Xiahe 夏河 and Labrang 拉卜楞寺

Review of

- Review updated on 19 septembre 2019

Pictures of Xiahe and Labrang monastery

Xiahe and Labrang

Xiahe District is located at 2900 m altitude in Gansu Province. Originally, the district included about sixty monasteries. Only three monasteries have survived the events of recent decades, including the best known, that of Labrang.

Labrang monastery

Founded in 1709, Labrang is the last of the six great monasteries built by the Gelugpa. Its founder establishes the lineage of Jamyang who will not stop developing the prestige of this center of Buddhist culture in China.

Labrang is reputed to be the largest monastery outside Tibet. It currently has about 2000 monks is half less than its peak, due to the wars between local lords and the cultural revolution.

It is an ideal place to immerse yourself in Tibetan culture and religion. Shortly after the Tibetan New Year, the Mönlam ceremony is held for many festivities, and the giant thanka on the hill facing the golden stupa unfolds.

The central part of the monastery includes a museum, various halls devoted to the deities, a huge prayer room that is usually discovered during a guided tour conducted by a monk (in English). The rest of the monastery consists of six colleges of study of different sciences (esoterism, astronomy, medicine, Sanskrit, doctrine, geometry …), a small printing house, residences of the living Buddha and lamas, that of the monks and the golden stupa (receptacle of the ashes of the founder).

You can also visit in the surroundings the grassy hills from the top of which we enjoys a beautiful sight on the whole of the monastery. A temple of the sect of the red caps, a nunnery and the Tibetan quarter.

Access to Xiahe

Xiahe has since 2013 an airport (GXH), connected to Chengdu, Lhasa, Xi’an and Chongqing.

It takes 4 hours by car from Lanzhou, 5 hours by car from Xining.

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