Most of the Tibet attractions are obviously related to Tibetan Buddhism. Even the wildest of natural scenic spots have religious explanations. Tibetan people basically live a life built upon sheer yet the strongest bond of faith and compassion. And Samye monastery tells the history of Tibetan Buddhism like a great-great-grandma.
Built-in, the 8th century by Trisong Detsen, the 38th king of Central Tibet, Samye Monastery was the first Buddhist monastery founded in Tibet. Actually, Buddhist Geomantic temples had been constructed in Tibet by King Songtsen Gampo, the 33rd king, and his queens some 130 years earlier.
Still, due to the hostility of Bon aristocratic families, the Buddhist religion’s formal institutions had no emerged. So it was that when King Trisong Detsen directly confronted this arcane opposition to Buddhism, he invited Guru Padmasambhava of Oddiyana to subdue the hostile elemental forces of Tibet and make them amenable or subservient to Buddhism.
Padmasambhava’s involvement makes Samye important in the Nyingma School, but it was later taken over by the Sakyapa and Gelugpa schools. Today, Tibetans of all traditions come to worship here. It is now an important pilgrimage to all the Tibetan Buddhists. Some even travel by foot for weeks to reach here.
The monastery’s entire structure is a Mandala; the central temple symbolizes Mount Meru, the center of the universe. There are four large Chortens (stupas) in the four corners of the monastery in four different colors and two other temples in the north and the south symbolizing the moon and the sun, respectively. The walking circuit around the monastery leads to all the main chapels and many photographic spots.
The monastery is only about 123km south of Lhasa, and the way Samye monastery is located in Yarlung valley is all worth the long hours’ drive. Explore Tibet customizes the best private Tibet tours to Tsetang and Samye Monastery. We also have tailor-made Tibet tour itineraries; 10 Days Cultural and Spiritual Odyssey.