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Tholing Monastery

About Tholing Monastery

Tholing Monastery is the oldest monastery in the Nagri Prefecture. It is situated in Tholing, Zanda County, at an altitude of 3,800 meters above sea level. It was built in 997 AD by Yeshe-O, the second King of the Guge Kingdom. In Tibetan language, Tholing means “hovering in the sky forever”. The complex includes 3 temples, the Yeshe-O Temple, the Lhakhang Karpo and the Dukhang. There are many ancient precious and well preserved frescoes.   

Yeshe-O was a devout Buddhist, who ever sent 21 youths to learn Tantric Buddhism in Kashmir. Only Rinchen Zangpo and another survived and returned. Rinchen Zangpo, a greatest Buddhist adepter and translator, started to translate Buhhist sutras and develop Buddhism at Tholing, which was set up by Yeshe-O for that perpose.   

However, he was later defeated and captured in an ambitious aggression he started in order to plunder enough gold to invite Atisa to Guge Kingdom to promote Buddhism. He sacrificed his life to send his ransom to Atisa. After his arrival, Tholing Monastery gained higher reputation and once became a religious center in Tibet under the royal patron of the Guge Kingdom. The influence of Guge Kingdom and the monastic center of Tholing Monastery came to be known in India from Kashmir to Assam.

Tips of Tholing Monastery

At the Xiangquan River near Tholing Monastery, there are 108 Buddhist tower. Although they are ruined dramatically by ages, still they are worthy visiting.

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