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Ganden Monastery

China, an East Asian country is one of the world’s oldest civilizations. It has a vast cultural history of more than five thousand years and an outstanding natural beauty. On the other hand, this country has remained a comparatively isolated and secluded one, and being a land of mystery, this country is not known to the western half of the world. However, China is rapidly developing and has grown in the phase of modernization, with an immense speed and is also welcoming the outer world to interact and do business with them.
The monastery lies 45 kilometers or 28 miles east of Lhasa. Lying at the mountainside, it looks magnificent and grand. Tsong Khapa, the founder of Gelugpa, established it in 1409. Ganden monastery is the first Gelugpa monastery in Tibet. Its tripa, abbot of the monastery, is actually the Throne Holder of Gelugpa, which is Panchen Lama and Dalai Lama's order.
Main structures in the monastery consist of the Main Assembly Hall is the Tshomchen and Tantric colleges. The hall has 108 pillars and occupies a floor space of 1,600 square meters, capable of holding 3,500 lamas.Maitreya and Tsong Khapa are enshrined and worshiped in the hall. Left of the huge hall is a small hall,which was the numen chapel of the monastery. The chapel was built in 1416 and the fourth Panchen added a gold roof to it in 1610. Behind the chapel, a huge stone was flown here from India according to legend.
Serdhung is a three-story building which houses Tsong Khapas and his successors' stupas. In 1419,Tsong Khapa died and his disciples built the hall to house his tomb which was made of 900 taels of silver,equaling more than 1100 troy ounces. The thirteenth Dalai Lama changed it into gold later. More than 95 silvers tombs were built for deceased Ganden tripas.
The monastery has extremely delicate and fine murals and sculptures. It also keeps an armor decorated with gems. Its thangkas are special and similar with embroidery of south China. The most important and valuable arts left are the paintings of Buddha and Jataka stories drawn by the First Panchen Lama.
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