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Samye monastery is in Darnak town of Lhoka County(Shannan), Tibet. It is situated valley facing the northern part of the Yarlung Tsangpo river. Samye Monastery was first established in the 8th century by King Trisong Dhesten, who invited scholar Khenpo Bhodisatuva and Guru Padmasambhava from India to bless the site took three years to build the monastery. It became the first monastery in Tibet with seven monks and outshined from the Bon religion. Tibetan Buddhism started to flourish in Tibet since then. 

Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery

Feature of the Samye monastery

It has three floors and is surrounded by thick walls around the campus. The first floor is designed by a Tibetan architect and made of stones. There are 18 pillars on the first floor. The statue of Nagdapa at the center and Khenpo Boddhisatova, Guru Padmasambhava, and King Trisong Detsen at left. At the right, there are statues of Jamyang Namsum.

The second floor is designed by Chinese architects and made of bricks. It has 20 pillars with many chapels at the side. At the center, there is a huge statue of Guru Padmasambhava. There are paintings of the history of Tibetan Buddhism on the walls of the second floor. The third floor is designed by a Nepalis architect and made of wooden beams. 

Samye Monastery
The third floor of Samye Monastery

The landscape architect of the monastery campus resembles the universe. Each corner and faces of the monastery have a temple.

In the upper east, there is a Namta Temkhang ling temple for the first seven monks. At the east, there is a Khenlop Jampel Ling temple for the monastery founders. In the lower east, there is the Dhalu Khang temple.

In the upper south, there is a temple of Tantric, Ngakpa Ling. At the south, the temple of demon elimination, Aryapali Ling. In the lower south, there is a temple of translation, Jaguar Ling.

samten ling chapel at samye monastery
Samten Ling Chapel

In the upper west, there is a temple of prophecy, Baza Ling. At the west, Gandenling temple, and at the lower west, there is a temple of protector, Samten Ling.

At upper North, there is a temple of Hidden treasure, Rinchen Natsok Ling. At North, there is temple realization, Jamchup Ling. At the lower north, there is a Temple of scripture(library), Penzoa Ling.

There are four huge stupas in each direction with different colors. In the northeast, there is a seven-story stupa made up of booze with green color. It represents the dharma wheel. Each floor has many small chapels.

The green stupa at Samye monastery
The green stupa at Samye monastery

The black stupa is northwest of the monastery campus. it་is made of sandals and bricks. It’s memories of Dhishenshekpa.

black Stupa

The white stupa is in the southeast of the monastery campus. 108 small stupas surround it. The red stupa is southwest of the monastery. It was made of stone and bricks.

Red stupa

There is a historical pillar erect near the south gate of the monastery. King Trisong Detsen erected it. There is a long script written in Tibetan. On the main entrance gate, there is a name gate given by the Qing dynasty of China. There is also a huge bell hung at the monastery door, and the Tibetan script is written on the bell. This bell was offered by the Queen of King Trisong Detsen, Dhosa Jamchup Dol.

Pillar at Samye monastery
Pillar at Samye monastery

Samye Monastery was the center of Tibetan Buddhism for hundreds of years. For Tibetans, it is the most sacred monastery in Tibet. During the cultural revolution in Tibet, it was destroyed, and later, under the leadership of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and his followers, it is completely restored to former glories.

Bell at the entrance of the Samye Monastery
Bell at the entrance of the Samye Monastery

How to travel to Samye Monastery?

These days it’s easy to travel to Samye monastery from Lhasa. It takes around one and half hours or less. The roads are great too. There is public transportation and also can hire a car from Lhasa. Every year thousands of Tibetan pilgrimage to Samye monastery.

On the way to Samye Monastery
On the way to Samye Monastery

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