Tibetan Regions – U-Tsang | Kham | Amdo

Amdo

Amdo is a Tibetan region located in the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan. Tibetans from Amdo are called Amdowas.

Labrang Tashikyil monastery

Labrang Tashikyl monastery was created in 1709 by the first Jamyang Zhepa who was considered as an emanation of the Tsongkhapa master, the founder of the Gelougpas School. It’s the largest monasteries in Amdo were hundreds of monks from gelug tradition are following their studies of budhism. The printing shop of the monastery can be visited which uses traditional methods of printing with wooden blocks engraved. The holy texts printed in this way are used in the monasteries around. A little more further from the monastery there is a nunnery and a temple of ngakpas (Lay order of Buddhist practitioners)

Kumbum Jampaling monastery

Founded in 1560, it was built to commemorate the birthplace of Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa School. This is one of the six major monasteries of the Gelugpa school (four are in the Autonomous Region of Tibet and the other one is in Sangchu: Labrang Monastery).

Repkong

Considered in many ways as the heart of Amdo, Repkong is particularly renowned for its thangkas painting school schools (religious paintings) which adorn most of the monasteries in the region.

Rongpo Gonchen Monastery

First built in the 14th century by the master Sakya Sangda Rinchen, emissary of Drogon Chogyel Phakpa, it was rebuilt in the 16th century by Shar Kalden Gyatso of the Gelugpa school. 35 other monasteries in the region are connected to the monastery.

Sengeshong villages

These two villages are famous for their artistic activities. You can visit workshops and the Palden Chokhorling and Gendun Puntsok Choling monasteries.

Nyentok and Gomar monasteries

Khamra natural parc

Khamra National Forest is a protected area that stretches over 152 km2. 80% of the park is made up of virgin forest. More than 276 species of plants and trees have been identified, but the park is primarily characterized by its 18 peaks of surprizing forms and colors. The Achung Namdzong site, in Khamra Park is one of the three most sacred sites in Amdo. It is in the hermitages of this site that fled the three monks from Central Tibetwho made possible the preservation of the Buddhist monastic tradition, during the first persecution of Buddhism in Tibet in the 9th century by the king Langdarma. Lhalung Pelgyi Dorje, the assassin of King Langdarma was also a refugee on this site. Chopeling Samten cans also be visited in this site, the largest nunnery of Nyingma tradition of Amdo.

Sogwo

In Sogwo is located a community of Mongols who became like Tibetans. They came in the 17th century with the armies of Gushi Qan (Mongols Emperor), they settled down in this area and have adopted many of the local Tibetan customs. However, they keep their white yurts which come from the Mongols ‘culture.

Taktsang Lhamo

Taktsang  Lhamo (Langmusi in chinese) is a smal Tibetan town on the border between Gansu and Szechuan provinces, with two monasteries highlight by a beautiful frame of mountains, woods and pasture which surround it.

Kirti monastery is traditionally Gelug. Behind, there are two caves, the Tiger cave (taktsang means tiger’s lair in Tibetan) and the holy cave of Palden Lhamo (Feminin divinity, protector of Tibet). It is said that Padmasambhave, the great Buddhist master who allowed the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet, came to bless this place but the inhabitants didn’t dare to come near this place because of the presence of in this place. Much later, Kirti Rimpoche, Je Tsongkhapa’s pupils, the founder of the Gelugpas’order, made the tiger go away which give access to this holy place to the Pilgrims and pay tribute to Palden Lhamo. A little further on, a path entering a beautiful little cove leads to a pasture above which swirl eagles and vultures. Higher in the village, Sertri monastery (golden throne), also traditionally Gelug, offers a beautiful view on the wooded zone and summits.

Golok