Palpung Monastery

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Palpung Monastery
Palpung in Tibet.jpg
Tibetan transcription(s)
Tibetan དཔལ་སྤུངས།
Wylie transliteration Dpal-spungs
Palpung Monastery is located in Sichuan
Palpung Monastery
Palpung Monastery
Location within Sichuan
Coordinates: 31°38′54″N 98°47′45″E / 31.64833°N 98.79583°E / 31.64833; 98.79583
Monastery information
Location Babang, Dêgê County, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China
Founded by 8th Kuanding Tai Situ Rinpoche
Founded 1727
Date renovated Protected 1958. Reopened as monastery in 1982
Type Tibetan Buddhist
Sect Kagyu
Lineage Tai Situpa

Palpung (Tibetan: དཔལ་སྤུངས།Wylie: Dpal-spungs) is the name of the congregation of monasteries and centers of the Tai Situpas as well as the name of the monastic seat in Tibet in Dege. Palpung means "glorious union of study and practice". Palpung Monastery, also known as Babang, is a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Sichuan in the vicinity of Dergé, near the border with Tibet, which originated in the 12th century and wielded considerable religious and political influence over the centuries.[1]

The current monastery is said to have been founded in 1727[2][3][4] by King Denba Tsering. It is the seat of four lines of incarnate lamas, the best known being the Situ Rinpoche[5] or Tai Situpa, as well as the Jamgon Kongtrul and the Second Beru Khyentse. The temple has historically been associated with the Karmapas: for instance, the 16th Karmapa was enthroned first at Palpung before travelling to his main seat at Tsurphu Monastery in Central Tibet. There are an estimated 40 monks residing in the monastery itself and a larger number resident in the surrounding region.


Palpung monastery is the monastic seat of the successive incarnations of the Tai Situ Rinpoches in Eastern Tibet by the full name of Palpung Thubten Chökhor Ling. It is at the same time the mother center of the Karma Kagyu tradition in Eastern Tibet and evolved into the center of Buddhist Ecumenism (Rime). The seat in exile, outside of Tibet, Palpung Sherab Ling, is situated in India. The congregation has monasteries and centers around the world.

Palpung in Tibet[edit]

Palpung is characterized by a number of rock paintings of Buddha, and shrines.

Palpung Thubten Chökhor Ling is a Tibetan Buddhist temple and Buddhist monastery near Dergé and the border with Tibet, in Dêgê County of the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in western Sichuan Province, China. Palpung is the mother monastery for Karma Kagyu in Eastern Tibet. It has historically always been associated with the Karmapas, such as the 16th Karmapa being enthroned first at Palpung before travelling to his main seat at Tsurphu Monastery in Central Tibet. The Karmapas and Tai Situpas have through the incarnations closely been connected, alternating as master and disciple.

Palpung originated in the 12th century and wielded considerable religious influence over the centuries.[1] Palpung monastery was founded by the 8th Kuanding Tai Situ Rinpoche in 1727 and developed into one of the most prestigious centers in Tibetan history.[6]

The monastery once hosted more than 1000 monks and had one of the most leading monastic universities of the area. It is the seat of various lines of incarnate lamas, the best known being the Situ Rinpoche[5] or Tai Situpa, as well as the Jamgon Kongtrul.

Palpung was known for its huge library with more than 324,000 texts and an art collection of more than 10,150 Thangka paintings. It was also leading in the fields of spiritual painting and the Situ Rinpoche is the founder of Karma Gadri painting style. At the time of the 11th Tai Situ Rinpoche, Palpung was already famous for it spiritual, studious and artistic excellence and authority.

The monastery was destroyed in the late 1950s during the Cultural Revolution. It is currently still under construction. In 1998-1999 it was added to the list of worldwide endangered list of monuments[7]

Palpung in India[edit]

Palpung Sherabling, in Himachal Pradesh, Northern India.

The 12th Chamgon Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche fled from Tibet to India at the age of six, where he consequently received his formal traditional training under H. H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. At the age of 22 he started to set up his seat in exile, Palpung Sherabling (Palpung Sherab Ling), in Himachal Pradesh, Northern India.

The Palpung Sherabling project provides four aspects - spirituality, education, health, and culture. Currently approximately 750 monks live there, 250 are enrolled in the monastic university curriculum on the premises. Palpung also offers the traditional Kagyu three-years retreat for both monks and nuns on the compound.

Palpung Congregation[edit]

The Palpung congregation[8] consists of more than 180 monasteries and temples throughout some Chinese and Tibetan districts and has branch institutions in Europe, USA, Oceania and Asia. Its European Seat is Palpung Yeshe Chökhor Ling Europe, Palpung Europe[9] which was established and is under the direction of Chöje Lama Palmo.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Palpung Centre History". Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Tibet Travel Guide". Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Kagyu Lineage". Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ Asian Art:Worlds Monuments Watch
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Palpung Europe"

External links[edit]