Pabonka Hermitage

Last updated by david at 2013-10-28

Pabonka Hermitage (Pha bong kha), is an ancient royal palace founded by the 7th century Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. As part of Sera Monastery, it is about 8 kilometers from Lhasa in the Nyang Bran Valley on the side of Mount Parasol, and it is only one hour and a half walk from Sera Monastery. Pabonka Hermitage is one of the most ancient Buddhist sites in the Lhasa region, and it was built even before the Jokhang and Ramoche. It is said that Pabonka Hermitage was the place for several Tibetan kings and Tibet’s first seven monks to meditate, and it was right here that Tibetan Alphabet was created by Thonmi Sambhota (a chancellor of ancient Tibet, who was assigned by Songtsen Gampo to India to learn Buddhism and phonology, and came back to create Tibetan Alphabet).

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Pabonka Hermitage was ever destroyed by the anti-Buddhism King Langdharma in 841. Fortunately it got rebuilt during the 11th century and an extra floor was added by the fifth Dalai Lama (1641-1682) to this two-storey building. During the Cultural Revolution period of the 1970s, Pabonka also suffered a lot from damages made by the anti-Buddhism revolutionaries. Following China new religion policies and the development of tourism, the government has put a great effort on repairing this ancient cultural heritage until recent years.

How to visit Pabonka Hermitage?

A hike from the Sera Monastery to Pabonka Hermitage is a great choice. Pabonka Hermitage is located behind Sera Monastery. You just need to take a minibus from Lhasa, and the bus stops at Sera Monastery. In order to get to Pabonka from Sera Monastery, you have to walk through a small village and then hiking up along the mountain side. On the way, you can visit the small chapels, climb around the ancient ruins and see the nunnery around there. When you reach Pabonka Hermitage on the vantage point on the side of the mountain, you can see the great scenery of the Lhasa Valley and the back side appearance of the Potala Palace.
 

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Mount Parasol, Lhasa Prefecture, Tibet, China

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