Gyantse Dzong was situated in the middle of Old Gyantse town, Rising up on a hill top. It is solid old fortress or old place for the local Kings of Gyantse from 13th century onwards. It was a strategic place which made some tough resistance for the British arm invasion in 1903. It is the tallest building in Gyantse which offers spectacular view from all the direction of the town.
The Walls of the present structure were built in 1268, following the rise to power of Sakyapa, The castle or palace was founded in 1365on the hilltop by the Gyantse local prince Rhakpa Pezongpo (1318 – 1370). Later, in 14th century, Rhakpa Pezongpo’s son Kunga Rhakpa expanded the palace and moved into Gyantse town.
Gyantse Palkor Choede
The monastic complex of Gyantse consist of small monasteries of different Tibetan Buddhism traditions which known as Pelkor Choede, the name came after the Langdarma’s son Pelkor Tsen in 9th century. Most of the complex has been ruined during the events of history.
The assembly hall is main part to explore and it was built with the size of 8 tall pillars and 48 short ones. The supreme statue of the shrine or the hall was that of Jowo Mahabuddhi. Instead of usual wall paintings and large wheel of life mural, the entrance is decorated with the four guardian kings. First chapel to the left was the house of five Jinas. East chapel was consist of a statue of Jampa (Maitreya) being the central image and beside was the statue of Avalokiteshvara, surroundings were Manjushri, Vajrapani, Guru Rinpoche and trio of Dharma Kings.
Among all, the Gyantse Kumbum or Gyantse stupa is the largest chorten in it’s kind in Tibet at over 37meters. This is artistic structure is highlight in Gyantse. Kumbum means 100.000 Buddha’s image drawn on the wall of the Stupa. The Kumbum Stupa has 75 chapels, as you ascend clockwise direction viewing the statue or images of Buddhist on the wall in each chapels.
In every fourth lunar month, monastery will held a religious festival during which monks will perform a tantric dance as well. On 18th day, there was a unveiling of huge thangka of buddha for which hundreds of devotees will visit for bless. And there will have another activities like Gyantse Horse racing and Arrow contest which will make the day more festive.
Here are the tours include Gyantse: