Sera Monastery Travel Guide
Sera Monastery, located in the northern suburb of Lhasa City, is one of three famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery. The Sera Monastery is dedicated to the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, a branch of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsong Khapa. Jamchen Chojey, one of Tsong Khapa´s disciples built the monastery in 1419 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The monastery was named Sera which means wild rose in the Tibetan language, because the hill behind it was covered with wild roses in bloom when the monastery was built.
Covering an area of 114,946 square meters (28 acres), the monastery is magnificent and splendid. Its main buildings are the Coqen Hall, Zhacang (college) and Kamcun (dormitory). Scriptures written in gold powder, fine statues, scent cloth and unparalleled murals can be found in these halls. Colorful debates on Buddhist doctrines are held here and these employ a style distinctive from those at Lhasa´s other famous monasteries.
About 600 monks are now in residence, well down from an original population of around 5000monks.