Samye Monastery

Samye Monastery is the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. Founded in the 8th century by Padmasambhava and King Trisong Detsen, Samye began the centuries-long tradition of Tibetan Buddhist monasticism that continues today. Encircled by a stone wall with a large central temple and smaller ancillary temples, the mandala lay-out of the Monastery complex represents the Buddhist cosmos. Renowned for its architecture, gilded statues, vivid murals and an unparalleled collection of ancient relics, Samye Monastery is the most important pilgrimage destination and the heart of Buddhism in Tibet.