Ganden Monastery kora, Lhasa Tibet

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.

The Ganden Monastery sign with views of the monastery
Views of Kyi-chu Valley and adjacent village
Full view of Ganden Monastery
Prayer flags all along the Ganden Kora walk
Prayer flags all along the Ganden Kora walk
Two bulls fighting with the Kyi-chu Valley in the background
Tangled prayer flags and wool in the treys along the Kora
Our guide Demdul admiring the beautiful scenery
Travis on the high narrow paths of the Kora
Sonya and Travis with the Kyi-chu valley in the distance
View of Kyi-chu valley from the Ganden Kora
Vultures patiently waiting for the next sky burial
A sky burial site, a fire to the right and few monks
A spider web of prayer flags on the hill
Prayer flags with our guide in-between them
Prayer flags all along the Ganden Kora walk
Prayer flags all along the Ganden Kora walk
A single white scarf caught in a tree branch
First view of the monastery from the Ganden Kora
Ganden Monastery taken from the right side
Golden ornaments on the monastery roofs
Ganden Monastery taken from the left side