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Samye Monastery
The First Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism

Located on Habori Mountain, 38 km from Zedang (Tsetang), the Samye Monastery was founded in the middle of the 8th century. The location of the monastery was determined by the great master Padmasambhava. According to the blueprint, Trisung Detsan laid the foundation stone of the monastery and took over the Buddhist abbot after its completion. He invited highly educated monks from inland and India to translate the sutra in the monastery and also ordered seven boys from the noble families of the Tubo Dynasty to shave their hair and let them to be monks, which Made the Samye Monastery to be the first monastery in the history of Tibetan Buddhism with a combination of three essential elements of Buddhism - the worship of the Buddha, respect for the Dharma and the creation of a monastic order. The Samye Monastery is famous for the architectural elements in the main building, which from India, Tibet and the Inland style.

The main building of the monastery is the Wuze Hall that together with the surrounding halls form a large building complex that covers an area of 87,000 m². The Wuze Hall is more than 6000 m², and its front part is facing east and has three floors. The pillarless room is on the third floor. The triple roof stratification symbolizes the Sumeruberg, the center of the world according to Buddhist tradition. The four side halls symbolize the four heavenly kings. There are four more halls on the east, south, west and north side, each of which has two side halls in its vicinity. One of the eight side halls is called Zhajor Gyagaling where the first regular sutra translation was finished. The murals on the walls of the walkways in the east, west and south sides of the courtyard show us how the sacred Buddhist scriptures are translated. There are two side halls on each side of the main hall. In the main hall, there are four stupas that are painted in black, white, green and red are aligned with the four cardinal points with symbolic meaning. The Wuze Hall is surrounded by a double wall and has four gates for each direction. On the walls of the corridors hall ware painted which represent the customsof the Tubo Dynasty, such as acrobatic performances, dance scenes and sporting events. Besides, the plan of the earliest monastery complex must also be considered. All of these are valuable historical sources. The wall of the Samye monastery has an oval shape and is 3.5 m high and 1.2 m thick. There are small stupas on the wall and four large stupas in the four corners, which are considered as the special architectural beauties.

On the south wall in front of the east gate of the Wuze Halle is a stone tablet in the form of a column. With 3.8 m high and has a 0.8 m base, it was erected shortly after the great hall and is called "Stone tablet with the oath to promote Buddhism". A Tibetan text is carved into the stone tablet, which reports the support of Buddhism by the royal house of the Tubo dynasty. At the gate of the front part hangs a plaque of honor from a Qing Dynasty emperor. With a height of 1.1 m and a diameter of 0.55 m, the bronze bell in front of the gate was a gift from the third concubine Trisung Detsans. And people can find the Tibetan texts on it. In addition to prayers, it noted the reason for building this bell. This bell was cast under the direction of inland monks and has nine different tones from the chime.

The Samye Monastery has a large number of stone sculptures. The approximately 1,500 sculptures show a wide range of motifs. In front of the gate of  main hall, there are  two stone lions and a pair of white marble elephants. Their simple but artistic design refers to the high standard of Tang Dynasty sculpture.

Since 1981, the Chinese government has provided 12 million yuan and 50 kg of gold to renovate the monastery.

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Photo Gallery of Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
Samye Monastery
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