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A glimpse of Gaqung Monastery in Lhasa

China Tibet Online)  13:23, January 25, 2013  

Photo shows the main sutra hall of Gaqung Monastery in Newu New District of Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. [Photo by Cheng Weidong/China Tibet Online]

Gaqung, literally little star in Tibetan language, is a monastery relatively small but very famous in history, which is located in Newu New District of Lhasa, capital of Tibet.

A legend about the monastery goes that Tride Songtsen (798-815 AD), the 40th king of ancient Tibet, who admired his ancestor Songtsen Gampo (617-650 AD), put forward to build a monastery as big as the sun or the moon.

Due to a lack of financial resources, however, the king finally ordered to build a monastery as small as a star, which was actually larger than the Jokhang Temple built by Songtsen Gampo.

The Gaqung Monastery was also called Gaqung Tsukla-khang, which indicated giant monastery in Tibetan language and usually referred to the Jokhang Temple.

The king also set up a stone tablet at the east gate of the monastery, the inscriptions on which recorded the origin of the Gaqung Monastery.

Up to now, the tablet of the Gaqung Monastery is the earliest record of Lhasa among all the registered ancient books and inscriptions in Tibet.

The monastery, though not so towering and glamourous as it used to be, is still of significant cultural and historical value.


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(Editor:李倩、姚春)

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