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Rikaze Shi, China

Explore Pelkor Chode Monastery

Originally added by John Maurizi

Unique three dimensional Mandala surrounding a stupa. Respectfully ascend this sacred temple for amazing views and a look into Tibetan Buddhist culture. 

Pelkor Chode is the largest and main monastery in Gyantse. The entrance is unique as it is a walkway lined with prayer wheels on either side and leads directly to an extremely large prayer wheel that is housed inside a dedicated building and monitored by an attendant. To the left of this large prayer wheel is the main attraction, the Kumbum. This is a large three dimensional mandala which surrounds a large stupa. There is a walkway that winds to the top. The walkway ascends in a clockwise direction which is tradition  in Tibetan Buddhism. Along the way are small rooms that serve as chapels for deity statues, paintings and thangkas. There is not much light in these rooms and makes it difficult if you want to take pictures. I found that the local pilgrims do not appreciate taking pictures inside the rooms.

The top offers great views of the Monastery and Gyantse.  During my time at Pelkor Chode I was fortunate enough that my guide knew some of the monks at the monastery and I was able to watch a religious ceremony not often seen by tourist.  It was very interesting to watch and an experience that could never be duplicated. 

Pelkor Chode is located north of the center of town.  You are only permitted to enter with your guide.

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Don't miss the hike to the top!

Just above this monastery, you can take a stiff 20 minute hike to the top of Gyanste Dzong to over look the monastery and the entire town. 14th century architecture has never looked better from this view!

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