Tibet 1986 and Beyond

Tibetan travel & study

Ganden Monastery 1985 (དགའ་ལྡན་)

Ganden was one of the largest Tibetan centers of learning before the Chinese took over Tibet. Drepung and Sera were larger; Ganden had about 6,000 monks. Much of it has been restored (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganden_monastery ).

Ganden before the Chinese invasion. Date unknown.

I purchased this 5X7 photo in 1985 and scanned it recently. I do not recall if bought in India or Lhasa.

Below are some pictures of what the place looked like in 1985. I believe most of the buildings were rebuilt. Now, a significant portion has been restored but it is nothing like the original.

Ganden mountaing top. 1985

Destroying this much real estate must have been a huge undertaking. I am not sure if it was bombed or explosives set on the ground or both. I believe that Tibetan fighters were lodged here so the monastery became a target.

Closer look at destruction. 1985

The monastery buildings covered a very large area.

Ganden, a closer look. 1985

The buildings were stone. Some of the walls were four feet thick. The magnitude and power of the destruction is saddening. All the gringos on the bus were moved by the sight.

Ganden walls. 1985

OK, enough of the tragedy of war. Future posts will try not to dwell on this topic.

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