Drepung Monastery Travel Guide
Located in the hills on the northern outskirts of Lhasa,5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the western suburb of Lhasa, Drepung Monastery was established in 1416 as an institute of higher Buddhist education by Khenpo Lekden, a direct disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the founder of the eclectic Geluk School.
The First Dalai Lama was also a disciple of Lama Tsongkhapa, and the Second Dalai Lama built a residence in Drepung, called the Ganden Potrang, which remained a hereditary seat of all subsequent Dalai Lamas. The word Drepung can be literally translated as "rice pile", a name whose meaning becomes clear when you see the white-walled buildings scattered along the hill. The ground of the monastery is organized on the caves and temples for Jamyang Qoigyi, together with two magnificent white pagodas. The buildings of the monastery are centered on these pagodas, The major buildings are Ganden Potrang, Coqen Hall, the four Zhacangs (or Tantric colleges), and Kamcuns. It is the largest monastery of the Gelugpa Buddhism.
It covers an area of 250,000 square meters, consisting of a number of grand halls, chambers, and residential units for lesser lamas. At its zenith Drepung Loseling housed some ten thousand monk students. These were drawn not only from Tibet, but also from China, Himalayan India, Mongolia, and the Mongol regions of Eastern Russia.
the Drepung Monastery is known as the most important monastery of Gelugpa in Tibetan Buddhism.
Minibuses run from the area in front of Barkhor Square and will take you to either the base of the hill.
Recommended Time for a Visit: Three hours