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Zhigongti Temple

Zhigongti Temple is located in Mozhugongka County, about 150 km from Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. Built by Zhigongpa Renchinbai in 1179, it serves as  the center temple of Zhigong Kagyu (White hat) sect. Imposingly stretched across the top of a cllify mountain, the temple looks very spectacular. Zhigongti Temple was surrounded by more than 30 satellite temples in the old days, but today only about 10 small temples are found there.

The Zhigong Kagyu was once a strong sect in ancient Tibet and they built their temple nearly as big as the mountain. During the Sakya Kingdom, the monks of the Zhigongti Temple clashed with the monks of Sakya Monastery. Their sectarian violences led to a long war. Not only the two temples' monk soldiers went off to the war but also the two parties' hierarches practiced sorcery to kill their enemies. The war lasted several years, the two temples came to a deadlock. Afterward, the two temples' most important esoteric hierarches had to fight their own battles. Finally, they killed each other by practicing sorcery in their own temple (monastery). In a special day, the expedition of Sakya Monastery launched a surprise attack to their enemy in their temple. The ruthless mass slaughter nearly destroyed the whole  Zhigongti Temple. After many year, the temple was rebuit but the number of the monks were not increased any more. The Zhigong Kagyu became a very small sect in Tibet. Currently, the Zhigongti Temple has around 300 monks.

Being the center temple of Zhigong Kagyu, Zhigongti Temple is mostly known as the best place to study the history and buildings of the Kagyu sect. But most of the visitors may don't focus on these but change to its mysterious celestial (sky) burial site. This site is one of the two largest of its kind in the world (The other one is in India). It was built in the mountain (behind the temple), called Zhigong Tancheng (Mandala-like alter), where the professional celestial burial masters mutilate the human dead bodies and wait for the condors to eat.

We designe an exclusive tour package for travelers who want to explore the mysterious sky funeral site in Zhigongti Temple, if you are interested in the below trip, please inquire the trip directly, or make some comments in the below comment area.  

9-Day Tibet In Depth

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