Ta’er Monastery is 25 kilometers far away from Xining City in Huangzhong County, Qinghai province, China. The monastery is the center of Gelugpa Sect under the Tibetan Buddhism branch. Meanwhile, the Gelugpa Sect is also known as Yellow Hat Sect. The monastery holds lots of religious activities for monks and believers.
Ta’er Monastery was built in 1577 in memory of Tsong Khapa (1357-1419). He is the founder of the Gelugpa Sect. The monastery has an important place in locals’ heart.The name of the monastery in Tibetan refers to ‘10,000 figures of Buddha’. The monastery has become a popular tourist place due to its architecture and history. It is 400 years old.
The monastery has an area of 144 thousand square meters in total. At the same time, it includes 52 halls and 9,300 rooms. The construction style absorbs both Tibetan and Chinese elements. The complex is divided into Buddhist halls, dorms, courtyards as well as palaces. However, of all ,the the Great Hall of Meditation along with the Great Hall of the Golden Roof are the highlights.
The Great Hall of the Golden Roof has gates of various colors. It lies in the middle of the temple. The gates have different styles of flower patterns on. Meanwhile, the wall features green ceramic tiles. Besides, it has the decorations of numerous agates, and gems and pearls embedded. Thus it makes the whole hall sparkling.
A silver tower commemorating Tsong Khapa stands inside the hall. There are a number of jewels in the holy white Hada (white silk scarf) inside the tower. The Tibetan Hada stands for respect, honesty and pureness. Moreover, many silver and golden lights and old flasks are in front of the tower. Beside them, 5,000 small golden figures of Buddha stand. Thus it can show the grandness of the Tsong Khapa’s statue. Also an abundance of rare cultural relics and treasure are behind the hall.
Except that, the Great Hall of Meditation is the main place for any religious activities. It is the largest structure right at the opposite of the Great Hall of the Golden Roof. What’s more, the short and long pillars with pretty patterns surrounds the hall. There are many vivid and distinct pictures about the Buddhism stories on the four walls. In addition, the golden tower inside has the ashes of Tsong Khapa.
Ta’er Monastery is not just a Buddhist place. It is also a spectacular architecture. The monastery stores precious art works inside such as the murals, the barbolas and the butter sculptures. They all present the exquisite craftsmanship. Particularly, the Butter sculptures are very famous all over the world. Gourd flowers, murals and heap embroidery are the monastery’s three wonders.
In addition, it contains many Buddhist books and history, literature, philosophy, medicine, legislation and other aspects of the academic monographs. The annual “Buddhist Faith Activities” “Four Law Conference” is even more livelier.
The monastery is a national key cultural relics protection unit and 5A-class tourist attraction. The Management Committee of the monastery is fully responsible for the Buddhist cultural heritage, cultural relics protection and maintenance and management. To enter the monastery, it costs CNY80.
Ta’er Monastery Travel Info
- Opening Hours: 08:00 to 17:00
- Entrance Fee: CNY 80
- How to Get There: Take the bus at Xining Railway Station
- Recommended Travel Hours: 2 Hours