Shigatse (3,900 meters)

ShigatseWe had a short drive from Gyantse to Shigatse. After Lhasa, Shigatse is the most important Tibetan city because it is the seat of the Penchant Lama, generally regarded as equal to the Dalai Lama spiritually and second politically. We visited Ta Shi Lhun Po Monastery and walked the kora around the monastery’s walls. The monastery is Gelukpa or Yellow Hat Sect and was founded in 1447 by Gedun Drupa, the first Dalai Lama. There are many stupas and burial stupas. The burial stupa of the 4th Panchen Lama contains more than 85 kg of gold and many large jewels. It also contains the highest sitting Maitreya Buddha Statue in the world (it’s big). At one time 4,000 monks lived here, but today there are about 600.

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