Samye Monastery

 

It is on the north bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River of Zharang County, Samye Monastery is about 38 kilometers from Tsedang. It's one of the main scenic spots of the state-level scenic area - the Yarlung River Scenic Area.

The construction of Samye Monastery began in 762 AD and was completed in 779 AD. It is the first monastery in Tibet featuring Buddhist, laws and monks, where the famous debate of the doctrines between ancient Indian Buddhism and inland Buddhism happened. The monastery is modeled on the Odantapuri Temple in Bihar, India. After several dynasties'extension, it now covers a large scale of more than 4,900 square meters.

Before 'Utse' the Great Hall which combines Chinese, Tibetan and Indian architectural styles, there is a stone 'stele', which was erected to honor Trisong Detsen's vow of his piety to Buddhism. In the monastery there is a pair of white marble statues, their shapes are simple and with a carving style of Tang Dynasty. They are the most precious remaining stone sculptures in the monastery. Besides, there is a rare bronze bell with ancient Tibetan script on it. According to the record, this is the first bell cast in Tibet.

Samye means 'unimaginable' in Tibetan. It was said that when Tritsong Detsen asked for suggestions about the construction of the monastery, Padmasambhava, exerting his magic power, showed the king an image of a monastery in his palm. That is the origin of the name.