Home  »  Tibet Tourist Attractions  »  Shigatse  »  Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monastery

Shigatse Tourist Attractions offer rich information about all the tourist sights in Shigatse Area, including travel advice and pictures of them, like Mt. Everest, Rongbuk, Tashilhunpo, and other interesting places in Shigatse.

3.45928 786

Sakya Monastery Sakya Monastery is the center of the Sakya Sect. In Tibetan, the word Sagya means “gray soil” referring to the weathered gray earth on the Bonbori Hill where the monastery is located. This name later referred to the place then to the Sagya Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is 148 km away from Shigatse.    

The monastery is divided into 2 by the Zhongqu River. While the Northern Monastery sits along the Bonbori Hill, the Southern Monastery lies in the valley. The Northern Monastery was founded in 1073 by Kun Gongjor Gyibo, founder of the Sakya Sect. The Northern Monastery was grand in scale and had many constructions. Unfortunately, only a 2-storey hall built in the Yuan Dynasty can still be found today as the rest of the buildings were long destroyed and left in decay.

The Southern Monastery was built in 1288 by Drogon Chogyal Pagba, 5th Sakya Throne Holder. Pagba was an important political activist, grand Lama and scholar in the Yuan Dynasty. While he was young, Pagba followed his uncle Sapan Gunggar Gyaincain to journey to Liangzhou (in Gansu Province). There they talked with Godan, a grandson of Genghis Khan. They were able to facilitate Tibet’s submission of authority to the Yuan Dynasty. For many years, Pagba followed Kublai Khan who became the great Khan in 1260 and honored Pagba as the State Tutor. Kublai Khan granted Pagba a jade seal and the authority over the Buddhist affairs in the empire as well as the administration over Tibetan regions.

Sakya Monastery is often referred to as the 2nd Dunhuang as it boasts of many classical books whose exact number no one can tell. At the rear and both flanks of the Sutra Hall, giant wooden shelves reach up to the ceiling. Most of the classics date back to the Yuan and Ming dynasties. The hand-written classics were carefully written with golden, silver and crimson powder. They are bound in scrolls, folders or between boards. One of the scriptures bound in boards weighs a good 500 kilogrammes, making it the world’s hugest scripture. Besides religious content, the classics describe the history, medicine, philosophy, calendric system, geology, opera, poetry, folklore and grammar concerning Tibet.

The Sakya Monastery holds the world’s largest treasure of Buddhist scriptures written on pattra leaves. There are 20 volumes of such scriptures written in Tibetan, Mongolian and Sanskrit. With iron pens, ancient scholars carefully wrote scriptures on pattra leaves about 5 cm broad, some 20-60 cm long. As the Sakya Monastery is located in a cold and high place, the dry climate protects the treasures from rotting. Thus the treasures can be preserved until day.

Tips of Sakya Monastery

1. There are some Sichuan Restaurants in Sakya County. The Sichuan cuisine is very delicious.

2. The guesthouses of monastery and hotels in Sakya County are not well-equipped.

3. Dawn and dusk would be the best shooting moment of Sakya Monastery. Northern Monastery is the ideal shooting place.

You may like it

Tashilhunpo Monastery

Tashilhunpo Monastery  As an important national cultural relic protection site, the Tashilhunpo Monastery is located on the southern slope of the Nyiseri Mountain to the west of Shigatse City. It is l...

Sakya Monastery

Sakya Monastery Sakya Monastery is the center of the Sakya Sect. In Tibetan, the word Sagya means “gray soil” referring to the weathered gray earth on the Bonbori Hill where the monastery is lo...

Summer Palace of Panchen Lamas

Summer Palace of Panchen Lamas The Summer Palace of Panchen Lamas is situated far below Tashilhunpo Monastery, about 1km south of Tashilhunpo Monastery. You can follow the road till the end and turn right ...


Peikutso Lake, located 40km to the east of Gyirong county and at an elevation of 4600 meters, is a beautiful alpine lake, with a water area over 300 square kilometers. The light salty lake is near the worl...


Saga county is located at an altitude of 4,640 metres in southern Tibet. Its seat is Saga Town, an army town with a Chinese garrison which patrols the whole length of the Sino-Nepal border. Saga means &quo...


Lhatse is a small modern town with only a few thousand people. It is in the valley of the Yarlung Zangbo River (aka Brahmaputra) 151 km southwest of Shigatse and some 30km west of the Sakya turn-off, where...


The Brahmaputra is China's tallest river, located in the Tibet Autonomous Region and one of the world's tallest rivers. Originated in the southwest of the Himalayas in western Tibet, the northern p...


Shishapangma summit is located in the Tibet, more precisely in Langtang National Park in China. It has 8013 meters high and it’s one of the most accessible world’s 8000 meters peak. Due to ...

Unwrap the Experience with the

Tibet dream footprint,Snowy paradise,Sacred to the extreme

Travel Tibet China(traveltibetchina.com) provides a platform for those tourists who want to visit Tibet in groups,which helps them solve the problem of being unable to group together with others. Grouping travel countries include America、England、Germany etc.The dream of visiting Tibet will come true for you if you have it, Travel Tibet China!

We are here to help you...
Start planning your tailor-made China Tours with 1-1 help from our travel advisors.

Create Your Trip