Gyantse Kumpum Stupa (Pelkor Chode Monastery)

 

Pelkor Chode Monastery is very different from other monasteries. It lies about 230 kilometers (143 miles) south of Lhasa and 100 (62 miles) east of Shigatse at the foot of Dzong Hill.

Pelkor Chode Monastery is a kind of typical Tibetan Buddhism monastery architecture combined stupa and temple, with temples in the stupa, stupas in the temple. The stupas and temples stay harmoniously and bring out the best in each other. Its architecture fully represents a typical style of monasteries from thirteenth century to fifteenth century in Later Tibetan area, which is also the unique monasteries with both the temple and stupa being kept well today. So it is reputed as a monument of architecture period. The Palkhor Monastery (meaning lucky and happy monastery) has a Chinese name Baiju Monastery. It has two features: there are three classes of Buddhism (Sakyas, Gedang and Gelugpa) existing harmoniously this monastery. Those three classes of Buddhism had experienced repulsion and rivalry for a long time, peaceful with each other. So both the oblation and the architecture style in the monastery embrace and adopt good points from all quarters. 

Palkhor also features its 'Bodhi stupa', or 'Kumbum' in Tibetan. Deemed as the symbol of the monastery, the spectacular 'stupa' consists of hundreds of chapels in layers, housing about a hundred thousand images of various icons. These icons include Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Vajras, Dharma Kings, Arhats, Disciples, great adepts of different orders in Tibetan Buddhist history, and outstanding figures in Tibetan history such as Songtsen Gampo and Trisong Detsen. In total there are about 3,000 statues, so people often call it 'Myriad Buddhas Stupa ', but not its formal name.