Doloritas Roundtree

Written by Doloritas Roundtree

Modified & Updated: 28 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Pelkor Chode Monastery, also known as Pelkhor Choede Monastery, is a magnificent Buddhist monastery located in Gyantse, Tibet. It is renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and spiritual significance. This ancient monastery holds a unique charm that has attracted countless visitors and pilgrims from around the world.

In this article, we will uncover 17 unbelievable facts about Pelkor Chode Monastery that will deepen your understanding and appreciation for this remarkable landmark. From its impressive three-tiered structure to its fascinating collection of artifacts, each fact will unveil a different facet of this iconic monastery.

Whether you are a history buff, a spiritual seeker, or simply an adventurer seeking to explore the wonders of Tibet, this article will provide you with a comprehensive insight into the captivating world of Pelkor Chode Monastery.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pelkor Chode Monastery is a symbol of religious harmony, housing three different Tibetan Buddhist sects, and showcasing stunning architectural styles from Tibet, Han, and Nepal.
  • The monastery, with its Kumbum Stupa and ancient scriptures, is a popular pilgrimage destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering breathtaking views and cultural significance.
Table of Contents

A Symbol of Harmony

Pelkor Chode Monastery is known as a symbol of religious harmony, as it houses three different sects of Tibetan Buddhism – Sakya, Kagyu, and Gelug.

Ancient Origins

The monastery was founded in the 15th century, during the reign of the fifth Karmapa, Deshin Shekpa. It has since been an important center of spiritual and cultural activities in Tibet.

Striking Architectural Style

The monastery showcases a unique blend of Tibetan, Han, and Nepalese architectural styles. Its intricate woodwork, delicate murals, and exquisite statues are a testament to the master craftsmanship of the artisans of that era.

Majestic Main Assembly Hall

The main assembly hall of Pelkor Chode Monastery is called Tsuklakhang, which is adorned with beautiful frescoes depicting various Buddhist deities and scenes from Tibetan history.

Iconic Kumbum Stupa

The monastery is famous for its Kumbum Stupa, a nine-tiered structure with 108 chapels containing thousands of Buddhist statues. It is considered one of the finest examples of Tibetan religious art.

Impressive Height

Standing tall at 35 meters, the Kumbum Stupa is the tallest stupa in Tibet. Its golden pinnacle adds to its grandeur.

Preservation of Ancient Scriptures

Pelkor Chode Monastery houses a vast collection of ancient Tibetan Buddhist scriptures and manuscripts, preserving a significant part of Tibetan cultural heritage.

Overcoming Obstacles

The monastery has withstood numerous challenges throughout its history, including fires, earthquakes, and political upheavals. Yet, it has managed to preserve its sanctity and spiritual importance.

Pilgrimage Destination

Pelkor Chode Monastery is a popular destination for Buddhist pilgrims, with devotees traveling from far and wide to seek blessings and enlightenment.

Breathtaking Views

Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Gyantse town, the monastery offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.

Cultural Exchange

The monastery has played a vital role in fostering cultural exchange between Tibet, Nepal, and India, with scholars and practitioners visiting from different parts of the Himalayan region.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1994, Pelkor Chode Monastery, along with the nearby Palkhor Fort, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its outstanding universal value.

Spiritual Retreat

Pelkor Chode Monastery provides a peaceful and serene environment for monks and visitors seeking spiritual retreat and contemplation.

Butter Sculpture Festival

Every year, the monastery hosts the Butter Sculpture Festival, where intricate sculptures made from colored butter are displayed, showcasing the artistic talents of the monks.

Colonial Influence

The monastery’s architecture reflects the influence of the British colonial era, as it was constructed during a time when British officers were stationed nearby.

Revival of Tibetan Buddhism

After a period of decline during China’s Cultural Revolution, Pelkor Chode Monastery has witnessed a revival of Tibetan Buddhism, attracting devotees and scholars from across the globe.

Cultural Significance

Pelkor Chode Monastery is not only a religious site but also a place of cultural significance, serving as a reminder of Tibet’s rich heritage and spiritual traditions.

In conclusion, Pelkor Chode Monastery stands as a remarkable testament to the harmonious coexistence of different Buddhist sects and the preservation of Tibetan culture. Its architectural beauty, historical importance, and spiritual aura make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Tibet.


In conclusion, Pelkor Chode Monastery is an extraordinary place that holds remarkable significance in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery’s rich history, architectural beauty, and spiritual ambience make it a must-visit for anyone interested in exploring the cultural heritage of Tibet. From the mesmerizing mural paintings to the stunning statues, Pelkor Chode Monastery offers an immersive experience that transports visitors into a world of tranquility and reverence.This sacred site exemplifies the harmonious coexistence of different Buddhist traditions, making it a unique and special place. Whether one is a devout Buddhist or simply curious about the wonders of the world, Pelkor Chode Monastery has something to offer for everyone. Visiting this remarkable landmark is not only a journey through time but also a chance to connect with a profound spiritual legacy that continues to inspire and captivate.So, if you ever find yourself in Tibet, make sure to set aside time to explore Pelkor Chode Monastery and immerse yourself in its awe-inspiring beauty and spiritual essence.


Q: What is the history behind Pelkor Chode Monastery?

A: Pelkor Chode Monastery was founded in the 15th century and holds great significance in Tibetan Buddhism. It was built to unify the three main Tibetan Buddhist sects, and its establishment marked a historic moment of religious tolerance and harmony.

Q: What is the architectural style of Pelkor Chode Monastery?

A: Pelkor Chode Monastery showcases a unique blend of architectural styles, including Tibetan, Nepalese, and Han Chinese influences. Its stunning pagodas, temples, and chapels are a testament to the artistic brilliance of the artisans who worked on its construction.

Q: Can visitors explore the interior of Pelkor Chode Monastery?

A: Yes, visitors are allowed to explore the interiors of Pelkor Chode Monastery. However, it is important to respect the sacredness of the site and adhere to any rules or restrictions set by the monastery authorities.

Q: Are there any religious ceremonies or events that take place at Pelkor Chode Monastery?

A: Pelkor Chode Monastery is a vibrant center of religious activity, and various ceremonies and events are held throughout the year. Visitors may have the opportunity to witness or participate in these ceremonies, providing a unique insight into Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

Q: How long does it take to explore Pelkor Chode Monastery?

A: The time required to explore Pelkor Chode Monastery can vary depending on individual preferences. On average, visitors can spend anywhere from a few hours to half a day exploring the different temples, chapels, and pagodas that make up the monastery complex.

Immerse yourself in rich Tibetan Buddhism at Dalai Lama Temple Complex, where ancient traditions thrive. Discover serenity and enlightenment within Buddhist monasteries like Amaravati. Celebrate cultural heritage and mountain traditions at festivals that showcase vibrant customs.

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