1)Take bus No.3,if by taxi for 10RMB.
Since the 5th Dalai Lama chose the site through divination in 1679, the monastery has grown into the most important community of its kind in Yunnan. Naturally, throughout its history spanning 325 years there have been ups and downs - the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), for instance, saw the lamasery almost completely destroyed - but the strong faith of the people in Shangri-La has always prevailed, and today Songzanlin once again houses more than 700 monks and lamas.
Built in the style of Potala Palace in Lhasa, the magnificent monastery complex resides on top of a hill and consists of the two Zhacang and Jikang lamaseries - which take on the form of five-story Tibetan watchtowers - five gates, numerous sub-lamaseries and hundreds of rooms for the monks. Walking up the 146 steps that lead to the main prayer hall is a tiring exercise at 3,300m above sea level, but it allows you to trace mentally the pilgrimage route that generations of devout Buddhists living on the plateau take on their knees and foreheads every year.
On the way, you will come across study rooms where young monks who typically enter the monk hood at the age of 5 are trained in the scriptures and foundations of monastic life. Time will be spent on the Buddhist canons, yet crafts, astrology and medicine are also on the curriculum. In addition, the boys retreat for hours each day to reflect and meditate on the meaning and implications of Buddhist philosophy.
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