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Ganden Monastery
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City: xizang
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      Located in the Taktse County,just 50km northeast of Lhasa,Ganden was the first Gelugpa monastery and has been the main seat of this major Buddhist order ever since,If you  only have time for one monsteryexcursion outside Lhasa,Ganden would probably be the best choice.With its stupendous views of the surrounding Kyi-chu Valley and fascinating kora,Ganden is an experience unlike the other major Gelugpa minasteries in the Lhasa  area.

       Ganden founded in 1409 by Tsongkapa,the revered reformer of the Gelugpa order,after the first Monlam festival was performed here.Images of Tsongkhapa flanked by his first two disciples,Kedrub Je and Gyatsab Je,are found thoughout the monastery.When Tsongkhapa died in 1411,the abbotship of the monastery passed to these disciples.The post came to be known as the Ganden Tripa,not ,as one might expect,the Dalai Lama,who is the head of the Gelupa order.

       Ganden means'joyous'in Tibetan and is the name of the Western Paradise that is home to Jampa,the Future Buddha.There is a certain irony in this because, of all the great monasteries of Tibet,Ganden suffered most at the hands of the Red Guards,possibly because of its political influence.

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