Founded in 1447, Tashi Lhunpo monastery is the traditional monastic seat of the Panchen Lama. It took 12 years to build, covers an area of 150,000 square meters, and is one of the largest monasteries in Tibet. Auspiciously located at the foot of Niseri Mountain in Shigatse City, the monastery’s layout is characterized by connected temples laid out in sequence, abbeys, Kamcuns, and sutra halls. It is home to the world’s tallest and largest bronze Buddha statue, which is decorated with precious ornaments. When you visit, take the hour or so required to complete a circuit of the monastery compound. And it time permits, visit during one of the traditional Tibetan festivals celebrated here, such as the Saga Dawa Festival, Buddha’s Descent Day, or the Buddha Unfolding Festival when an enormous new thangka – a vibrantly coloured painting of a Buddha created to aid in prayer and meditation and bring good fortune – is unveiled.
Update: May 11, 2023