Located on the southern slope of Nyima Mountain, west of Shigatse city, Tashilhunpo Monastery is the largest one of Gelugpa sect in Rear Tibet, and one of the six largest Gelugpa monasteries in China. Built in 1477 by Gendun Drebpa, the first Dalai Lama, it became the seat of Panchen Lama after the Forth Pachen Lama launched a large-scale renovation and expansion on this monastery in 1600.
Nowadays Tashilhunpo covers an area of 150,000 square meters with 57 chapels, 3600 rooms. During its heyday, it is said that there were more than 4,000 monks in it (about 600 monks now).
The monastery is painted with red, white and black color of Tibetan style, capped with a golden roof. Jamkhang Chenmo, which was built in 1914 by the 9th Panchen Lama, and houses 26-meter statue of the Maitreya Buddha. The statue was cast from 3350 kg of gold and over 115,000 kg of copper, making it the biggest copper Buddhist statue in the world.
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