Location: Ganden Gompa, Tibet, China (29° 45′ 28.8″ N, 91° 28′ 30″ )
Date: 18 August 2007, 9.30am
Camera: Canon 400D with Canon 70-200/f4L USM
Ganden Gompa is frequented by travellers to Tibet because of its proximity and easy access from Lhasa. It is situated at 4,300m and has fantastic panoramas of the Lhasa plains and valley. It also has a very interesting history to top off the view. It belongs to the Gelukpa or “Yellow Hat sect” of Tibetan Buddhism of which the Dalai Lama comes from. The monastery is one of 3 Gelukpa monasteries of Tibet. It was the original monastery of the Gelukpa order, being founded by the order’s founder, Je Tsongkhapa himself. His body was preserved and entombed in the monastery until the virtual complete destruction of the monastery by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. Most of his mummified body was burnt except his skull and some ashes which were saved by the monk who was forced to carry the body to the fire. The Gandem Gompa was later re-established by the exile Tibetan population in the Tibetan settlement of Mundgod in Karnataka, India. Meanwhile the original Ganden Gompa in Tibet was reconstructed since 1980’s and more buildings are still being added today, partly due to its popularity on the tourist map. The Ganden Gompa is also one of the few remaining sacred sky burial ground in Tibet.