Introducing Drepung Monastery
Located at the foot of Mount Gephel, Drepung Monastery is one of the “great three” Gelug university gompas (monasteries) of Tibet. Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 by Jamyang Choge Tashi Palden (1397–1449), one of Tsongkhapa’s main disciples, and it was named after the sacred abode in South India of Shridhanyakataka. The monastery covers an area of 250,000 square meters, and it is the largest of all Tibetan monasteries.
Drepung Monastery Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Zhe Bang Si 哲蚌寺
• Best Time to Visit: March to October
• Recommended Visiting Hours: About 2 hours
• Things to Do: Photography, Architecture, Tibetan Buddhism
• Opening Hours: 09:00-16:00
• Entrance Fee: CNY 50
• Address: No. 276 Beijing West Road, Chengguan District, Lhasa, Tibet
What to expect at Drepung Monastery
Drepung was the principal seat of the Gelugpa school and it retained the premier place amongst the four great Gelugpa monasteries. The Ganden Phodrang in Drepung was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the Great Fifth Dalai Lama constructed the Potala. Drepung was known for the high standards of its academic study,
In its heyday, Drepung Monastery had more than 10,000 monks. The monastery has trained a large group of talents for Tibetan Buddhism. The Fifth Dalai Lama lived here before he moved to Potala Palace. Drepung Monastery houses plenty of historical and cultural relics and Buddhist classics. In the exciting Shoton Festival, “Sunning the Buddha” by the monastery has been one of the most magnificent religious activities in Tibet. Every year in early August, Tibetans celebrate their major festival – Shoton, the Yogurt Festival. The most important event of this festival – Giant Buddha Show is held in Drepung Monastery.
How to get to Drepung Monastery
• By Bus: take bus No. 16, 17, 24, 25, 34 or L1 to Zhebangsi (Drepung Monastery).
• Rent a car/bus from GGC to enjoy a hassle free private transfer from hotels in Lhasa to Drepung Monastery.
Additional travel advice on Drepung Monastery
• Drepung Monastery is a religious site, so visitors should dress modestly, behave with good manner. Do not talk too loud. Do not smoke inside the temple.
• In the principle of Tibetan culture, walking around temples, palaces and turning praying wheels should follow the clockwise direction.
• Some chapels are closed in the afternoon, so it is suggested to visit Drepung Monastery in the morning.
• Sunglasses and sun cream are always needed to protect from the sunburn and strong ultraviolet radiation in the daytime.