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Discover the Enigmatic Meru Temple: Popular Cultural Gem in the Heart of Lhasa

Nestled in the spiritual city of Lhasa, between the famed Jokhang and Ramoche Temples, lies the historic Meru Temple, a site brimming with Tibetan heritage and architectural marvels. Known also as Mairu and Moru Temple, this iconic structure currently serves as the residence of the Tibetan Repertory Theater, a testament to its enduring cultural significance. Established during the 13th Dalai Lama’s reign, its first abbot was Sakyamuni, the revered Dharma King from the Nechung Temple.

Covering an impressive 8,925 square meters, Meru Temple stands as an architectural masterpiece oriented north-south. The design places the main hall at the rear centre of the temple complex, with the monks’ quarters strategically positioned at the front. Divided into two distinct areas, the main hall features the Sutra Hall at the front and the Buddha Hall at the back. The Sutra Hall, measuring 9 meters by 7 meters, contains 65 pillars. In contrast, the Buddha Hall covers 110 square meters and relies on the support of 8 robust pillars.

trandruk monastery wall painting
Trandruk monastery wall painting

Lhasa’s Haven of Peace Amidst Majestic Mountains


Adjacent to the main hall, smaller temples, each supported by 3 pillars, add to the temple’s mystique. The complex is further enhanced by three towering monk buildings, each rising to three stories and standing at 9.7 meters. These buildings, encircling the temple to the east, south, and west, showcase the monks’ residences, each featuring unique and varied layouts.

Meru Temple’s design, transitioning from lower front structures to higher rear ones, exemplifies architectural balance and proportion. The temple’s beams and columns, adorned with intricate carvings and paintings, reflect the prevalent 19th-century architectural style, adding to its allure.

Meru Temple, with its rich history and stunning design, is not just a religious landmark but a beacon of Tibetan culture, attracting visitors and scholars alike. Explore this hidden gem in Lhasa and immerse yourself in the legacy of Tibetan Buddhism and art.

About the author

The Tibetan Travel website's creator, hailing from Lhasa, is a cultural enthusiast. They promote responsible tourism, connecting the world to Tibet's beauty and heritage. Awards recognize their contribution.

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