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Mindroling Monastery

 

In the Zaqi District, to the east of Zanang River in the Zanang County, lies the Mindroling Monastery which covers a large area of over 100,000 square meters (approx. 119,599 square yards). It is one of the six most famous Tibetan Buddhism monasteries of the Nyingmapa Sect. The monastery was originally built in the late 10th century and has been renovated several times.

Surrounded by hills, the monastery was built facing east. The biggest hall in the monastery is named Guihuakang and the main hall in the monastery is Lakhang Buddhist Hall. Lakhang Buddhist Hall is three stories high. The Main Assembly Hall is on the first floor, the second floor has five small Buddhist Halls and monks' residence, and the third floor has another two Buddhist halls. The paintings depicting various Buddhist figures are on the wall of the main hall. Each of the figures owns many heads, many arms and appears in threatening and horrible situations. That is because according to the Tibetan Buddhism, the horrible looking figures are guardians who prevent the monastery from being attacked by enemies and evil.

The studies of astronomy and calendared calculation are stressed in the temple. Besides that, the monastery also works on presiding over the compilation of the Tibetan calendar and Tibetan books.

Unlike many other monasteries, the monks in Mindroling Monastery are allowed to get married and bear children. The succession of the abbot in Mindroling Monastery is not limited within the relationship of son and father. Either the relationship of son and father or son-in-law and father-in-law is acceptable. The study of this phenomenon is very useful in studying the rise, development and decline of the Nyingmapa Sect.

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