Palkhor Monastery

Palkhor Monastery
Palkhor Monastery's full name is" Auspicious Wheel Bdemchog-rdorje Luxiba Mandala Xansoihe Monastery" or simply Bankor Qoide, meaning" Auspicious Wheel Joy Monastery".
Palkor Monastery lies at the foot of the Dzong Hill to the west of Gyangze. Encircled by mountains on three sides, the monastery is composed of four major parts: Buddhist hall, tower, Zhacang and surrounding wall. It is an important cultural relic protection unit on the level of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The grand Sutra Hall was built in the Ming Dynasty by the 1st panchen Gelegs Phabzang and the Prince of Dharma Rabdain-gongsangs-paba at Gyangze. It was completed and consecrated in 1425. Besides the main hall, there are the Dharma Hall, Arhat Hall and many other constructions. At the left side of the main hall enshrines 8-meter tall gilded bronze sculptures and numerous other treasures 1049 sets of ancient Tibetan sutras which are most valuable for studying Tibetan region and ethnic cultures. The monastery has 17 Zhacangs that belong to the Sagya, Gagyu and Gelug sects of Tibetan Buddhism. It is really rare among the Tibetan monasteries that several sects could coexist under one roof.

Palkhor Monastery
The main tower of the monastery was completed in 1436 with the name of One-Hundred-Thousand-Buddha Tower. It is 42.4 meter high and consists of 14 storeys from the tower base to the body and the top. Taking up 2200 square meters, the octagonal tower shrinks in size from the base to the top. With 108 doors and 76 niches, each of which has a dominant religious figure and mural, the tower is said to enshrine more than 100000 Buddha statues; hence the name "One-hundred-Thousand-Buddha Tower." The tower has an intricate interior structure spiraling upward, with one after another hall higher up. On the frame of the four doors at the central part of the tower are painted a pair of wisdom eyes stretching pair with the monastery's main hall. Combining arts from architecture, painting and sculpture, the tower has absorbed elements from the Buddhist arts of India, Nepal and Central China. The unique architecture is well protected as an unparalleled landmark and museum in the history of Tibetan art.

The Palkor Monastery also attracts tourists and artists with its sculpture, murals and carvings. Great in volume, they are of very high standard among the best Tibetan art works. The most famous items are the murals, which are mainly found inside the tower and the third floor of the main sutra hall. The murals can be put into three categories: stories in Buddhist scriptures, stories about religious figures and historical figures. The murals in the monastery have gained inspiration from traditional art genres in Tibet to form its own natural have left deep influence on the Tibetan painting art. They are seen as representative works of the mature Buddhist art in the 14th -15th centuries and an important symbol of how the Tibetan Buddhist art peaked in the 15th century.