Sakya Monastery, Shigatse County, Tibet

The Sakya Monastery is the principal monastery of the Sakyapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is famed as the Second Dunhuang due to its colossal collection of numerous Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, murals and Thangkas. According to statistics, about 40,000 volumes of scriptures are housed there. The most precious is Burde Gyaimalung, which records Tibetan religion, history, philosophy, literature, agriculture and animal husbandry. It also houses 21 volumes of Buddhist scriptures written on Pattra leaves in Sanskrit. Each consists of one hundred to two hundred pages and four-color illustrations. They are the most precious sutras in the world.

 

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The seat of the Sakya or Sakyapa school of Tibetan Buddhism, it was founded in 1073, by Konchok Gyelpo (1034–1102), originally a Nyingmapa monk of the powerful noble family of the Tsang and became the first Sakya Trizin. Its powerful abbots governed Tibet during the whole of the 13th century after the downfall of the kings until they were eclipsed by the rise of the new Gelukpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Its Mongolian architecture is quite different from that of temples in Lhasa and Yarlung.

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