Kumbum Monastery also known as the Ta’er Si Temple in Qinghai is a beautiful Tibetan Temple Complex in Qinghai China and is filled with Tibetan culture. Check out the Kumbum Monastery (Ta’er Si) Travel Guide.
Kumbum Monastery (Standard Tibetan: སྐུ་འབུམ་བྱམས་པ་གླིང།, sKu-’bum Byams-pa gling; also known as Ta’er si, Chinese 塔尔寺) is a beautiful Buddhist Monastery located in Huangzhong County, Qinghai Province, which is 25 kilometers (about 16 miles) away from the capital city of Qinghai, Xining. Kumbum has four monastic colleges (dratsang). “Kumbum” means “100,000 enlightening bodies of the Buddha” and was first founded in 1583. There are many buildings to visit of them the most popular is the Great Hall of the Golden Roof and the Great Hall of Meditation. The largest building of this complex is “The Debate College” also called “the Faculty for Logic”, the Shadupling Dratsang. Before 1958, Kumbum had over 3,600 monks. Now, there are around 400, because of the PRC policies in the 1950s. However this number has been increasing.
When I visited The Ta’er Monastery I ditched my study abroad tour group to explore the entire complex meeting. I met some awesome local monks and stumbled upon the amazing rich culture that is expressed here in all the art forms. I highly recommend exploring the whole complex you never know what you will find including the famous butter sculptures (hold your breath, its not the best smells), the barbolas, and there are lots of murals that are considered to be extremely unique.
Admission Fee: CNY 80
Recommended Time for Visit: 2 hours
Special Notes: Please be respectful, photography is prohibited inside the temples.
How to get there: Most people take a mini bus from west entrance of from the west entrance of the Xining City Gymnasium (Xining tiyuguan)to nearby Huangzhong (RMB5, leaves every 30mins, takes 30mins) from the west entrance of the Xining City Gymnasium (Xining tiyuguan), at Dashizi in the western part of Xining (from the railway station, take bus No.1 for seven stops). The bus drops passengers off at the Huangzhong bus station, about 20 minutes’ walk uphill to the main gate of the monastery. To go back, you may head to the Huangzhong town square, where buses back to the city are available until 6pm.
Has lived and traveled in China for the past 5 years which he has become well versed in the Chinese language, history, culture, and much more. When he isn't traveling he is living in Beijing; writing, doing kung fu, studying Chinese, playing guitar, working on his screenplays, having daily adventurers, and much more.
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