Gyantse to Shigatse, Tibet – Tashilhunpo Monastery

We drove about two hours from Gyantse to Shigatse, Shigatse is Tibet’s second largest city and the main attraction is Tashilhunpo Monastery.

Tashilhunpo Monastery

Tashilhunpo Monastery is very similar to previous Gelugpa (Yellow Hat sect) monasteries we had visited, the drawcard though was a large twenty-six metre high statue of Jampa (Maitreya), the Future Buddha. Housed in the Chapel of Jampa (Jamkhang Chenmo), the gilded statue is the largest in the world.

Main entrance to Tashilhunpo Monastery
The entrance courtyard with colleges in the foreground, in the background sticking out are the main buildings
The three large Chortens
Four harmonious friends, an elephant, monkey, rabbit and bird
Buddhists circumambulating the three large chortens
The alleys in the Tashilhunpo Monastery
Large courtyard with prayer pole in the centre
Sonya tying a white scarf to the prayer pole in the courtyard
Looking towards the Assembly Hall

Shigatse Dzong

Similar to the Gyantse Dzong, Shigatse Dzong sits on a hill overlooking the town. It strangely resembles the Potala Palace in Lhasa, only smaller, our guide shared a story in which the design of the Potala Palace was drawn on a banana leaf, and when it was transported to Shigatse for reproduction, it had shrank.

Shigatse Fort, looking very similar to a smaller Potala Palace found in Lhasa