Tashilunpo Monastery, Shigatse, Tibet

Located on a hill in the center of the city, the full name in Tibetan of the monastery means: all fortune and happiness gathered here” or “heap of glory”. Tashilhunpo Monastery was founded in 1447 by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama, is a historic and culturally important monastery next to Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet. It was sacked when the Gurkhas invaded Tibet and captured Shigatse in 1791 before a combined Tibetan and Chinese army drove them back as far as the outskirts of Kathmandu, when they were forced to agree to keep the peace in future, pay tribute every five years, and return what they had looted from Tashilhunpo.

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The monastery is the traditional seat of successive Panchen Lamas, the second highest ranking tulku lineage in the Gelukpa tradition. The “Tashi” or Panchen Lama had temporal power over three small districts, though not over the town of Shigatse itself, which was administered by a dzongpön (prefect) appointed from Lhasa.

 

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