Kumbum Monastery, Qinghai

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Kumbum Monastery located in a narrow valley close to the village of Lusar, and about seventeen miles southwest of Xining is a Buddhist monastery part of the historical Tibetan province of Amdo, now in Qinghai province of China. It was there in the former that Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism was born in 1357 and was later founded in 1583.

The Tree of Great Merit

It is here in Kumbum that the “Tree of Great Merit” stands. According to legend, Tsongkhapa’s father took the afterbirth and buried it here, and soon a sandalwood tree grew on the spot. Another version has it that the tree grew up where drops of blood from Tsongkhapa’s umbilical cord had fallen on the ground. The leaves and the bark of this tree were reputed to bear impressions of the Buddha’s face and various mystic syllables and its blossoms were said to give off a peculiarly pleasing scent.

Kumbum remains a popular place for pilgrimage

The four-storied golden-roofed temple built around the tree where Tsongkhapa is said to have been born is considered the holiest place in Kumbum.

For more information about tours to Kumbum, please contact discovery@kechara.com or call +603 7803 3546.

A row of stupas bearing the holy remains of past masters

Kumbum still has a practicing community of Sangha

Entrance to the Dharma Protector Chapel

Offerings of khatas are a common sight to behold

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