Kumbum Monastery (Ta'er Monastery)

Kumbum Monastery("Ta'er Si" in Chinese)is one of the two most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries outside Tibet itself. It presents a beautiful landscape of temples and residences nestled in the peaceful hills of Xining's suburbs. On top of that, Kumbum Monastery is the perfect place to see yak butter sculptures, traditional embroidery, and witness the debate of the lamas. 

It was originated in 1379 from a pagoda that marked the birthplace of Tsong Kha-pa, founder of the Gelugpa Sect of the Tibetan people. The site covers around 400,000 square kilometers and is home to about 400 monks. Prior to 1958, over 3,500 monks still lived here. The monastery has been vital to explorers and researchers from the West for hundreds of years. Many explorers have spent time here.

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