Sera Monastery is one of the most visited monasteries in Tibet, located 5 km north to the central Lhasa. The monastery was founded by Jamchen Choeje, a close disciple of the great Tsongkhapa, in 1419. It has the capacity to house more than 5000 monks, but don’t expect to see that much in count there. It used to host five colleges, but the three that’s left are enough to amaze you and make your trip a little more colorful. But there are more to see to it then chapels and statues, it would be the best if your visit there is in the morning as the chapels close in the afternoon for the Buddhism debate practice in the debating courtyard of Sera Je. The most of what you might see are loud claps and the monks shouting at each other, but what really is going on there is much deeper in meaning and action. The debate is a very old tradition of having deeper understanding of what the monks read in the scriptures and Buddhist philosophy. Then there is Sera Kora, the 1 hour walk takes you around the Monastery giving you a new view of the location and the wonderful architectures of Sera, on the Kora, there are brightly colored rock paintings depicting Sakyamuni, Tsongkhapa, Dorje Jigje and others. Following the kora path, there is the supporting wall where they hang the giant thangka every year on Shoton Festival, 15th – 25th of 5th month in Tibetan Calendar. Before taking your leave, there is the monastery’s printing press, it’s old and unique in its techniques. Most of Explore Tibet’s itineraries include Sera Monastery.
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