A brief introduction of the monastery: Tholing means “to fly high and never fall” in Tibetan language. It is located in Zhada County of Ngari. Yeshi-O, an outstanding king of the Guge Kingdom, established the monastery around the beginning of the 10th century to expand and develop Buddhism in Tibet.
Because the Guge Kingdom promoted Buddhism, Tholing Monastery became a Buddhist center at that time. Although the monastery faded after the collapse of the Guge Kingdom, it still maintains an important place in Tibet, even after 900 years. Tholing Monastery has played an important role in the history of Tibet. Craftsmen from India, Nepal and Ladakh worked hard to construct the monastery, which then combined the styles of construction and those of building the Buddhists statues of the three places.
When the monastery was at its prime time, it was very magnificent, consisting of several halls, such as Jiasha Hall, the White Hall, the Eighteen Arhats’ Hall, Buddhist Guardian Hall of Atisha (the Indian senior monk), the Hall of Rinchen Zangpo (the greatest Buddhist adapter and interpreter, who translated Buddhist sutras and developed Buddhism at Tholing), many monk houses, and the forest of pagodas.
When the Guge Kingdom was founded, it set up the policy of promoting Buddhism. Yeshi-O the second King of Guge Kingdom, built the Tholing Monastery to strengthen the role of the Tibetan Buddhism. Later, Tholing Monastery became the center of the Tibetan Buddhism. It is said that there are many relics in the ruins around the monastery.
Many senior monks, including Atisha, the Indian senior monk, came to Tholing Monastery to preach Buddhism. Tholing Monastery has a history of 900 years. It has suffered much destruction, especially during the Chinese Culture Revolution (1968-1977). The monastery has been renovated in the recent years.
The rear hall has been renovated to what it used to be when it was built, with the design similar to Samye Monastery (Located in Samye Township of Lhoka Prefecture. It is called the First monastery in Tibet and has a history of more than 1,000 years. It is very large and magnificent).
Fortunately, the main hall of the monastery was protected well because it was used as a barn during the Chinese Culture Revolution. The frescos in the hall are still vivid and spectacular today. The Sceneries around the monastery: The monastery is located in the canyon of the Clay Forest in Zhada County.
The red wall of the monastery stands out in sharp relief against the Clay Forest, forming a magnificent picture. In the river valley of Xiangquanhe River, there are ruins of hundreds of pagodas, which stood in a belt of hundreds of meters long. It is also very spectacular to watch the sunrise and the sunset in the river valley.