Adventures in Asia

by Greg & Francie

Ganden Monastery

Francie and I just got back from Ganden Monastery where we had a blast. We initially went up there to acclimate to the 4600 meter (15,000 feet) altitude but the koras (pilgrimage trail) and Monastery were fun and impressive.

The first day we hiked the ‘high’ and ‘low’ koras to help acclimate and the second day I went through the monastery.

Ganden from atop the ‘high’ kora.
P1080287

View from that 15,000 foot mountain top.
P1080263

Here is Francie getting closer and closer to the yaks to take photos. One day they are going to hop up and bite her hand! Oh wait, that already happened with a dog in Burma. Actually, the yaks are pretty harmless…

P1080307

and closer…
P1080308

and closer!
P1080309

Here is the window of a building along the kora and a Buddha painting on one of the walls.
P1080319

P1080324

Finally, I tired of Francie’s antics and put her to work!
P1080345

The Ganden Monastery is a working Monastery meaning that monks live and study there and do, you know, monk stuff. The Ganden Monastery hasn’t fared too well under Communist China. It housed a somewhat political order of Tibetian Buddhists and the Red Guard shelled the whole place during the Cultural Revolution. It appears to have also struggled after a riot/revolt that occurred when China banned the picture of the current Dalai Lama…

Here are some pictures of the outsides of the buildings.

P1080230

P1080214

P1080420

P1080217

Most of the structures have large rooms where the monks use to…well, I guess sit and debate. Maybe they liked to sit down a lot because at 15,000 feet you can’t play frisbee for too long. The Monastery use to house 2000 monks-I bet they are around 250 now.

P1080403

P1080401

Not all areas were lit…but I ain’t afraid of the dark.
P1080395

Here are some pictures of murals on the walls. These types of murals are everywhere in Tibet.

Scary mural in the dark!
P1080406

Happy mural in the light!
P1080443

The Monastery also has a kind of printing press that they use to stamp prayer flags. Here are one of the shelves of stamps and some stamped pages as well.

P1080446

P1080447

This guy is restoring Buddha! Well, working on some of the statues anyway.

P1080452

Here are the ‘basic’ rooms we are staying at–note random donkey on the left.

P1080351

And some non-monks who worked there and made really, really terrible food.

P1080391

For all you travelers out there…I really recommend Ganden!

Advertisements

August 30, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: