Ganden Sumtseling Monastery
Gyalthang (Tibetan)
Zhongdian (Mandarin)
Shangri-La (Chinese Government)
Yunnan Province, China

photo by Alan Grinberg

Please scroll to the right to see the full panorama, and scroll down to see the commentary --->


"Ganden Sumtseling Monastery"

The monastery (gompa for monks) has the golden roofs, and the plain buildings below are the monks' living quarters.

This complex was originally built about 300 years ago to mimic the form of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, center of Tibetan Buddhism.

The monastery was burned during the Cultural Revolution, and over 1000 monks were scattered.
In the past 10 years the monastery has been rebuilt, with funding from private donations and the Chinese Government.
Construction is still underway.

There are now about 600 monks living in the monastery.

American guidebooks often refer to the Buddhist Monasteries as "shells of their former self, financed by the Chinese government to encourage the tourist trade".
Although seeming somewhat empty, we observed many locals coming to the monastery to pray.
It looks like Buddhism has a strong foothold in Southwest China.

The Nobel Eightfold Path

Photo details:

June 9, 2007, 5:48 pm
Panorama stitched in Photoshop CS3 from 8 photos taken in RAW format.
Canon Digital Rebel XT.
Lens: EFS 17-85 mm at 53 mm focal length, 85 mm equivalent.
1/500 second at f
/5.6 (Manual override).
Handheld camera.
Final image is 32 megapixels.
A print made in high resolution would be 5 feet long, 10 inches high.
JPEG image displayed here is 1.6 megapixels.