Phuntsoling Monastery in Lhaze County, Shigatse

Chinese Name:平措林寺
English Name: Phuntsoling Monastery 
Location: Located in Lhaze County(拉孜县), Shigatse Prefecture(日喀则市) , Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Admission Fee: 30 RMB
Opening Hours: 8:00~ 19:00

About Phuntsoling Monastery

Phuntsoling Monastery was once the central monastery of the Jonanga. It belongs to the Kagyu sect, which is known for the examination of the nature of emptiness.

History and Development of Phuntsoling Monastery

This practice was undertaken by the greatest scholar of this monastery, Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen. He was one of the first proponents of the hard-to-grasp notion of shentong, which is roughly based on the idea that the Buddha-mind is not ultimately empty, even though all forms are empty illusions. Buddhist philosophers have been debating the Shentong for 7 centuries. Different schools have different views on this matter. The Gelugpa School did not share Dolpopa’s view. And in the 17th century, the fifth Dalai Lama suppressed the Jonangpa School. And then Phuntsoling was forcibly converted into a Gelugpa institution.

Main Attractions- Phuntsoling Monastery, Festival

If you’re travelling down the paved Friendship Hwy and want to get a taste of what off-the-beaten track looks like, consider a few hours’ diversion to Phuntsoling Monastery. Not only is the drive here along the winding Yarlung Tsangpo highly scenic, but so is the monastery itself, situated at the bottom of a gargantuan sand dune. A ruined red fort, seated high above the monastery on a rocky crag, just adds to the fantastic photogenic atmosphere. The view here is worth taking a photograph.

You can visit the monastery’s large assembly hall, which is dominated by a statue of Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara). Other statues include those of the 10th Panchen Lama. The ninner sanctum of the hall contains a statue of Mikyoba (Akshobhya), while the murals on the roof tell the story of the life of Sakyamuni.  The highlight of the monastery is a walk up to the ruined fortifications behind the monastery, which offer stunning views of the valley. Also, you can find the ruined dzong on a cliff across the Yarlung Tsangpo(雅鲁藏布江).

Around the middle of the fourth lunar month every year, there will be a festival held at Phuntsoling. During the festival, you can see lamas and pilgrims from every far corner of the region. They all gather in the courtyard for prayers and celebrations. However, this ceremony is not open for visitors.

Attraction Transportation

There are only one train running through Lhatse which passes over 253 kilometers for the ticket fee of 40RMB.  It takes about 3 hours by car.

Attraction Travel Tips

1. Traveling Hours: 1~2 hours
2. Traveling Seasons: All year
3.  High Altitude Sickness Avoiding: Bring enough water and some thick clothes, eating more fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and so on.
4. Pay attention to respect the local customers in the monastery.