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Shalu Monastery

Shalu Monastery is a small monastery 22 km south of Shigatse in Tibet. Founded in 1040 by Chetsun,who got advice from his tutor to fire an arrow and trust the wisdom of Buddha that it will indicate the perfect location to build the Shalu Monastery. The flying arrow hit a new bud, hence the name Shalu which means "new bud" in Tibetan. For centuries it was renowned as a centre of scholarly learning and psychic training and its mural paintings were considered to be the most ancient and beautiful in Tibet. The portrait of Bodhisattva in Shalu Monastery is quite different from those of other temples. The artistic style is a combination of Chinese inland and exotic culture. Xalhulhakang, the main structure of Shalu monastery, is architecturally distinctive.

The hall has an arch-like ceiling covered with glazed tiles. The steep eaves are like the wings of a flying bird. The structure is a complete replica of inland temples. The Monastery consists of two floors. On the first floor lies a main hall for assembly. The statues of Sakyamuni and his disciples are worshiped there. The layout of the second floor is a typical Chinese quadrangle. The murals here are exquisitely painted and vivid, demonstrating the features of the Yuan Dynasty's paintings. Shalu has four treasures which are of notable value. One is a sutra board, which is 700 years old and cannot be reassembled once broken apart, a piece of sutra printed against the board is regarded as good luck.

The other is a brass urn, which is usually covered with a piece of red cloth and sealed; the holy water is said to be the purest water in the world. The water, renewed every 12 years, can cure 108 kinds of diseases and cleanse away filth and dirt. Another is a stone basin, which was the washbasin of Chetsun, the builder of Shalu Monastery. And the last one is a stone tablet, which was uncovered in the first construction of Shalu Monastery. The tablet displays a mantra which reads "om mani Padme Hum" and has four dagoba carved into it. Here are some guide information for your tour to Shalu Monastery. Address: 20 kilometers southeast of Shigatse. Admission Fee: CNY 40. Contact Number: 86- 10-85968802

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