Sakya Monastery in Shigatse Area of Tibet is a Sakya School (a branch of Tibetan Buddhism) Monastery. It is also the leading monastery of all Sakya School monasteries. “Sakya” is the transliteration of Tibetan language which means “gray-and-white earth”. In 1073, a Tibetan peer found the southern hillside of Benbo Mountain presented the glossy white. He thought it as the good omen. Later the peer ordered the construction of the monastery and named it as Sakya Monastery. In the beginning the monastery was much small and simple. In the following hundreds of years the monastery was gradually enlarged and then the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism came into being. The walls in the monastery are painted in white, cyan, and red.
Sakya Monastery is divided into two building complex by the Zhongqu River. The whole monastery has more than 40 building unites.
In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), a wing hall was built next the former hall. And masters of Sakya School held the constructions of some other monastery buildings. And the North Monastery came into being based on the constructions.
After the 14th century, the religious activity center gradually moved to the south monastery so the expansion of north monastery stopped. As the result of many times expansion construction, the south monastery was built with many grand large scale architecture that covers an area of 14760 m2.
Each year there are many religious activities in the monastery. The most important ones are: Rain-praying Ceremony in the 5th month in Tibetan calendar; Summer Sakya School Religious Activity in the 7th month of Tibetan calendar; Summer Sakya School Religious Activity from Nov 23rd to Dec 29th of Tibetan calendar.
Sakya Monastery has 3000+ fine murals. The content of the murals cover religion, history, culture, and society. And most of them are about Buddhist sutra, Buddhist theology, legend, historical story, history of Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism, landscape painting, plants and flowers, and Buddhism decorations.
Entrance fee: CNY 50 per person
Opening time: 09:00-18:30
Advised visiting time: 3 hours
Tips for visiting:
- The monastery has an altitude of 4310 meters. It is 160km from Shigatse City to the monastery. And are shuttle buses from Shigatse City to the monastery and the cost is about CNY 50 per person.
- Please ask for the monks promise if you want to take a photo with them or for them.
- To have an overlook of buildings in two monasteries, tourists need to clime upto the waist of Damalada Mountain opposite to Sakya Town