Master Tsongkhapa established Ganden Monastery in the 14th century. It is about 40 km to the East from Lhasa. The monastery is sitting on top of the large mountain overlooking surrounding valleys and Lhasa River. Ganden belongs to Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Moreover, it is one of the six most important monasteries of Gelug, along with Sera, Drepung and Tashi Lhunpo.
Lama Tsongkhapa played a major role in the development of Tibetan Buddhism. He established Gelug school of Buddhism. Gelug grew in popularity fast. Dalai Lama, the head of Gelug sect, became not only religious, but also a political leader of Tibet. Nowadays, it is the most popular branch of Tibetan Buddhism.
To visit the monastery we drive on the zigzagging road up the hill. We visit the most important chapels of the complex. After that, we can continue to walk the kora, the pilgrimage route around the monastery. The narrow path circles the Ganden complex, and the views are spectacular.
After visiting monastery, we will meet with horseman and your horse. You will ride it through the valley. During the warm season, we will see nomad settlement.
Many nomads live in the area around Ganden monastery. They come to these vast valleys to pasture yaks, cows and horses. Most of this areas are far away from the roads. One way to visit nomads is to join the trekking tour from Ganden to Samye monastery. The trek is gorgeous with different landscapes on every day of hiking. It usually takes five days to complete. If you are short on time, the best way to see nomads settlement area is to ride a horse.
Tibetan nomads live in yak wool tents. Please, don’t come too close to the tent before you are invited. All nomads keep Tibetan Mastiff dogs to guard their tents. These dogs are aggressive towards strangers. Mastiffs are always tied to the pole near the tent. They wont attack unless you come very close to them. Sometimes nomads invite us for a cup of Tibetan tea and some simple food. You are more than welcome to join them
HOW TO VISIT TIBET
MORE TOURS VISITING GANDEN MONASTERY
5 Days Lhasa and Surroundings Tour
This tour starts in Lhasa. We visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, both are included in UNESCO World Heritage List. After that we will visit the three most important monasteries of Gelug School in Tibet: Sera, Drepung and Ganden.
Day Tour from Lhasa: Drak Yerpa and Ganden Monastery
This day tour will take you to two exciting places near Lhasa. In the morning we will visit Drak Yerpa, the complex of temples and meditation caves nested on the mountain. After that we will visit Ganden monastery and walk the high kora around it.