Sera Me College


Follow the pilgrims clockwise, past the Tsangba Kangtsang and Tsowa Kangtsang residential halls and several minor buildings, to Sera Me College. This college dates back to the original founding of the monastery.

The central image of the impressive main hall is a copper Sakyamuni, flanked by Jampa and Jampelyang. To the rear of the hall are four chapels. To the left is a dark chapel dedicated to the dharma protector of the east, Ta-og (in an ornate brass case and wearing a hat), alongside a central Dorje Jigje. Look for the masks, antlers, iron thunderbolts and mirrors hanging from the ceiling. To the left of the entrance is a three-dimensional wooden mandala used to invoke the medicine buddha.

Continue to the central chapel, which contains statues of the Past, Present and Future Buddhas, as well as 16 arhats (literally 'worthy ones') depicted in their mountain grottoes.

The next chapel is home to Dagtse Jowo, a central Sakyamuni statue that dates from the 15th century and is the most sacred of the college’s statues. At the back are Tsepame and eight bodhisattvas; all are guarded by the protectors Tamdrin (Hayagriva; red) and Miyowa (Achala; blue). The last chapel is dedicated to Tsongkhapa, and there are also images of several Dalai Lamas, as well as of Sakya Yeshe (in the left corner with a black hat), Sera’s founder and first abbot.

There are two chapels on the upper floor. The first, after you mount the stairs, is dedicated to Sakyamuni, depicted in an unusual standing form known as Thuwang. The second is a Drölma chapel with 1000 statues of this protective deity, as well as the Tsela Nam Sum longevity trinity. The third has 1000 statues of Chenresig, as well as a huge brass pot in the corner. All chapels sell amulets and blessed rilbu (herbal medicinal pills)

Exit at the back of the compound and jog around a minor debating courtyard to reach the Sera Ngagpa College.

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