Drepung Monastery is a quiet and intimate attraction outside Lhasa. The monastery, called Drepung Gompa in Tibetan, was founded at the foot of Mount Gephel in 1416. One of the three great Gelugpa university monasteries in Tibet (The other two are Ganden Monastery and Sera Monastery), it is on the western outskirts of Lhasa. Drepung Monastery used to be Tibet’s largest and most influential monastery, housing more than 10,000 monks at one time. Today, around 700 monks reside in the monastery and receive thousands of pilgrims and visitors from around the world.
The name Drepung relates to the activity of rice collection. The white walls of the monastery also ressemble rice field if viewed from afar. The monastery is famous for its large white pagodas and typical Tibetan monastic architecture. Drepung monastery also hosts a prominent annual celebration of Tibetan Shoton Festival. During the holiday, you will see a giant Thangka painting on the hillside opposite to the Monastery. Thousands of worshippers come to gather at the event every year. The views from the monastery are also very stunning. Travelers can see local people walk up and down the narrow alleys between the picturesque Tibetan villages.
Drepung Monastery tour is one of the best short Lhasa tours we like to recommend to our guests. If you have half a free day in Lhasa and are looking for an extraordinary Tibetan Buddhism experience just outside the town, this Tibetan day tour with a local Tibetan English guide is a wonderful option for you!
What you can expect
Our local Tibetan English tour guide and driver will pick you up from Lhasa Ganggyan Hotel parking lot on Beijing East Road in the historic center. If you have a special request for meetup location we can happily accommodate that as well. We will then transfer you to Drepung Monastery.
We arrive at Drepung Monastery and begin our tour. We will walk up the mountain to have a great view of the entire monastery as well as Lhasa city in the valley. We then explore the different chambers inside the monastery. With the guide of our travel expert, you will see beautiful Tibetan artifacts, statues and burning butter. Once we reach the highest point, we will find monks praying in the grand assembly hall, or observe monks using large kettles to prepar food in the kitchen beside. If we have more time left, we will continue to visit many more decorated rooms as well as residences of monks in the small alleys.
We conclude our Drepung Monastery visit and return to downtown Lhasa. We wish you the best on your further journey. If you had a great time with us, we welcome you to check out more Tibetan culture tours that we offer.