Reting Monastery - Seat of Reting Rinpoche
Reting Monastery with over 900 years history is the first Kadampa monastery built by Atisha's chief disciple Dromtonpa in 1056. Reformed by Tsongkhapa, it changed into Gelugpa temple in the later year. Since 18th century, its abbot was called Reting Rinpoche, some of them were played an important role in Tibetan history and China’s unification, making this monastery a significant political status in Tibet China. Comparing with other monasteries, here you can hear more historical events, even related to Dalai Lamas. About 2 hours driving, Reting Monastery is situated in a placid valley of small village with green-clad plants around. By endowing the natural scenery of green-clad plants surrounded, it is named Reting National Forest Park as well and known for its dense cypress. Hiking around, you will enjoy a different feeling about its tranquility and picturesque landscape.
Reting Monastery Facts
- Four Seasons
- Religious Temple, Historical Site
- 4,150 meters
- Linzhou County, Lhasa City
Reting Monastery History
Founded by Atisha's chief disciple Dromtonpa in 1056, Reting Monastery was built in the Reting Tsampo Valley, as the first monastery of Kadampa sect. After Tsongkapa reformed this sect, Reting was changed into one of the Gelugpa temples. With a longer history about over 350 years than the three big Tibetan temples (Ganden Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Sera Monastery), Reting has a combined Buddhist culture of two schools. As its abbot has the right to compete for Regent and the duty to find the next Dalai Lama, Reting Monastery in history, has more related to Tibetan political affairs.
Reting Rinpoche – the abbot of Reting
Since 18th century, Reting Monastery has become the seat of the Reting Rinpoche, when the seventh Dalai Lama appointed his tutor as the abbot here. Historical, there has been through 6 previous Reting Rinpoches (7th) before 1997. Among them, there were 2 Reting Rinpoches as the Regent to take charge of Tibet affairs during the interregnum between the death of a Dalai Lama and his next reincarnation.
The third Reting Rinpoche was the Regent in the periods of 1845-1855 and 1933-1947 to take over the 7th Dalai Lama. And the Fifth Reting Rinpoche was in power in the time from 1933 to 1947 and played a key role in the search for the 14th Dalai Lama, serving as his senior tutor, who was later framed and killed with poison. Right now the Seventh Reting Rinpoche announced in January 2001 is about to finishing his further study in Sera Monastery and will continue to promote Buddhism after coming back to Reting.
What to See at Reting Monastery
Covering an area of 1667.5 square meters, Reting Monastery is an unsophisticated clay-stone structure, consisting of Coqen Hall and Reting Lazang, etc. Coqen Hall as the main building includes assembly halls, chapels, chanting halls, enshrining halls and more distributed in the same floor. Entering the hall from the right side, there is a shrine to worship the current Reting Rinpoche with his childhood portrait aside. Nearby, there is a stone tablet of a naturally formed Avalokitesvara portrait, which is precious. Besides, an ancient Thangka of Drolma was kept here and some rare mural of the fourteenth Dalai Lama can be seen, as well as the sculptures of the 1st-6th Reting Rinpoches. In behind of the hall, there is a long prayer wheel stretching from east to west and in the west side there is another building for the living room of Reting Rinpoche and chapels. Walking around, you will find several ancient stupas for the remains of former abbots.
Reting Monastery found in the river valley is like a perennial pastureland with rippling water and green dense plants surrounded by. Overlooking Reting from a distance, the quiet land is likely a beautiful painting scroll of thousands of cypress trees reaching to the azure sky, all dotted on the mountain slop, making reflection in the river. Visitors will be easily intoxicated and surprised about this land of idyllic beauty.
About the wonderful nature, there are some legends. One of them is said that once there was a barren land like most other Tibetan Monasteries, and miraculously grew out 30,000 cypress trees after Srongtsen Gampo had poured his shampooing water over the hillside and make a pray. Today, those cypress trees are officially named National Forest Park in 2007 and got well preserved.
In the west side of monastery, there is a big stone land called “Saint Road”. It was said on the July 15th, there were many goddesses gathering making an altar to save secular people from misery therefore it becomes a tradition for believers to pray happiness on that day. From hundreds of years, this tradition changes into a local festival hold in the year of goat in Tibetan calendar, every twelve years. During the celebration days, kinds of activities are taken place lively, such as horse racing, horseback archery, holding stones and dance around bonfire in night time.
Reting Monastery Architecture
Reting Monastery with Beautiful Green Views
People clebrate festival around Reting Monastery
Useful Travel Tips
● Ticket Info: charging for 30 rmb per person, Reting Monastery is available for visit from 7:00 to 19:00 daily. If you have enough time, make a short hiking around is quite relaxed to view the nature.
● Get to Reting Monastery: with a distance of about 150 km away from Lhasa downtown, it actually takes about 2 hours driving by crossing many winding roads. Joining our tours with free private car service, you can free to make a stop to stretch your legs and view around. Or you may take bus from Lhasa Eastern Station in the early morning for over 3 hours without much free time on the way.
● Debating in Reting Monastery: named the Reting National Forest Park as well, Reting Monastery has a large land of cypress trees in the behind. Along a small path, there is a brick wall area covered by tall trees, as the site to hold Buddha debating. It will be an unexpected experience by watching the debating here.
The Road to Reting Monastery
How to Plan A Tibet Tour
Tibet is too vast to be visited in one single trip, but planning ahead of time can make most of your holiday. A classic Tibet tour always takes about 4 ~ 8 days. Apart from 2 days for arrival and departure, it usually needs 2 other days to explore majestic Potala Palace and other landmarks in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. With a day trip’s distance from Lhasa, Namtso Lake is another perfect tour extension if you visit Tibet from May to October.
To explore further, it’s strongly recommended to travel from Lhasa to Mount Everest via Gyantse and Shigatse, which usually needs 4 more days. It is an unforgettable sightseeing trip with lots of attractions to visit, such as Yamdrok Lake, Karola Glacier, Kumbum Stupa of Palcho Monastery, Tashilhunpo Monastery, etc. Of course, the biggest draw must be gazing upon the unparalleled north face of the world’s highest peak – Mount Everest.
For Buddhist followers and hiking lovers, you are suggested to travel to Ngari to join the kora around the holy Mt. Kailash and sacred Lake Manasarovar, which usually takes about 5 ~ 8 more days from Lhasa. The wild nature of Ngari is spectacular as well.
If you have your own needs or interest, just feel free to contact us to customize a trip of your own!
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Escorted by a skilled private drivers and companied by a professional local tour guide to organize all the activities, all you have to do is to enjoy your fantastic Tibet journey. Time can never be wasted waiting for a group, hopping on and off buses or negotiating unfamiliar destinations.
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