Ganden

Trip Start Jun 11, 2005
1
44
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Trip End Dec 22, 2005


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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

We almost didn't visit Ganden as we were getting a bit monasteried out (there are so many), however that would have been a tragedy as it was the best!!

We set off at 6.30am on another early morning start and reached the monastery just after sunrise up a fantastic winding road - the light was amazing.

Ganden is about 45km from Lhasa and was built in 1410 by Tsongkhapa. It sits on the top of a mountain and has amazing views across the valley.

As the light was so beautiful we started off doing the walk which circumnavigates the monastery (a Kora). It took about an hour and the views were absolutely amazing whichever way we looked. We kept stopping not quite believing that the views could be so spectacular and thanking our lucky stars that we are on this trip and work is a million miles away.

We then joined the pilgrims as they wove their way through the many temples. Puffing quite a bit due to the high mountain setting. Highlights were a huge gold and silver chorten containing the remains of Tsongkhapa and his throne and private quarters. We then headed up the hill to an unmarked temple where we were invited to sit down by some curious monks. We showed them the photos we had taken in Tibet and they were really fascinated in a curious way. They were then called to lessons and beckoned us to follow them. They went into a beautiful sunlit hall with views over the valley. We were then privileged to sit through their lessons with lively debate as the head monk seemed to ask them lots of questions. Amazing.

We had a couple of hours left so we enjoyed our pack breakfast at an idyllic spot with the sun shining and stupendous mountain views which seemed to go on forever into the distance.

Jerry had a Tibetan lesson from some labourers who were laying some pipes. They were very friendly and we shared bits of our breakfast with them.

All too soon it was time to leave but we left with big smiles on our faces (which we seem to have had ever since we got to Tibet).

Tomorrow we start our journey to the Nepalese border taking in Yamdrok Lake, Gyatse, Shigatse and most excitingly Everest base camp so there won't be further updates till we get to Kathmandu.
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