Thong Monastery began to be built in 996, and it is the first Buddhist Monastery constructed in Ngari Prefecture by the Guge Kingdom. The murals of the Monastery can be called unique paintings through the ages. the second dissemination of Buddhism is originated here. It affords a lot of precious material in kind for research of the building, sculpture, painting, art, etc. It is worth visiting and studying and has been evaluated as a National Protection Sites of the Key Historical Relics.
Meaning “to fly and never fall”, Thoding Monastery is famous through Ngari, founded by Yeshi-O, an outstanding king of Guge Kingdom at the beginning of 10th century. Yeshi-O was a devout Buddhist, whoever sent 21 youths to learn Tantric Buddhism in Kashmir. Only Rinchen Zangpo and another survived and returned.
Rinchen Zangpo, a greatest Buddhist more adept and translator, started to translate Buddhist sutras and develop Buddhism at Thoding, which was set up by Yeshi-O for that purpose. Later Yeshi-O was defeated and captured in ambitious aggression he launched in order to plunder enough gold to invite Atisa to his Guge Kingdom to push forward Buddhism. He sacrificed his life to send his ransom to Atisa. After his arrival, the monastery gained a higher reputation and once became a religious centre in Tibet under the royal patron of the Guge Kingdom.
Although it faded after the collapse of the Guge Kingdom, Thoding Monastery still maintains an important place in Tibet after 900 years in consideration of its significance in the second transmission of Buddhism into Tibet.