Tholing Monastery

Tholing Monastery is the first monastery that Guge Kingdom built in Ngari area during North Song Dynasty. Located along the bank of Sutlej River, northwest of Zanda County, Ngari area of Tibet, Tholing Monastery’s construction had started from BC. 996 and it has been listed onto “National-level Cultural Relics Protection Units” in 1996. Its birth was due to the strong advocating for Buddhism in that time and it had been designed by Guge King Yeshe-O and Rinchen molded by the famous Sangye Temple. It was the great efforts for encouraging Buddhism from Guge government that Tholing Monastery had gradually been the center of Buddhism in that time.

As Tholing means “flying” in Tibetan language, Tholing Monastery is hailed as “a holy Monastery hovering in the air”. This monastery of great importance in history of Tibet Buddhism had an interesting legend during the early time of its founding. Guge King Yeshe-O chose to be a monk soon after he inherited the crown and then went to India to invite Buddhist masters to preach and evolve Tibetan Buddhism. Unfortunately, he was kidnapped by an Islamic kingdom on his journey to India and was forced to be redeemed by his kingdom with the gold in amount as big as his body size. Yeshe-O refused the tendency of redemption from his nephew and demanded him to put the gold on the effort of inviting the famous Buddhist master Atisha to Tibet for spreading Buddhism. Later, Atisha entered to Tibet and took Tholing Monastery as base to preach Buddhism, which enabled this monastery to grow into the leader of Tibet Buddhism.

Tholing Monastery is consisted of three parts, halls, houses of monks, including the major buildings, such as Sajia Hall, White Hall, stupas, Arhat Hall, Maiterya Hall and so on. Those buildings of Tholing Monastery combines the merits of Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan local architectures, providing the important material to study Tibet culture and art in the aspects of  architecture, carvings and paintings.

Open Time: 8:00―19:00

Entrance fee: CNY50 for per person

Travel Tips:

  1. If you don’t tend to enter the main great Hall of Tholing Monastery, there will not occur charges for entrance to you.
  2. The best time to travel here is between July to September.

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