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Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery, located 40 km northeast of Lhasa, is one of the earliest and largest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, and stands atop of the six famous temples of Gelugpa - a branch of Tibetan Buddhism.

Ganden Monastery was built in 1417 by Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa order, during the 15th century. The monastery is comprised of over 50 structures. The main halls in the monastery are Coqen Hall, Zhacansg, Khangtsens, and Myicuns. Coqen Hall
has three levels and serves as the main assembly hall. The monastery possesses two Zhacang (or Tantric colleges) - Xaze and Jamze, both capable of holding 1,500 worshipping lamas. 23 Khangtsens and 20 Myicuns in the monastery serve as the monks' living areas.

There are 95 burial stupas on the grounds of the monastery. the most noteworthy of which is the Tomb of the Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. The Ganden Monastery also houses rare and well preserved cultural relics, such as the armor of Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911).

Buddha Painting Unfolding Festival, one of the grandest of Buddhist activities, is held in the monastery every year.

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