Cycling The Silk Road In China – Kumbum Monastery

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Kumbum Monastery, is also known as “Ta’er Si Lamasery.”

It is the home of the yellow hat sect, named ‘Gelugpa’ which is a sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

It is one of the biggest Lamaseries in China.
This monastery is ranked in importance to Tibetan Buddhism, as second only to Lhasa.

Today, we visited this amazing monastery complex. We felt like two of the luckiest people on the face of the earth.

It was a very cold day.
We dressed with every warm layer of clothing that we brought with us, and wore gloves that we bought in the Tibetan town of Gangcha, and it was still not warm enough for us.

In fact, in this high altitude, the cold rain quickly turned into a light snow.
Still the weather did not stop us from enjoying this place.
We walked around the temples and ancient buildings, filled with ancient scrolls and scriptures, and admired the magic of this place.

So much attention was given to make this place stunning beyond description, over hundreds of years.
The walls were covered with giant wall Tankas painted with intricate details.

The buildings were built with carved and painted wooden beams, painted ceiling and heavy wooden doors.
There were thousands of sculptures and amazing hand woven rugs.
There were temples built as early as the year 300 AD, filled with holy scripture and recorded tantric knowledge, each housed in a beautiful case.

We walked around the buildings, with our mouths opened and our jaws dropped in awe, admiration and reverence.
The artist in me, drunk it all with such thirst.

We turned some prayer wheels and expressed silently our own inner most wishes.

We weren’t allowed to photograph inside any of the temples, but we took many photos of the temples exteriors, and I pulled out my note pad, and made some quick sketches at the temple of the ‘Defenders of Buddhism’.

On top of the hill, there was a huge sculpture carved and painted, of the struggle of the human incarnation, from human to divinity and enlightenment and Buddha Nature, which exist in all of us as One.
The magic of this giant multi dimensional sculpture, which took the whole room, is that it was all done from Yak butter.

You can walk around it, and it is behind glass, but still the changing temperature from summer to winter, damage this amazing sculpture, and it is being replaced and recreated again EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

If you saw the amazing details in each warrior portrayed.

In each Buddha, in  each animal and flowers and guardian.

You would not believe how beautiful it was….

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