Tagong Monastery
Tagong monastery -Explore Tibet

The Tagong monastery is located in Tagong town of Kangding County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province. It is also called as Lhagang monastery in the Tibetan language, which means the favourite place of the bodhisattva. In early days it was in Kham region of Tibet. It was founded to honour the Princess Wencheng of Tang dynasty of China during Qing dynasty in the mid-1660s. the Princess Wencheng was made her way to Tibet to marry the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. When she was passing through there en route to the Lhasa in the 7th century, she brought a statue of Jowo Sakyamuni Buddha from china as it was fall off at the exact site where the Tagong monastery stands today. As she ordered to her ministers to build a monastery at the site.

Tagong monastery -Explore Tibet

As today, the monastery has a statue of Jowo Sakyamuni same as the original statue of Jo Sakyamuni at Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.  Hence it also is known as small Jokhang temple. It is one of the most famous and historical monasteries in Garze Tibetan Autonomous prefecture. The monastery has been for over thousand-year-old. It is said to be first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Kham region of eastern Tibet. It was initially practising Kagyu lineage and transformed into Sakya, later transformed into the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
 
Tagong monastery -Explore Tibet

The monastery situated at the foothill of the sacred snowcapped mountain of Mount Yala at the height of 5820m above see level. The mount Yala is considered as the holy mountain by Tibetans and worship as Tagong patron saint. They believe that Yala mountain brings good fortunes for the families. The monastery is at an altitude of 3700m above sea level. It was fully surrounded by vast grassland of an area of more than seven hundred square kilometers.  These vast and beautiful grassland are home to hundreds of Tibetan nomads, who spend their life for generations for grazing their herds of yaks, sheep and horses. They are still living in traditional way of life by living in black yak wool tents. Tagong town is located at northwest of Kangding County with around 100km far. The town of Tagong features traditional Tibetan style houses, which built from stone and mud. It is a trading town for the locals and these days it quite famous for the tourist to visit especially in summer season. Local Tibetans host horse festivals, other sporting events and also display cultural shows including Tibetan opera. The most of festivals always held in summer season as it is most favorable season in whole year as the winter season is quite harsh. In the summer season, the vast grassland turned fully green and lots of different color of flowers were grown.
 
Tagong monastery -Explore Tibet

The Tagong monastery is one of the three most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture after Yading monastery and Larong monastery. The monastery belongs to the Sakya Sect of Tibetan Buddhism in the early centuries. It has been Buddhist shrine for over more than thousand years.  It has a huge statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni similar to one in the Jokhang temple in Lhasa. There are many precious Tibetan Buddhist relics and statues of god and goddess. One of the main stands out the structure of the monastery is the Muya Golden Tower. It is also known as Muya Golden Pagoda. It was built as the honor of living Buddha 10th Panchen Lama by Tashi monastery. There are also around four golden towers on the monastery roof. The monastery is surrounded by many impressive Tibetan stupas and prayer wheels.  According to the history of Tibetan Buddhism, Huchenkara was on the Indian Buddhist master who visited at the holy place of Tagong and built a stupa, named as stupa of Mahasiddas. Later the great scholars of Indian Buddhist were built few more stupas with Tibetan scholar Minyag, which still exist with other holy structures. Nowadays there are around hundred and eight white stupas behind the main monastery and hundreds of prayer wheels all around the monastery. There is also the statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig) which is also known as speaking Statue of Avalokiteshvara.  There is a footprint of great Tibetan master called Dharmaraj Phakpa. 

Tagong monastery -Explore Tibet

The small hills nearby monastery are covered with a different colour of prayer flags. The monastery is located at right side of the centre of Tagong town. The Tagong monastery also held grand Buddhist festivals in the month of May.  They display with mysterious dances of gods to the Bodhisattva.  In early centuries the Tagong monastery follows Sakya Sect of Tibetan Buddhism as there were changes in Tibetan politics, nowadays it follows Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.  There are around several hundred monks who are studying and practising at the monastery. They mainly study relics of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism such as Uma, Parchin, Ngopa, Tibetan dialect, Dhermtha and Tantra. The main course covered in all the Geluk monastery is Lamrim composed by Je Tsongkapa, who was the founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. They are practising main text through debating at the courtyard of the monastery. There are many monk students who have been studying at Lhagong Buddhist institution and which receives students from all over Tibetan region. In the last few years back they had opened a school which is under the Tagong monastery. They teach mainly Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan language.

Tagong monastery -Explore Tibet

The major religious festivals held every year at the Tagong monastery such as Grand Molam which is held on 15thof January (Tibetan calendar) every year. The Gaden Ngachoe is held on 25th of October (Tibetan calendar) which is the day of remembering the founder of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. On that day they light up the candles and butter lamps for the whole monastery campus and chant in a melodic way.  They also held the remembrance day for their late master Khedup Gelek Passang and Getsup Dhakma Rinchen.

Tagong monastery -Explore Tibet

The Tagong monastery very famous in eastern Tibet and it is surrounded by four holy snow-capped mountains. Every year thousands of pilgrims come from all over Tibetan region to see the statue of Jowo Sakyamuni. There are few guest houses in the town and many restaurants for the pilgrims and for the tourist. Tagong town is also famous for hiking and trekking place for the tourists.
If you are planning to visit Eastern Tibet of Kham region or want to know more about Tagong Monastery, please feel free to write us at sales@exploretibet.com.
TAG: Travel to Tagong Tagong Monastery Kham region Tibetan religious festivals travel tibet

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