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Baiju Monastery, the Museum of Buddha Sculptures

 
Located in northeast Gyangze County (江孜县) of Shigatse (日喀则) in Tibet, Baiju Monastery (白居寺, Bai Ju Si) nestles on a highland 3,900 m above sea level and is approximately 230 km south of Lhasa. Construction began in 1418, the flourishing age of Tibetan Buddhism after Master Tsongkhaba had held the grand Buddhist prayer ceremony in Lhasa in 1408. Baiju Monastery is also known as "Ban'kuode'qing", which means "Auspicious Wheels Temple" in Tibetan.
 
baiju monastery
Baiju Pagoda, the centerpiece of Baiju Temple


Baiju Monastery is not only a sanctuary for three religious sects: Skyha(萨迦) Sect, Gadang (噶当)Sect and Gulug (Yellow Hat, 格鲁, 黄教)Sects, but also the only museum of Buddhism sculptures and frescos.
 
baiju monastery1
 


From the beginning, it was Skyha(萨迦) Sect who dominated Baiju Monastery, but in no time, Gadang(噶当)and Gulug (Yellow Hat, 格鲁, 黄教) Sects came in. Bitter arguments on Buddhist ideas lasted for decades before they sought common ground. Therefore, Baiju Monastery has collected the inheriting characteristics of the three religious sects and the architectural styles were influenced by them collectively.
 
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Baiju Pagoda, also known as The Buddha Pagoda(菩提塔)or "The Hundred Thousand Buddha Pagoda"(十万佛塔, is the centerpiece of Baiju Monastery. At 32m, this nine-story pagoda consists of nearly a hundred Buddhist worshipping chambers, with each of them sheltering Buddhist statues, mural paintings and religious related items counted about 100,000, hence its nickname. A staircase winds up to the summit.

There are four main elements in the monastery – the Main Temple, the Multiple Doors Auspicious Pagoda, the Dratsang (Buddhist school) and the outer walls.

Baiju Monastery clearly represents the typical architecture styles in Tibetan Buddhist establishments between the 13th and 15th centuries. It is the best preserved grand Buddhist compound with tremendous historical value in the Tibetan Plateau.
 
 baiju monastery
 
 
 
One of the grandest events of Baiju Monastery is the Sakadawa Festival(萨噶达瓦节), which will be held on the 15th day of each April according to Tibetan calendar. Tens of thousands of pilgrims will flood into this temple, the solemn atmosphere and the grand scale, are simply overwhelming.
 
 
Address: Gyangze County, Shigatse, Tibet(日喀则地区江孜县)
Admission Fee: 60¥    Photograph Fee: 15¥
Operation: 9:00am-19:00pm
How to get there: take the bus from Shigatse to Gyangze County. Frequency: one hour Operation time: 8:30-19:00 Fee: 20¥
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