The Sangye Temple Travel Tips

On September 8, 2011, in China Attractions, Cool Places, Temples, Tibet, Tours, Travel Info, by Jack Li

The best spot to enjoy the overview of the Sangye temple and take pictures is the top of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi beside it. From there you can see the magnificient exterior of the temple. If you do not want to climb all the way up to the top of the mountain, you can […]

The best spot to enjoy the overview of the Sangye temple and take pictures is the top of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi beside it. From there you can see the magnificient exterior of the temple. If you do not want to climb all the way up to the top of the mountain, you can enjow the beautiful temple from the pagoda on the mountainside as well. It is not allowed to take pictures in some places inside the Temple. So if you want to take pictures inside the temple, you’d better ask the lama there whether it is OK to do so first.

Best Time to Visit the Sangye Temple

The Shannan Prefecture is in the same sea level elevation with Lhasa. The seasons there are quite distinct. The annual average temperature is around 8℃, while The maximum temperature is around 20℃. It appears between June and August. Generally speaking, the weather then is nice and cool, and very comfortable for visitors. But in January and December, it is quite cold there.

The Sangye Temple Best Routes

None available

The Sangye Temple Tickets

Ticket price: RMB 40 per person

Opening hours: 9:00 to 18:00

Notice: Generally it takes 2 or 3 hours to complete the trip in the temple.

How to get to the Sangye Temple

The Sangye Temple is located on the foot of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi. To visit the temple, you need to get to the Sangye Ferry in the Sangye Village from Lhasa first. After arriving at the ferry, tourists can take a boat to go across the Yarlung Zangbo River and reach the Sangye Temple. Don’t forget to bargain with the sailors over the price because they often offer foreigners a much higher price. There are buses to the temple on the bank of the river, and they will take you directly to the temple after you get off the boat.

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The Wuzi Hall

On September 8, 2011, in Historical Relics, Popular Provinces, Temples, Tibet, by Jack Li

The Wuzi Hall is the main hall of the Sangye Temple. The three storey hall faces the east, with a floor area of around 6000 square meters. The height of each storey is between 5.5 to 6 meters. Because the storeys are much higher than usual storeys, it appears from the outside that the Wuzi […]

The Wuzi Hall is the main hall of the Sangye Temple. The three storey hall faces the east, with a floor area of around 6000 square meters. The height of each storey is between 5.5 to 6 meters. Because the storeys are much higher than usual storeys, it appears from the outside that the Wuzi Hall has five floors inside, but actually it has only three. On the second and third floor of the hall, there are spacious balconies built along one side of them. Thanks to them, sunlight can enter the hall during the day and keep it bright inside.

According to historic records, the architects of the hall wanted to combine Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian architectural styles together to build it. That is why the first storey of the hall represents typical Tibetan style, while the second storey is in Chinese style, and the third storey adopted Indian style. The elegant frescos and statues in each storey also reflect the architectural styles of that storey, and are in harmony with their surroundings. The mixed architectural style of the Wuzi Hall is very unique. As a matter of fact, you can hardly find an ancient building like this in the history of architecture. People even call it the “Three-style Temple” to honor its special design.

The Sangye Temple

The Sangye Temple

On September 8, 2011, in Historical Relics, Mountain Areas, Museums, Temples, Tibet, by Jack Li

The Sangye Temple is located on the foot of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi in the Shannan Prefecture in Tibet, beside the Yarlung Zangbo River. Built in the Tupo Period, it has a history for over a thousand years now. The Sangye Temple is one of the most famous ancient buildings in Tibet because of […]

The Sangye Temple is located on the foot of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi in the Shannan Prefecture in Tibet, beside the Yarlung Zangbo River. Built in the Tupo Period, it has a history for over a thousand years now. The Sangye Temple is one of the most famous ancient buildings in Tibet because of its uniqueness and grandness.

The Sangye Temple is like a large museum on Tibetan culture. You can find historical and cultural relics on almost every aspects of Tibet in the temple, for example, frescos, statues, small buildings, and precious documents on history or religion of Tibet. The main hall of the temple, the Wuzi Hall, adopted a very special mixed architectural style. The first storey of it represents typical Tibetan style, while the second storey is built in Chinese style, and the third storey,  Indian style. Because of the unique architectural style, people also called the temple “Three-style Temple”.

The frescos on the walls of the temple are exquisite and rich in content. The most famous of them is the 92 meter long fresco “History”. It shows the history of Tibet and some ancient legends on it. The “Origin of Lotus” on the southern wall of the second storey of the Ming Gallery describes the customs in Tibet. Visitors will acquire a general knowledge of Tibet and the Sangye Temple through the frescos.

The Sangye Temple has a colorful history. After being established in 779 BC, the then king of Tibet, Trisong Detsen, invited many profound lamas from India, China, and Khotan to visit the temple and give lectures there. He also picked out 7 aristocratic members, ordered them to get tonsures and be permanent lamas in the temple. They were the first lamas in the temple. The seven lamas all became famous religious master later. They were called “the Seven Masters of the Sangye Temple”, and honored as the founders of Tibetan Buddhism. Trisong Detsen was also highly praised for his efforts to promote Buddhism in Tibet.

Visitors can enjoy the overview of temple from the top of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi beside it. From there you can see the magnificent exterior of the temple, and the beautiful Sangye Village where it locates. If you don’t want to climb all the way up to the top of the mountain, you can enjoy it from the pagoda on the mountainside as well. It is advisable for visitors to bring a flashlight with them during the visit, because the inside of it is often too dark to see anything. Nestling on the foot of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi, the weather beaten temple welcomes a great many tourists every year.

The Sangye Temple Attractions

The Wuzi Hall

The Sangye Temple Stories

The fifth king of the Tubo Dynasty, Trisong Detsen, was the son of Princess Jincheng from the Tang Dynasty. In 754 BC, to consolidate his power, he adopted Buddhism from Indian and promoted it in Tibet. Establishing a splendid Buddhist temple in Tibet was part of his plan, too.

King Trisong Detsen ordered several architects to build a temple on the foot of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi. But the temple fell apart during the building for no reason. The King asked a Buddhist master for advice, and he said the reason was that the place where the temple was to be built was haunted by ghost. So the king invited a powerful master from another country, Master Lotus, to kill the ghost. Master Lotus drove the ghosts away with his power easily. After he finished his job, he use his magic to make an illusion of a beautiful temple appear on the foot of the Holly Mountain of Haiburi. The king was so amazed that he shouted out, “Sangye! (Literally mean beyond one’s expectation in Tibetan)”, because it was exactly the temple he pictured in his mind. So after the temple was built, he named it “the Sangye Temple” to in memory of those difficulties that had been overcome during the establishment.

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