Tsurphu Monastery is the principal monastery of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Tsurphu monastery is located in Tholung Dechen Zong. The monastery can be reached by taking a detour on the way to Namtso or travelers can have one day for the day tour to Tsurphu monastery.

History of Tsurphu Monastery

Tsurphu monastery was founded by the first Karmapa Dusum Khenpa in the year 1149. Initially, he visits the place and built a small house where he meditated for some time, Then he went back to Kham and found a monastery there. Later at the age of eighty, he came back to Tholung and founded this monastery. Then this monastery has been turned into the official residence of the successive Karmapas.
During the time of the second Karmapa, there was the expansion of the monastery. He builds the main assembly hall and Dritsang Khang Camra.

tsurphu monastery cham square
The main relics of Tsurphu monastery are the 13 huge statues of Buddhas, which took three years to make it. In the statue of main Buddha in the assembly hall there are many relics of many masters of Kadampa; there is a relic of first Karmapa Dusum Khenpa, Nyam Gapo Lhaje’s heart, tongue and eyes, Arahat Nyima Gongpa’s teeth, the begging bowl and walking stick of Milarepa, and relics and items belong to lots of other great masters.
According to Monastery history, After the craftsmen complete making the statue of Buddha in the main assembly hall the head of the statue is turned little towards left. besides making all the effort by the craftsmen to unturned the head, there were all helpless. later the great yogic Patsh rang blow air for three times and it did the trick to unturned the head of the statue. Which is why locals consider the statue as very blessed. Great Yogic Patsh Rang blesses the statue and called it a Palber Zangling Gen chick. Then he builds the statue of Avalokitesvara and the five Buddhas, who will help sentence being during the Bardo stage after death. in the tomb pagoda of first and second Karmapa, there are a heart, tough and eyes of them.
In the year 1407, the Karmapa was invited to Nanjing by then emperor of China. During each and every preaching and religious ceremony, there has a lots magical phenomenon. All those experience are recorded by the artist of the emperor and each and every occurrence were draw and wrote letters in five different languages and present to Karmapa.

devotees looking at the cham dance in Tsurphu monastery during Saga Dawa

Tsurphu Monastery has a history of over eight hundred years as being a seat of Karmapa. In later 1990s there has been a massive renovation undertaken by current Karmapa. This might make some part of the monastery looks like a newly constructed.

inside the main hall of tsurphu monastery

Tourist Guide to Tsurphu Monastery

While you are visiting the Tsurphu monastery, please try to look at the different finger marks of different Karmapa and look for the meditation caves of Karmapa above the monastery. If you are visiting the Tibet in the holy month of Saga Dawa, Tsurphu Monastery is must visit to see the monks Cham Dance and the raising to prayer flag pole. during that time they will also display Thankha on the hill opposite to the Tsurphu monastery.

To read more about attractions in Tibet including this monastery, click here

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