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Tashilhunpo Monastery, one of the six major monasteries of Gelugpa (or Yellow Hat Sect), is located on a hill in the center of the city and was founded in 1447 by the First Dalai Lama. Through continuous expansion, it has become a complex containing palace, executive places, tombs, religion temple and other buildings. The name of the monastery in Tibetan means: "all fortune and happiness gather here" or "heap of glory".
Standing at the entrance of Tashilhunpo, visitors can see the grand buildings with golden roofs and white walls. Tashilhunpo Monastery covers an area of nearly 300,000 square meters.The main structures found in the Tashilhunpo Monastery are The Maitreya Chapel, The Panchen Lama's Palace and The Kelsang Temple.
There are four “Zha Cang” (places for studying Buddhist) situated in the Monastery. They are home to precious cultural relics handed down from ancient times such as massive ancient Tibetan scriptures, notable Buddhist Scriptures, jades, official seals, figure of Buddha, rare china of different dynasties, texture and biographies of Panchen at different ages as well as presents that emperors in Qing Dynasty gave to Panchen of different ages and so on.
The remarkable Thangka Wall which is nine floors high was built by the First Dalai Lama in 1468. The wall displays the images of Buddha on the 14th, 15th and 16th in May every year following the Tibetan Lunar Calendar. The images are so humongous that one can easily see it in Shigatse City.