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Samye Monastery

The Samye Monastery is the first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet and the first complete with the three Buddhist jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha which represents the Buddhist universe.

Samye Monastery is located at the foot of Habort Mountain on the north bank of the Yarlung Zangbo River in Chanang County. Built during the reign of the Tibetan King Trisun Detsan in the middle of the 8th century, it has a history of more than 1,200 years. Samye Monastery looks spectacular and magnificent. It boasts many Tibetan cultural relics and historical artifacts.

Samye means edgeless in the Tibetan language. Samye Monastery combined the Han, Tibetan and Indian architectural styles, and is thus called the three-style temple. The monastery mingled the ancient Tibetan culture, the civilization of the Central Plains and India. It is a bright and shining pearl in the culture of the Chinese nation.

Samye Monastery has collected many kinds of cultural legacies in terms of history, religion, architecture, and art from all periods since the Tubo Kingdom. These include a horizontal inscribed board hand written by an emperor, a 4.9-meter high inscribed tablet and a bronze bell that has nine different tones. The frescoes of the Samye Monastery are well-known in the world for their wide variety of subjects, rich content and exquisite artistic skills. The Tibetan Epic Picture, for example, records the history from the ancient legend of the marriage between a Raksasi and a magical monkey to the reproduction and evolution of humans until the achievements of the 9th Dalai Lama.

The temple is also full of Tibetan religious art including many murals and statues, as well as some important relics. Many Tibetan Buddhists come on pilgrimages to Samye, some taking weeks to make the journey. 

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