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Ganden Monastery

Ganden Monastery lies about 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of Lhasa. The main road east is good tarmac to beyond Dagze Dzong and then rough gravel for the last few kilometers. A track turns south past two villages then zig-zags for nearly 600 meters (2,000 feet) up the mountainside to the monastery. 

Situated at 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) in a bowl like an amphitheater, Ganden was Lhasa’s second biggest monastery and at times the strongest of the three that dominated the government. Tsong Khapa established it in 1409, earlier than either Drepung or Sera, as a place to train moral, disciplined monks and to work out the reformed version of Tibetan Buddhism that soon evolved into the Yellow Hat Sect.