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Chambaling Monastery

The monastery was built in Ming Dynasty by a disciple of Tsong Khapa. Constructed on the highest mesa of Chamdo, at the confluence of two rivers that form the Lancang River, it occupies an area of more than 20 hectares.

The most famous Buddha statue consecrated in the monastery is the Chamba Buddha, thus the monarchy was named Chambaling.

It is said that at the age of 16, Tsong Khapa studied Buddhism from Qinghai to Lhasa. When he stopped at the confluence place, he admitted at the its natural beauty and predicted that it was just the place for spreading Buddhism doctrine. And later his disciple realized Tsong Khapa’s dream, using 8 years to build the temple.

The monastery used to keep a close relationship with former Chinese governments. It still has a brass seal granted to its abbot by Emperor Kangxi. Well preserved, Chambaling has hundreds of statues of Buddhas and great adepters, thousands of square meters of murals, and magnificent Thangkas, which represent the highest artistic level in kham. The most famous feature of the monastery is its religious dancing, which is characterized with ferocious and living masks, elegant postures, gorgeous costumes and grant scenes.

As Chambo is the gateway to Sichuan province, business becomes the main career for this area. So monks there not only recite prayers, but also do business. The profit earned will be used to pay their daily necessities. And at the end of the year, the excessive earnings will be equally given to the monks during festivals.

Travel tips: tourists can take taxi to the monastery or walk from Changqing Street in the old section of Chamdo city.
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