Gangchen Monastery was founded in the 15th Century by Panchen Zangpo Tashi, one of His Eminence Gangchen Rinpoche’s previous incarnations and also the student of His Holiness the 1st Dalai Lama. The monastery is located in Shigatse, Central Tibet and is famous for preserving the precious and sacred Tantric teachings, as well as its many associated miracles.
The small town of Gangchen is located in one of the driest parts of Tibet and even up to this day, the local residents still have to obtain water from a small well. It is said that the well was miraculously manifested from rocks centuries ago by Gangchen Rinpoche’s previous life, known then as the great master Panchen Zangpo Tashi.
Under the care and guidance of Gangchen Rinpoche’s line of incarnations, Gangchen Monastery flourished into a monastic community of 350 monks until 1959, when the monastery was destroyed. Fortunately, due to the esteem in which Gangchen Rinpoche was held, donations from Western acquaintances were gathered and the rebuilding of the monastery was able to begin in the 90s.
The revival of Gangchen Monastery was accomplished with the sole intent of perpetuating ancient wisdom through the study and practice of Buddha’s teachings. The local populace, Sangha from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery and a group of building experts from the nearby city of Shigatse contributed their energy and time to rebuilding the monastery. The construction progressed at an astounding speed due to their dedication.
The first phase of the reconstruction to be completed was the main building of the monastery. It has four floors and is built from both stone and wood. The external walls were painted in the traditional burgundy colour and the windows were painted with ornamental designs. The interior of the prayer hall has a traditional finish – murals of Buddha Shakyamuni’s life story were painted on the walls, along with various sacred thangkas of the great masters of the past.
One of the chapels in the monastery houses a large statue of Buddha Shakyamuni that is two-storeys high. It was consecrated and filled with precious substances by Gangchen Rinpoche and the young Lama Michel Rinpoche as well as the nine year old Panchen Otrul Rinpoche who was recognised as one of the manifestations of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama who entered clear light in 1989.
A small long-life stupa was built and dedicated to His Eminence Gangchen Rinpoche who has been taking care of this monastery for over 400 years, from incarnation to incarnation. Once the restoration was completed, the monastery was offered to Gangchen Rinpoche who consecrated the building.
Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma: