Our Samye Monastery Sacred Tour takes you to Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery to be built in Tibet. It is a must-see attraction in Shannan region south of Lhasa. Sitting only 150km outside Lhasa, Samye Monastery is famous for its beautiful architecture. It has a layout in the shape of a giant mandala, with the central main temple representing the great Mount Meru. Together with other structures in the monastery, the design demonstrate important concepts in tantric Buddhist cosmology. You will see architectural influences of Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese styles. Inside the monastery, you will find a fine collection of Tibetan religious relics, artworks, murals and statues. It is also a spot popular for pilgrims, who normally take multi-week journey to reach here.
Samye Monastery day tour is an excellent trip for travelers who want to venture outside Lhasa. You will delve deeper into the religious history of Tibetan Buddhism and especially marvel at the architectural greatness that Tibetans have achieved.
What you can expect
- Our local Tibetan tour guide and driver will pick you up from Lhasa Ganggyan Hotel parking lot on Beijing East Road in the historic center at 9:00 am. Travelers who stay in Lhasa downtown hotels such as House of Shambhala, Shambhala Palace, Heritage Hotel, Tashi Takgye Hotel, Kyichu Hotel or Yak Hotel, etc can easily walk to Lhasa Ganggyan Hotel car parking. While if you have a special request for meetup location we can happily accommodate that as well. Please inform us in advance. The 2 hours and 150 km safe drive will take us to Samye Monastery. On our way, we will travel past the stunning Yarlung Tsangpo River and Sand Mountain.
- Relax as you travel along the bank Brahmaputra River-the mother river of Tibet, and see the famous Sand Mountain.
- Samye Monastery, Tibetan’s first monastery and first college, locates in Shannan Region. It was constructed by the King Trisong Detsen of the Tubo Kingdom, and the monastery was also presided over by the Buddhist master Padmasambhava or Gulug Rinpoche. The design of Samye Monastery based on the principles of geomancy, a concept derived from India. There lies a mythical palace on the top of Mt. Meru at the center of the Tibetan Buddhist universe, at Samye, it is symbolized by the main temple, Wuzi Hall. The Moon and Sun chapels stand in the south and north respectively as the moon and sun in the universe. Surrounding the main temple is a great ‘ocean’ and four great islands and eight subcontinents.
- The Wuzi Hall is the highlight of Samye Monastery. The building is combined different styles as the first floor was built by local Tibetan style, the middle floor was designed with Chinese architecture style and the top floor was under the influence of Indian style. And there were four more walls representing oceans around the Wuzi Hall. Also, there are two halls represent sun and moon in the monastery. Four special pagodas with four different colors (green, red, black and white) were been put in the monastery to suppress devils. The murals in Samye Monastery was also a highlight attraction. From the precious murals, travelers can learn the Tibetan Buddhism story and historical events of monasteries.
- So today you will learn about the monastery’s unique architecture which encompasses Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese styles, and hear how it was the first temple in the country to be built at the request of King Trisong Detsen. The layout of the sacred site was created according to the ideal universe detailed in Buddhist scriptures. After this highlight Buddhism tour, you may have about 1-2 hours to enjoy the hiking on the nearby Mt. Hepo Ri (Heburi). It is a great way to enjoy wonderful views of Shannan region and be close to nature.
- We will drive back to Lhasa downtown and see you off in the historic center by 7 pm. 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.