Drigung monastery or Drigung Til WoeMin JanchupLing, is also known as Drigung Til Monastery in short form. The monastery is located 150Kms east of Lhasa, at Mempa county, of Medrol Gonngar Distict in Lhasa prefecture. This is the principal monastery of the Drigung Kargyu, A sub sect of Kargyupa.

History and origin of Drigung monastery

The monastery of Drigung Til was found in year 1179 by the founder of this sub Sect Jigten Sumgön, the main disciple of Pagmo Drupa, Once the hill on which the monastery was set up, is said to have a hundred and eight spring water. later due to the fire incident in the monastery has cause waters to dry up. The main relic during its initial founding was the five storey high Stupa call Tashi Gongmang Pagoda. the stupa was made of metals, and it is said to have been empowered by the assemble eighteen hundred thousand monks, this is said to be the biggest gathering of monks in the history of Tibetan Buddhism.

drigung monastery over looking the Drigung valley

During the time of Noop Dorjee Yeshi, Drigung challenges the Sakya hegemony with the assistance of Dawu of Chagatai Khanate in the year 1285 AD. In the year 1288 AD Sakya wage a war against Drigung with the help of Mongol army under Temur-Buqa, Kublai’s grandson. In the year 1290, the revolting Drigung and Dawu force were suppressed, with burning down of the monastery and killing of 10,000 people.

Those surviving monks and lineage holders brought the remaining sutras and relic from the monastery and escape to Kongpo area for next three years. People living in the Drigung county also flee to the other regions of Tibet. over some years the county of Drigung has become a death county. In response to the brutal suppression of the Drigung revolt and destruction of the monastery, Drigung Gompa Bonpo went to Chagatai Khanate, with the military assistance from Dawu. he blocked the path between the Sakya Hegemony and the Yuan Empire. This led to the Skayapa asking for the sponsorship from the emperor to re-establishment of the monastery and permission for the Drigung lineage holders to return to the monastery. The request was granted by the emperor and the renovations were completed in three years. the structure and the relic that you will see nowadays are made during that renovation period.

monks in ritual hall in Drigung monastery

Travelers guide to Drigung monastery

The visit to the Drigung monastery could be done in a day and it is a famous tourist destination if you are traveling east-northern route of the Lhasa. We will also visit some other famous tourist spot like Gaden monastery, Drak Yerpa monastery, Tidrum nunnery, Tidrom hot spring, Reting monastery and Namtso Lake.

During your Tibet tour, I would suggest you take a detour to the Gyama Village, which is a very beautiful village in the Medro Gongkhar county. The village is also said to be the birthplace of Songtsen Gampo, the most popular Tibetan ruler of Tsenpo Dynasty.

It is advised to visit the Drigung monastery at the beginning of February and the during the holy month of Saga Dawa. read more about the charms of Tibet. Please feel free to ask about anything you would love to know about Tibetan culture, religion, and Tibet tourism information.

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