Main Assembly Hall


The dimly lit chamber of the dukhang has especially fine wall murals, showing strong Kashmiri and Nepali influences; bring a powerful torch (flashlight) to enjoy the rich detail. The Kashmiri influences are noticeable in the shading on the hands and feet, the ornate jewellery and dress, the tight stomach lines and non-Tibetan images of palm trees and dhotis (Indian-style loincloths). Scholarly opinion varies on whether the murals date from the 13th and 14th, or 15th and 16th centuries.

The main statues here are of the past, present and future buddhas (all of recent origin), and there’s also a footprint of Rinchen Zangpo. The lower walls of the inner area have murals depicting the life of the Buddha and the founders of the monastery. Murals of the protectors Dorje Jigje (Yamantaka) and Namse (Vairocana) decorate the main entry. The hall was under renovation in 2018.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ngari attractions

1. Thöling Monastery

0.02 MILES

Founded by Rinchen Zangpo in the 10th century, Thöling Monastery was once Ngari’s most important monastic complex. Atisha stayed here for three years…

2. White Chapel

0.03 MILES

The entry to this side chapel is marked by a finely carved deodar (cedar) door frame that originated in India. Inside are vibrant 15th- and 16th-century…

3. Yeshe Ö’s Mandala Chapel

0.06 MILES

Once the main building in the Thöling complex, Yeshe Ö’s Mandala Chapel was also known as the Golden Chapel. All the images have been destroyed but the…

4. Serkhang Chörten

0.11 MILES

A few steps east of the Thöling Monastery compound in Zanda is the recently restored Serkhang chörten. A similar chörten stands in total isolation just to…

5. Sutlej Bridge


If you have time to kill in Zanda, drive 4km east of town to this ancient iron link suspension bridge over the Sutlej River. It's thought to be one of the…

6. Lotsang Lhakhang

7.56 MILES

This ruined chapel is flanked by an ancient-looking chörten. Only the feet of the main statue remain inside but there are some lovely old thangkas on…

7. Mummy Cave

7.58 MILES

North of the main entrance to Tsaparang a trail follows a green river valley down about 700m to a cave on the left that holds the mummified remains of…

8. Tsaparang

7.63 MILES

The citadel of Tsaparang, 18km west of Zanda, is one of Western Tibet's great hidden gems. Dozens of ruined residences and chapels dot a naturally…