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Pelor Chode Monstery
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City: xizang
Description Attractions

    The sprawling compound in the far north of town house Pelor Chode Monstery and the monumental Gyantse Kumbum,a chorten filled with fine painting and statues.Both are deservedly top of the list on most travellers'must-sees .

    Founded in1418,the red-walled Pelor Chode was once a compound of 15monasteries of Tibetan Buddhism-a rare instance of multidenominational tolerance.Nine of the monsteries were Gelugpa,three were Sakyapa and three belonged to the obscure Buton suborder whose head monstery was Shalu near Shigatse.

    A climb up the nearby Gyantse Dzong will give you clear birds-eye view of the original extent of the monastery and a sense of what a bustling place it must have been. Today,however,muchu of the courtyard,enclose by high walls that cling to the hills backing onto the monastery,is bare and many building are empty.But the monastery has not yet become a mere museum.There is a small but visible population of monks and a steady strem of prostrating,praying,donation-offering pilgrims doing the rounds almost any time of the day.

    The assembly hall is straight ahead as you walk into the compound,and most people begin their explorations here.The entrance is decorated with statues of the Four Guardian Kings,instead of the usual painting,and a large Wheel of Life mural. Just by the entrance on the left is a particularly spooky protector chapel,with murals depicting sky burial in fairly graphic details.Look for the huge tormas in a case outside the entrance.

     The hall is quite dark inside and if you want a good look at the various murals and thangkas,it is a good adea to bring a torch.The main chapel is located to the rear.There is an inner route around the chapel,which is lined with fine murals.The central image is flanked by the Past and Future Buddhas.

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