Commissioned by a local prince in 1427 and located next to Parcho Monastery, Gyantse Kumbum is the city’s main attraction. This 32-metre-high chorten features white tiers adorned with decorative stripes and a golden crown-like dome. But the interior is just as impressive, with elaborate paintings (kumbum meaning “100,000 photographs”) inside endless little chapels.
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Gyantse Kumbum has been described as the most important species in Tibet. In the Buddhist world, there are only two ruined, distant, taboo contemporaries.
Jonan Khumbum, 60 km northeast of Lhatse, and Chong Liwoche, further afield west of Tsang. However, it is widely believed that Gyantse Kumbum’s style and size are unmatched.
Once inside, follow a clockwise path marked by a red arrow, pass through his six floors where pilgrims mutter, and take in dozens of small chapels hidden in the walls along the way. Many of the chapel’s statues were damaged during the Cultural Revolution, but the murals are well weathered. They date to the 14th century and were clearly influenced by Newar forms, if not made by Newar (Nepal) artisans. Experts also see evidence of Chinese influence, and the fusion of these Newar and Chinese forms with Tibetan sensibilities has resulted in the emergence of a syncretic but distinctly Tibetan style of painting.
On the first floor he has a two-storey main chapel with four he, facing the cardinal point. Four chapels are consecrated:
Shakyamuni of the South (Shakyamuni Thukpa; two disciples, Medicine Buddha and Guru Rinpoche). Suhavati, the “Pure Land of the West” and home of the Red Opagume (Amitabha) of the West. North of Malmeze (Dipankara, Buddha in the past). And to the east is Tushita, another ‘pure land’ and home to the orange-faced Jumpa (Maitreya). In between are some excellent murals depicting minor tantras and guardian deities. Statues of his four guardian kings to the east mark the way to the upper floors.
On the second floor, clockwise from the stairs, the first four chapels are dedicated to Jamperyan (known in Sanskrit as Manjushri), Chenlesig (Avalokiteshvara), Tsepame (Amitayus) and Dorma (Tara). increase. Most of the other chapels are dedicated to wrathful patron deities, such as Dorkar (White Tara; 12th chapel from the stairs), Chana Dorje (Vajrapani; 14th chapel) and Mikiyoba (Akshobuya; 15th chapel) It is Thunder). The chapel on this floor is visible only through the door window.
The third floor is also occupied by a series of his two-storey chapels at base points representing the four Dhyani Buddhas.
Red Opam (Amitabha) in the south. Orange he Rinchen Jungne (Ratnasambhava) to the west. The green Dongyo Drupa (Amogasiddi) is to the north. Blue Mikiyoba (Akshobhya) in the east. There are several other chapels dedicated to the fifth Dhyani Buddha, the White Namse (Vairokana). Again, most of the other chapels are filled with angry gods.
Eleven chapels on the fourth floor are dedicated to teachers, interpreters, and translators of an obscure sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Exceptions are His Three Kings of Northern Tibet (his 8th chapel clockwise from the stairs) and Guru Rinpoche (10th chapel).
The fifth floor, also known as the Bangpa, contains four chapels, with elaborate mandalas giving access to the Kumbung roof. Most people are fascinated by the stunning scenery, especially when looking south to the old town, with the white-walled Gyantse Dzong perched on a huge cliff in the background. A hidden staircase behind the statue on the east side leads to his sixth floor, which leads to a porch at eye level painted on the wall (this floor was closed for renovation in his 2018). was).
The top step of Kumbum represents the tantric manifestation of Sakyamuni (Sakya Thukpa), but you will find that the way up is blocked.