Songzanlin Monastery, or Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, was a monastery of Tibetan Buddhism started to be constructed in 1679 and completed two years later. The site selection of the monastery is said to be decided by a divination and it was intitled "Ganden Sumtseling" by the fifth Dalai Lama. "Ganden" indicates that the monastery inherits the religious doctrine of the Ganden Monastery, which was founded by Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), founder of Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism; "Sumtse" is the place where the three heavenly gods of Buddhism stay; and "ling" means monastery. After the completion of the monastery, it became the high authority in the area and a sacred ashram in Yunnan, Tibet and Sichuan areas, worshipped by a mass of believers. Welcome to China, HRC is pleasure to provide Guangzhou hotels for Canton fair, save money and time, enjoy amazing stay and value-added service! HRC also provide China Tour guide and Indochina tour packages for you.
There are several names that are used for the Songzanlin Monastery. It is also known as the Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, the Guihua Monastery, and the Little Potala Palace. The last name relates to the fact that this renowned monastery in Shangri La was built in a traditional Tibetan architectural style and is rather similar in appearance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa. As for when the Songzanlin was built, work started in 1679 and was surprisingly completed within a couple of years. Inspiring its creation was the visionary zeal of the Fifth Dalai Lama–Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso–who lived from 1617 to 1682. Unfortunately, much of the original temple was damaged during the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and had to be largely rebuilt in the 1980's.
Amongst the monastery's many treasures are rare Buddhist scriptures written on palm leaves, which have been used by previous Dalai and Panchen Lamas, as well as the eight famous gold-covered sculptures of Sakyamuni. Colorful murals painted by renowned lamas show guardian deities, scenes from the Lord Buddha's life and the ''wheel of life'' that depicts the six realms of existence: heaven, demigods, humankind, hell, hungry ghosts and animals. The hub in the wheel's center symbolizes ignorance, hatred and greed, the three poisons of life.