mountains in the distance from the city of Turpan, one can see nothing but glowing barren red sand. Only the Grape Valley, p...
Guozijian – Beijing Imperial Academy Beijing Imperial Academy (Guozijian in Chinese), also translated as Beijing Imperial College, was first established in 1306. It served as the supreme administrative headquarters for the organization of education and the highest seat of learning during the Yuan(1271-1...
Pudacuo National Park As the first national park on China's mainland, Pudacuo was open to visitors in 2007. It is about 22 kilometers east from Shangri-la county seat. Pudacuo is the transliteration of “Mandala” or “Putuo” which refers to a sacred mountain of Avalokiteshvara (Goddess of Me...
Beijing Hutong People say that the real culture of Beijing is "the culture of hutong" and "the culture of courtyard". How true that is. Often, they attract tourists from home and abroad rather than the high-rise buildings and large mansions. "Hutong" is a Mongolian word, meaning ...
Western Hills Western Hill - The forest reserve on the west bank of the Dianchi lake consists of the Huating, Taihan mountains, which extend for more than 40 kilometres at an altitude of 2,500 metres above sea level. This range spreads out across a long wedge of parkland on the ...
The Hot Sea and Hot Fields in Tengchong Tengchong is one of China's three major geothermal areas, known as "Land Abounding in Geothermal Resources". There are plenty of springs of hot water and hot vapour, called "Hot Sea". There are quite a number of hot fields as well. Tengchong is a resort where people c...
Guangxiao Temple Guangxiao Temple is located on the Guangxiao Road and is the biggest and oldest Buddhist temple in the city. It is also a National Cultural Relic Protected monument. Guangxiao Temple is considered to be very important in the history of Chinese Buddhism and several...