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KUMBUM STUPA

Gyantse Kumbum Chorten was commissioned by a Gyantse prince in 1427, the Gyantse Kumbum is the town’s main attraction. The 35 meters high chorten, with its white layers trimmed with decorative stripes and its crown-like golden dome, is awe-inspiring.

Buddhist Kumbum Chorten In Gyantse, Tibet
Kumbum Chorten and Palkhor Monastery in Gyantse

The interior is equally impressive. Kumbum means 100,000 images in Tibetan. Indeed, there is what seems to be an endless series of tiny chapels. Each chapel is decorated with wall paintings, some have various statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities. Most paintings date to the time of the construction of the stupa.

There are nine levels, 108 cells and 75 chapels. At the higher levels you can go out to an outdoor terrace and enjoy an incredible view on the town, monastery and surrounding fort.

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

You can take photos inside the chapels for a fee. 

Depending on a time of the day, some chapels will be lit by the sun. In other chapels you might need a tripod. Many images have a glass protecting them, great for preservation but not for photographers. Bring a polarizing filter to remove the glare. 

TOURS VISITING KUMBUM STUPA

PLACES TO VISIT NEARBY

Gyantse Dzong or Gyantse Fort is one the well preserved forts in Tibet

GYANTSE DZONG

The old fort of Gyantse (called Dzong in Tibetan) surrounds Pelkor Choede monastery complex and Gyantse town. The original fort is from the 13th century, it was further renovated and reconstructed later.

Sacred Yamdrok Lake in Tibet

YAMDROK LAKE

The gorgeous turquoise-colored lake is located about 90 km away from Gyantse. The lake attracts thousands of tourists. It is a sacred lake for Tibetans, they don’t catch fish in the lake, and they don’t swim in it. And you can enjoy it’s beauty from the height of the mountain pass or come down to the lakeshore.

Kelsang Temple in Tashi Lhunpo

TASHI LHUNPO MONASTERY

Tashi Lhunpo is one of the six great Gelug monasteries in Tibet. It is also the seat of Panchen Lama – the second most revered Lama in Tibet. The large complex has spectacular chapels with ancient artifacts. One of the most important chapels houses the Future Buddha statue – the largest Maitreya statue in the world. It is decorated with many kilograms of gold and hundreds of precious stones.

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