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Daocheng Monasteries

There are thirteen monasteries respectively belonging to Gelukpa, Sakaypa and Kagyupa sects, scattered all over in Daocheng. They are not big, nor well-known, but history sees their rising and declining and proves their glory and importance.

Bangphu Monastery (13012 feet, 32km to the north of the township,Karma Kagyur)
In 12th century, Dusum Kyenpa(one knows the past, present and future),then a Great Friar with Boundless Beneficence of Samadhi(the highest achievement of  Vajrayana)ceased his religious wandering at Daocheng, where he built his first monastery named Bangphu(riverside)and stayed there for years, teaching, practising Buddhism. One day he asked his disciples: 'Do you want me to remain here or leave a statue of my own instead?' The disciples believed later or sooner their master would come into Nirvana, so they chose the latter. Today the self-statue is still placed there, which is a perfect model of the Buddhist master at the age of 84(the year when he died).

Highlights: *Dusum Kyenpa's self-statue
Made of jelly of pounded sandal wood and some other fragrant plants
*Dusum Kyenpa's rock paintings
One of these paintings depicts some deer in his own nose blood.The legend goes that deer had always been killed near the rock before the painting was done.
*Dusum Kyenpa's praises
On a rock in ancient Tibetan Dusum Kyenpa wrote in praise of Daocheng.
Stroke the fish in the river while feeding them. Take good care of these lovely creatures and they will recognize you.
*Historical relics
Bangphu was visited by colorful characters in Tibetan history. Such as :
Tangton Gyelpo(1361-1485),Kagyu lama, bridge-building and Tibetan opera terton.
Palshi Chokjee(1204-1283),Karmapa II, Great Tulku with supernatural powers.
Rangjung Dorjee(1284-1339),Karmapa III, State Abhiseka Teacher
Ropeh Dorjee(1340-1383),Karmapa IV, initiating 3-year-old Tsongkapa into Five Disciplines.
Deyen Shepa(1384-1415),Karmapa V, Tathagata, Great Precious King of Religion
Tonwa Dundan(1416-11453)Karmapa VI, Child Prodigy
Choktra Gyatso(1454-1506)Karmapa VII, over 20-year Abbot of Bangphu
Megyo Dorjee(1507-1553),Karmapa VIII, Famous Doctor, Kagyu-spreader in Yunnan
Wangchu Dorjee(1556-1603)Karmapa IX, Abbot of Bangphu
Chokyan Drjee(1604-16630,Karmapa X,K armapa Leader against Gelukpa's Replacement
Kakyen Dodrjee(1846-1923)Karmapa XV, Abbot of Tsurphu
Rimbee Dorjee(1924-1981)Karmapa XVI, sending himself into exile in India.

Tsehgom Monastery(13,200f and 35Km to the north of the township, Kagyur Sect.) While Bangphu was being built Tshegom was under construction by Dorjee Jigpo, better known as Palmo Drupa in the lap of Hill Garuda(Golden-wing Bird, yidam considered to be counterforce against serpent-gods of the undersea world).Palmo Drupa was matchless of all the disciples of Dakpo Rimpoche(1079-1153,Gampopa).History takes him as the first among Three Tibetan Treasures, namely, Palmo Drupa,Shang Tsahpa and Tsongkapa).Before he left Tshegom he also made a self-statue, in whose mouth he fixed one of his teeth. Pilgrims often feel strong empowering force from it.
Limited monks here have been following exactly what Palmo Drupa taught in 12th century. The Six Doctrins of Naropa(secret oral transmission concerning the esoteric teachings) is practised. One may be strikingly astonished to see they are sitting still cross-legged in the air. Life here seems enjoyable to them. The monastery is a veritable rhododendron garden, where wild animals share anything fine of the monks.
Highlights: *Palmo Drupa's self-statue
Made of jelly of pounded sandal wood and some other fragrant plants
*Five-Buddha Cap of Religious King of Paldru Kagyu
Made of gold,shaped in five-petal lotus. There is a Buddha image on each pedal, namely, Nambanangdz in the center(Vairocana, Dhyani Buddha embodying all encompassing emptiness) Miyowa in the east(Aksobhya, Dhyani Buddha of Unshakeable Union) Rinchen Junge in the south (Ratnasambhava, Dhyani Buddha of Aboundence and Happiness).Wopame in the west(Amitabha, Dhyani Buddha of Boundless Light).Dondrub in the north(Amoghasidhi, Dhyani Buddha of Successful Action) representing Five Aspects of Wisdom or Five Transcendent Awarenesses
*Wall Painting of Kagyu Lineage
Tilopa(988-1096)Kagyu root-guru
Naropa(1016-1100)mabasiddha, Creator of Six Doctrines of Naropa,disciple of Tilopa
Maitrepa(12th century)Great Successful Yogin, disciple of Naropa
Marpa(1012-1297) the Translator, disciple of Naropa and Maitrepa
Milarepa(1040-1123)the Cotton-clad, disciple of Marpa
Gampopa(1079-1153)Creator of Dakpo Kagyu, disciple of Milarepa
Retchungpa(1084-1161)Master of Dakini Doctrines, disciple of Milarepa
Dusum Kyenpa(1110-1193)Initiator of Karma Kagyu, discipe of Gampopa
Shang Tsehpa(1123-1194)Initiator of Tsepa Kagyu, disciple of Gampopa
Darma Wangchoo(12th centery)Initiator of Pahrong Kagyu, disciple of  Gampopa
Palmo Drupa(1110-1170)Initiator of Paldru Kagyu, disciple of Gampopa
Trehkuhnpa(1143-1217)Initiator of Trehkuhn Kagyu, disciple of Palmo Drupa
Dalung Tanpa(1142-1210)Initiator of Dalung Kagyu, disciple of Palmo Drupa
Baima Dorjee(1128-1188)Initiator of Drupa Kagyu, disciple of Palmo Drupa
* Red-face pheasants
See how wonderful it is when animals and human beings live together.

Trahlang Lhobu Monastery(13,500f and 20km to the southeast township, Sakya Sect.)
In the Fire-Rabbit Year of the fifth cycle of sixty years Lama Chunpeh Waire drove his deer with statues and scriptures on its back to Trahlang where the landform assembled a lotus flower. The deer went to the stamen centre straightly and lay prostrate there. Chunpeh set up a monastery right on the stamen. Chunpeh was the first abbot. The abbot now is the twenty-sixth, who lives in Taiwan.  
Highlights: *Amitabha's Statue
Brought by Chunpeh Waire and empowered by Pakspa
*Handwritten Kangyur and Tengyur in golden-ink
Brought by Chunpeh Waire and empowered by Pakspa
These beautiful paintings are not valuble works of art, but also holy works of religion. Seeing them is a real eye-opener.
*Historical relics
Pakspa Lhodzui Gyeltsen(1235-1280) was the fifth Sakya Bandita. In 1253he had a contest of the achievement of vajrayana with Karma Pashichoje(1204-1283),the second Karmpa, whose home was near Trahlun Monastery .The contest was going on in the public gaze. Among the spectators there was a Mongolian Khan with his royalty. Pashichoje was sitting high up in the air in the posture of meditation while Pakspa was showing five images of Five Buddhas in the air after breaking himself into five pieces. Today visitors see two tall poplars with a diameter of  about seven feet each standing over 100 feet high on the locality, which remind them of the two Buddhist masters and their astonishing achievements of anti-gravity and super-abilities.

Ranwu Monatery(13,500 feet,30Km to the southeast of the township,Dalun Kagyu)
Mt Ranwu stands like Green Tara and there are three springs flowing out from her breasts and vagina where three main buildings of Ranwu Monastery are located. It is said that Mantrahna Guru1231-1297,the 4th abbot of Daloun
Monastery, built the monastery in 1260.
Highlights: * Wall paintings
Natural dyestuffs are multi-coloured mineral powders and plant juices
*Wild Animal Park
Snow cooks and red-face pheasants help themselves in the monastery. Others can be easily caught sight of nearby, red deer, musks, serows, gorals, argalies and antilopes.

Rear Trahchun Monastery
It is a ruined one and nobody there remembers its history, but, it belongs to Sakya Sect. Sakyapa has a well-known symbol, which is the triad of white, red and blue, symbolizing Avolokitisvara, Manjushri and Vajra-pani.
Shonden Monastery(12,400 feet and 10Km to the northeast of the township, Geluk Sect)
Originally it was a Kagyupa monastery.In 1415 a Geluk monk with the name of Lhodzui Lunje made a change. In the background of overwhelming Gelukpa in Tibetan areas it developed into the largest one in Daocheng.
Highlights: *No.1 Mani Pile
On the left of the monastery there is a huge Mani pile regarded as the first in Kham region
*Log Genitals
The locals believed there were  a lot of ogresses in Daocheng and they would stir up trouble. Lamas in monasteries were responsible for getting rid of them. Avoiding killing any life lamas erected these log genitals, with which those fleshly and conquettish succubuses would be satisfied and made no trouble.
Kangga  Ling Monastery(10,000 feet, 62Km to the south of the township,Geluk Sect)
No any other monastery in Daocheng has a richer history. American botanist and explorer heard a lot about it when he made his expeditions to Kahngga Reesum Gombu in 1928.What a pity he just missed something. He was not able to visit Kahngga Ling though he arrived at Tsungu, only 30km away from Kahngga Ling. In the 1980s', Lama Genkhor began to rebuild the monastery. He is the present Living-Buddha there. Things were not easy but he is a man of piousness, tenaciousness and highly respected. Now the monastery takes on  an entirely  new look.
Highlights: *Matreiya Statue
In the days of fifth Dalai Lama he told pilgrims from Kham to pay pilgrimages to Kahngga Reesum Gombo instead of going to Lhasa. The pilgrims asked for a statue. The Dalai Lama then asked the statues in his room: 'Who would like to go there?' One of the statues answered: 'I would'. That was a statue of Matreiya. It is now placed in the Assembly Hall.
*Eagle-like Landform
Stand on the hill opposite the  monastery and overlook the landform one will find it a huge eagle, who puts its beak into the river below, its wings still open. The monastery is just located at its eye.
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