The Tashihunpo Monastery locates on the slope of Mount Niser, southwest of Shigatse. It has an area of about 300,000 square meters and has a floor space of about 30,000 square meters. Painted in red and white, the buildings in the monastery are clustered in terraced rows, offering a grand and majestic view.
The monastery was founded in 1447 by Gendun Zhuba, one of the principal disciples of Tsongkapa, founder of the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism. It underwent several renovations and expansions by successive generations of Panchen Lamas until it acquired its present dimensions. Gendun Zhuba was the first abbot of the monastery. In 1600, at the invitation of the monastery leaders, the fourth Panchen Lama became the 16th abbot, thus making the monastery the building of successive panchen lamas ever since.
There are a lot of rare and valuable historical articles in the monastery, among them a lot of gold and jade signets, imperial certificates bestowed by emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as a seal of "Daitu" of the Yuan Dynasty inscribed in the new Mongolian language.
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