Around 65km west of Lhasa, Tsurphu Monastery is the seat of the Karmapa branch of the Kagyupa order of
Tibetan Buddhism. Tsurphu was founded in the 1180s by Dusum Khyenpa, some 40 years after he established the Karmapa order in Kham, his birthplace. It was the third Karmapa monastery to be built, and after the death of the first Karmapa, it became the head monastery for the order. The large assembly hall in the main courtyard houses a stupa containing relics of the 16th Karmapa, as well as statues of Amitabha and Sakyamuni, the Historical Buddha. The Tsurphu Kora, a walk of 2 or 3 hours, it winds up some 150m, providing splendid views of Tsurphu below.