Top things to do

Top Choice Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Main Assembly Hall

The main assembly hall, or Tsogchen, is the principal structure in the Drepung complex and is the one chapel you must not miss. The hall is reached through an entrance on the western side, just past a wonderful medi…
Top Choice Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Main Debating Courtyard

If you’re here in the afternoon, save some time to watch the monk debating (lots of shouting, hand slapping and gesticulation) between 2.30pm and 4pm in the main debating courtyard in the northeastern corner of the …
Palace in Drepung Monastery

Ganden Palace

In 1530 the second Dalai Lama established the Ganden Podrang, the palace that was home to the subsequent Dalai Lamas until the fifth built the Potala. It was from here that the early Dalai Lamas exercised their poli…
Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Ngagpa College

Ngagpa is one of Drepung’s four tratsang (colleges) and was devoted to Tantric study. The chapel is dedicated to bull-headed Dorje Jigje (Yamantaka), a Tantric meditational deity who serves as an opponent to the for…
Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Loseling College

Loseling is the largest of Drepung’s colleges, and studies here were devoted to logic. If you have time, pop into the small debating courtyard west of the college. Monks sometimes practise their music in the garden …
Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Gomang College

Gomang is the second-largest of Drepung’s colleges. The main hall has a whole row of images, including those of Jampa, Tsepame and the seventh Dalai Lama. Again, there are three chapels to the rear: the most importa…
Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Jampelyang Temple

Pilgrims pause at this small chapel behind the main assembly hall to pour yak butter on the wall, glimpse holy rock images of Jampelyang and Drölma and then get hit on the back with a holy iron rod.
Tibetan in Drepung Monastery

Monastery Restaurant

This monastery-run restaurant near the bus stop serves reviving tea by the glass or thermos (¥7), as well as bowls of shemdre (meat and curried potatoes) and momos (dumplings).
Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Jamyang Chöje Meditation Cave

The tiny meditation cave of Jamyang Chöje, Drepung's founder, has some fine rock paintings.
Buddhist Site in Drepung Monastery

Deyang College

The smallest of Drepung’s colleges, this one can safely be missed if you’ve had enough. The principal image in the main hall is Jampa. Upstairs are some fine puppet-like standing protector deities.