Drigung Monastery

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Drigung Monastery
Drigung monastery.jpg
Drigung Monastery
Tibetan transcription(s)
Tibetan འབྲི་གུང་མཐིལ
Wylie transliteration 'bri gung mthil 'og min byang chub gling
THL Drigung Til Okmin Jangchup ling
Chinese transcription(s)
Simplified 直贡梯寺
Drigung Monastery is located in Tibet
Drigung Monastery
Drigung Monastery
Location within Tibet
Coordinates: 30°6′23.4″N 92°12′14.7594″E / 30.106500°N 92.204099833°E / 30.106500; 92.204099833Coordinates: 30°6′23.4″N 92°12′14.7594″E / 30.106500°N 92.204099833°E / 30.106500; 92.204099833
Monastery information
Location Mamba Township, Maizhokunggar County, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China[1][2]
Founded by Drigung Kyobpa Jigten-gonpo-rinchenpel
Founded 1179
Date renovated 1980
Type Tibetan Buddhist
Sect Kagyu
Lineage Drikung Kagyu

Drigung Monastery (Wylie: 'bri gung mthil 'og min byang chub gling) is a notable monastery in the Lhasa, Tibet founded in 1179. High in the Himalayan mountains, the monastery stands at an elevation of 4,150 metres (13,620 ft) and currently houses 250 to 300 monks.[3]


The monastery is named after its location in a valley about 150 kilometres (93 mi) east from Lhasa in Drigung district, and is the mother monastery of the Drikung Kagyu.


It was founded in 1179 by the founder of that tradition, Jigten Sumgön (Wylie: 'bri gung skyob pa 'jig rten dgon po rin chen dpal, 1143-1217). The tradition emphasizes its founders tantric meditation and phowa practices.[4]

After being destroyed by Communists following the takeover of Tibet in 1959, reconstruction work began in 1980.

The Drigung Kagyu headquarters are now located at Jangchub Monastery in Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh, India, founded in 1985. It has 200 monks in residence.[5]

Other notable features[edit]

A tradition in Tibetan Buddhism known as sky burials are commonly performed by monks of the monastery, and it has become one of the more notable aspects of the monastery's culture wherein the bodies of the dead are put out for nature to decompose or for predatory birds to eat.[6]


  1. ^ "Drikung Thil monastery, (near) Poindo/Lhunzhub, Xizang, CN". Mapping Buddhist Monasteries. Retrieved 24 November 2014.  "Approx., Lat 30.1065 Long 92.2041 - based on visual identification of the site in maps/satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 6 Aug 2012."
  2. ^ "噶举派寺庙--止贡提寺". Xinhua. 18 October 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Drigung Monastery - Life on the Tibetan Plateau
  4. ^ Alexander Berzin, A Brief History of Drigung Monastery, 1991
  5. ^ "Jangchub ling". Kailash Zone. Retrieved 24 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Tibet Drigung Monastery | Tibet Tours

External links[edit]