Tibet Highland Expedition

Tibet Amdo Tour

Labrang Monastery is one of the biggest Gelukpa (Yellow hat sect) and there were more then 4000 monks living today,it has six colleges,The largest is Mayjung Tosamling,for the study of sutra and  debate, established by the First Jamyang Shalpa in 1710 when he founded the monastery in general,it awards the Geshey Dorampa degree.

When the First Jamyang-zhaypa received the Say lineage (Srad-brgyud)transmission at Saygyu Tantric College (Sras-rgyud grva-tshang) from Saygyu Konchog-yarpel(Srad-rgyud dKon-mchog yar-phel)(1602-1682),this great master asked him to establish a tantric college as part of the monastery he would found in Amdo in the future. Keeping this request in mind,the First Jamyang-zhaypa established Maygyu Dratsang (sMad-rgyud Grva-tshang), Lower Tantric College, in 1719.

The Dukor Dratsang (Dus-'khor Grva-tshang) or Kalachakra College, Ewam-chokor-ling (E-wam chos-'khor gling), was founded in 1763 by the Second Jamyang-zhaypa, Konchog-jigmey-wangpo (dKon-mchog 'jigs-med dbang-po) (1728-1798), on the advice of the Third Panchen Lama, Pelden-yeshey (Pan-chen dPal-ldan ye-shes) (1738-1780). The Panchen Lama's home monastery, Tashilhunpo (bKra-shis lhun-po), built a Kalachakra temple (Dus-'khor lha-khang) two years later, in 1765, devoted to the daily practice of the Kalachakra rituals. Since the first half of the eighteenth century, Kalachakra Colleges had already existed in Inner Mongolia. The first was at Ari-in Monastery, founded by the First Kanjurwa Gegen, Lozang-choden (bKa'-'gyur-ba Blo-bzang chos-ldan), and the second at Badghar Monastery (Pad-dkar dGon-pa) by his disciple, Dunkhor Pandita (Dus-'khor Pandi-ta). The Dukor Datsang at Labrang was the first of its kind in Amdo.

The Menpa Dratsang (sMan-pa Grva-tshang) or Medical College, Sorig-zhenpen-ling (gSo-rig gzhan-phen gling), was established in 1784, also by the Second Jamyang-zhaypa. The Kyedor Dratsang (Kyai-rdor Grva-tshang) or Hevajra College, Sangngag-dargyay-ling (gSang-sngags dar-rgyas gling), was started by the Fourth Jamyang-zhaypa, Kelzang-tubten-wangchug (sKal-bzang thub-bstan dbang-phyug), in 1879. The Gyuto Dratsang (rGyud-bstod Grva-tshang) or Upper Tantric College, Sangchen-dorjey-ling (gSang-chen rdo-rje gling), was established in 1943 by the Fifth Jamyang-zhaypa, Lozang-jamyang-yeshey-tenpay-gyeltsen (Blo-bzang 'jam-dbyangs ye-shes bstan-pa'i rgyal-mtshan).

The two Tantric Colleges at Labrang, like their models in Lhasa,studied mostly the Guhyasamaja (gSang-'dus),Chakrasamvara (bDe-mchog),and Vajrabhairava (rDo-rje 'Jigs-byed) tantric systems.They awarded Geshe Karamapa (dGe-bshes bKa'-ram-pa) and Geshe Ngagrampa (dGe-bshes sNgags-ram-pa) degrees, as at the two Lhasa Tantric Colleges.The Kalachakra College was responsible for not only the Kalachakra rituals, but also those of Samvid (Kun-rig) and Vairochana Abhisambodhi (rNam-snang mngon-byang).The monks of the Kalachakra College also studied astronomy, astrology,and mathematics.In addition to medical studies,the monks of the Medical College were responsible for the rituals of the Medicine Buddha (sMan-lha),Akshobhya (Mi-'khrugs-pa), and the Hiddenly Realized (gSang-sgrub) form of Hayagriva (rTa-mgrin).The Hevajra College maintained the rituals for Hevajra and Vajrapani Mahachakra (Phyag-rdor'Khor-can), and prepared a calendar/almanac each year according to the Chinese-style black calculation system(nag-rtsis).

As at the Jokang (Jo-khang) in Lhasa, every year from the 3rd to the 17th of the first Tibetan month,Labrang held a Great Prayer Festival (sMon-lam chen-mo) with examinations for the highest grades of Geshe.At this festival,there were ritual masked dances and other rites as in Lhasa.

At its height in 1957,Labrang had nearly 4,000 monks. About 3,000 of them were at the Mayjung Tosamling College, with the rest evenly distributed among the other five colleges. Approximately three-quarters of the monks were Tibetans. The rest were mostly Outer Mongolian Mongols (phyi-sog), Inner Mongolian Mongols (smad-sog, nang-sog), Kokonor Mongols (stod-sog), Mongours (hor-pa) from northern Amdo, Yellow Yugurs (yu-gur) from Gansu (Kansu), Xinjiang Kalmyk Mongols, and ethnic Chinese. Labrang had 138 branch monasteries.

Starting in 1958, the monastery was closed for twelve years by the Chinese. During the 1970s, it was opened for tourism. It was reopened as a functioning monastery by the Seventh Panchen Lama, Chokyi-gyeltsen-trinley-lhundrub (Pan-chen Chos-kyi rgyal-mtshan -phrin-las lhun-grub) (1938-1989), in 1980. At present there are about 500 monks, divided among the six colleges in the same proportions as before. The study program is only a fraction of what it previously had been.

Highlights:

Duration: 16days
Destination: Ngaqu,Golmud,Xining,Labrang,Sankok Grassland.
Maximum Altitude: 5350m
Best Season: Aprill,May,June,Aug,Sept,Oct,
Photo Spot: Labrang Monastery

Day01:FLY TO LHASA
Fly to Lhasa and transfer to hotel O/nt Kyichu & Shangbala Hotel

Day02:SIGHTSEEING
AM:Drepung Monastery PM:Sera Monastery

Day03:SIGHTSEEING
AM:Potala Palace PM:Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka Palace

Day04:DRIVE TO NGAQU
Drive to Nagqu

Day05:DRIVE TO GOLMUD

Day06:DRIVE TO KOKONAR LAKE

Day07:DRIVE O LABRANG VIA TONGREN
Xining - Tongren - Labrang via Rongwo monastery, Labrang Hotel

Day08:EXCURSION THE LABRANG MONASTERY
Visit Labrang Monastery

Day09:DRIVE TO LAMUSI

Day10:HORSE RIDING AND HIKING AROUND

Day11:DRIVE TO HONGYANG GRASSLAND

Day12:TREKKING (HORSE RIDING)

Day13:DRIVE TO CHENGDU

Day14:SIGHTSEEING

Day15:SIGHTSEEING

Day16 Fly to Distination
* Sightseeing tour as per above programs.
* Land Transfer by TOYOTA Landcruiser.
* Tibet travel permit.
* Tibetan English speaking guide during the tour
* Twin sharing accommodation as per tour program
* Staff insurance
* Monasteries entrance fees and Grassland fee/Pax and Vehicles,Kailash Kora fee.
* Cold drinks alcoholic beverages,
* Lunch & dinner (besides camping section),
* Nepal visa,
* Nepal Re- entry visa,
* Travel insurance,
* Tips for guide and driver,
* Airfare or Train ticket.
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