Kubum Monastery, is located in Qinghai Province, in the county of Huangzhong, which is more than 20 kilometers from Xining proper. It was built mainly for the Gelugpa or the Yellow Hat Sect, a kind of Buddhism that is popular in Tibet. Hence, the monastery is more than a home for the monks; it’s also one of the sacred grounds in the region. Although no one can truly trace how the sect was formed or how the monastery came about, it has been around for around 400 years.
The Kubum monastery was designed to be basic. It shall be composed of a stupa and a temple. However, over time, it covered more areas until it has become a very huge compound that spans to 36 acres. The architectural style of the buildings is largely inspired by that of Tibet: first, it’s built on the slope of the mountains, and two, there’s a great use of bright colors and the grandness of the halls.
With more than 50 halls, the monastery offers a lot of very interesting ones. These include the Butter Sculpture, called as such because the artworks are made mainly of yak butter. They are, however, created during the coldest part of the winter season, which means they can change every year. There’s also the Great Hall of the Golden Roof with its floral patterns and gates that come in different colors.
Kubum Monastery has endured many problems including a war that destroyed a good portion of it. It’s only been recently that it has been renovated to how it’s supposed to look the first time. Aside from visiting the various halls, one can also watch the regular debates among the students as the monastery is also made up of collages. Its grounds are also common venues for different festivals.
Address: Huangzhong County, Qinghai Province
Admission Fee: CNY 30
Operating Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
How to Get There: take a bus from the Xining Gymnasium. You can also ride the special line beginning at Xining Railway Station.