This monastery is located about an hour away from Lhasa. It was one of my favourite places, not so much because of the monastery itself, but its location. It is set high up on a hill above the Kyi-Chu valley and offers beautiful views. When we arrived we started with the kora, a pilgrimage circumambulation walk around the monastery. Some areas heading uphill were quite steep and difficult but once we got into the swing, the kora provided some wonderful scenery of the surrounds as well as colourful prayer flags strung everywhere imaginable. We were joined by pilgrims murmuring as they walked along side us. One side of the mountain is known for sky burials, a Tibetan Buddhist ritual where the dead are placed for birds, usually vultures, to eat the flesh. We quietly watched as some monks prayed for the deceased who had been through the rituals earlier during the day.
On our way back around the monastery, we passed by Tsongkhapa’s (founder of Gelugpa sect) meditation chamber before heading to view the Ngam Cho Khang chapel, Assembly Hall and Chapel of Jampa. We also saw the debating courtyard. There didn’t seem to be much activity as it was supposedly a holiday for the monks. We had a simple lunch of thugpa (noodles) at the Monastery Restaurant next door.