Kumbum Monastery - A sacred site of Vajrayana Buddhism
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Kumbum Monastery – A sacred site of Vajrayana Buddhism

In April, embarked on a tour of sites along the Hexi Corridor, culminating in a visit to the distinctly .

Founded in 1583, this site commemorates the birthplace of , the founder of the school of .

Located southwest of Xining, a city with a significant population, was formally established in 1612 atop a built in 1379 by the Hongwu Emperor.

Xining itself is a unique blend of modernity and tradition, featuring Vajrayana shops selling Buddhist artifacts and items.

Kumbum Monastery is recognized as a national AAAAA tourist attraction, reflecting its cultural and significance.

, known as “the Man from the Onion Valley,” was a pivotal reformer in Gelug historiography, synthesizing various philosophical tenets and founding several influential monasteries, including .

His disciples further solidified Gelug influence, making Kumbum Monastery second in importance only to .

Kumbum Monastery remains a vibrant center of in , staffed by with legitimate spiritual authority.

Tibetan pilgrims frequent the monastery, despite some needing to be discreet due to governmental roles.

The monastery boasts numerous sacred landmarks, such as the gold-lettered Tibetan Kanjur and Tenjur, the Dhammapala Hall, the Grand Golden Tiled Hall, and the Yak Butter Hall, known for its intricate .

Kumbum Monastery exemplifies the enduring traditions of Vajrayana , from private to intense practices.

It acts as a guiding light for Tibetan and Chinese Buddhists, celebrated for its extensive and vibrant monastic community.


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