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Drepung Monastery


Drepung Monastery

Drepung Monastery

Photo: Lincoln Schroth / Megan Inman. All rights reserved


Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416. It was the seat of the Dalai Lama until the “Great Fifth” Dalai Lama built the Potala Palace. Drepung Monastery is located on the outskirts of Lhasa and is known for its annual Shoton Festival in August, where a large thangka (Tibetan Buddhist spiritual painting) is revealed on a nearby mountainside.


Following the pilgrimage circuit through the monastery leads the visitor through the following sites:
  • Ganden Podrang (Ganden Palace)
  • Tsokchen (Assembly Hall)
  • Ngakpa Tratsang (College of Tantric Studies)
  • Jamyang Drubpuk (Jamyang Choeje's meditation cave}
  • Loseling Tratsang (College of Dialectics)
  • Tashi Gomang Tratsang
  • Nechung Monastery (Naiqióng Sì)

When to Visit:

The monastery is open all year but August is a great time to visit because of the Shoton Festival that usually takes place then.


Location: half an hour by car outside central Lhasa.

Getting there: your best option is to take a taxi but buses also run in that direction.

Hours of operation: 9am-4:30pm

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