Drepung Monastery is located 7km northwest of Lhasa city on the Gephel Utse ridge.
Drepung Monastery was funded in 1416 by Jamyang Choje Tashi Palden, one of the Tsongkhapa’s foremost disciples. This monastery houses more than 10.000 monks in it’s peak in 1641. Although there are just over 500 monks at the present day, but it is still the one of largest monasteries in Tibet. In the early years of the 16th century, the Second Dalai Lama took possession of the Ganden Podrang at Drepung, which was later became an important centre of political power in Tibet. The Palace housed Dalai Lama until the Potala Palace was completed. Drepung’s influence within in the Gelukpa world extend far to east and northeast through Amdo region of Tibet and Mongolia. Today, there are still many monks from Amdo and Mongolia to study Buddhism in the colleges of Drepung.
The Complex consists of the Central Assembly Hall – Tsokkchen Lhakang, The Ganden Palace – Ganden Podrang and serious of seven colleges – Tratsang, each of these colleges are assigned for some of the best students of Jamyang Choje and it’s contain it’s own residential units which called Khangtsang in Tibetan.
There are also about five meditation caves of Jamyang Choje in Drpung. Though many of them are not open to tourists.
There is a about an hour pilgrim’s circumambulations of Drepung Monastery which can be started at the entrance gates walk towards clockwise direction. You will see many stone carved scriptures and buddha’s image along the Kora path.
After visit Drepung, you can follow the local pilgrims, and you will reach Nechung Temple in about 15 minutes. Nechung Temple is the abode of the protector deity Pehar and the seat of the state Oracle in Tibet.