Tongren, located in the ancient region of Tibetan Amdo, is about180 km from Xining and owes its fame to its Tangkas. These paintings on canvas are a true temporal and timeless testimony to Tibetan culture. Meaning “Scroll painting”, tangkas come in all sizes and colors. There are generally drawings on the subject of the Buddhist religion, such as portraits of deities or the Dalai Lama.
The main attraction of Tongren is the grand Longwu Monastery and the Wutun Monastery.
Covering 100 hectares, Longwu Monastery is the largest monastery of the Yellow Cap sect in the Tongren region. Longwu Monastery politically and religiously influenced the entire Tongren region. Today, 500 monks still live in this monastery with many treasures. The monastery is home to countless masterpieces and precious cultural relics such as the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. The jewel of the monastery is undoubtedly the golden statue of Tsongkapa, founder of the Yellow Cap sect (Gelupas group in Tibetan). 11 meters high, the statue stands on a base circumference of 26 meters, gilded throughout and decorated with magnificent diamonds on the feet.
The upper and lower monasteries of Wutun are located a few kilometers from the village in the Tongren area. Distanced 1 km from each other, it is here that you can contemplate the largest collection of tangka of the Tibetan Amdo, pictorial art specific to Tibetan culture. Each of the two monasteries houses a school where tantric art is perpetuated where the most talented artists are trained. It is very usual in these places that the tangkas are made and then lines the other monasteries of the province, or even other regions and Lhasa.
The Assembly Hall of Upper Wutun Monastery is a marvel of Regong arts with its fully carved and painted walls. The lower monastery, on the other hand, is much more lively and hosts religious and local festivals all year round.
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