Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse

Central Tibet

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 253

The four image halls at the center of this painting identify the scene as Tashi Lhunpo monastery, located on the Yarlung Tsangpo river, near Shigatse. Founded in 1447 by the first Dali Lama, Gedun Truppa (1391–1474), the Gelugpa order monastery housed more than four thousand monks at its peak and served as the seat for the Panchen Lamas. Through multiple perspectives, the painting gives us a sense of the activities that took place at the important monastic center. Groups of pilgrims circumambulate the main complex on the lingkhor (sacred path). In the lower right, boats cross the river and monks play instruments on the riverbanks, while at lower left an archery competition takes place.

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