Chokhor Gyel Monastery, also known as Qiongguo Jie Monastery, is a revered site located in Cuijiu Township of Gyaca County. Sitting at an altitude of 4,350 meters, it is on the way to the sacred Ram Lhatso Lake. The monastery is nestled in a unique geographical setting that resembles an eight-petal lotus, symbolizing a field of wondrous Dharma. Some believe that the area once bloomed with 13 types of auspicious flowers and is the intersection point of three sacred rivers and four divine mountains.
Founded in 1509 by the 2nd Dalai Lama, Gendun Gyatso (1475–1542), the monastery originally housed a five-story Tsuklakang (main assembly hall) with a golden roof and 58 pillars. It was later expanded by the 5th Dalai Lama (1617–1682) into a large complex covering 22,816 square meters. During its peak, the monastery was home to over 500 monks.
Unlocking Mysteries at Chokhor Gyel Monastery
Explore the spiritual haven that has captivated pilgrims for centuries.
As a prominent site of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, Chokhor Gyel Monastery has been a pilgrimage site for every Dalai Lama before they assumed political responsibilities, to worship the fierce image of the Auspicious Heavenly Mother. An inscription tablet from the era of the 3rd Dalai Lama commemorating the monastery stands outside its premises. The site is surrounded by numerous Buddhist relics and is highly revered by pilgrims.
- Admission: Free, but donations are welcome.
- Opening Hours: 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM.
- Access: The monastery is about 45 kilometers from the county town. Visitors can hire a car or drive, with rental costs ranging from 200 to 350 yuan. From the monastery, Ram Lhatso Lake is a 4–5 hour trek or horse ride away.