Labrang Monastery

Xiahe Labrang Monastery Introduction and Travel Guide

Morgen Mo
1087 Words/5 Minutes, By Morgen Mo, Updated May 30, 2024

Labrang Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in Xiahe County, Gansu Province, China. It was founded in 1709 and is one of the largest and most important monasteries of the Gelug (Yellow Hat) school of Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet. Labrang Monastery is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional Tibetan architecture, as well as its teachings and practices in the Buddhist religion. Thousands of monks and tourists visit the monastery each year to study, pray, and learn about Tibetan culture.

Who and when built the Labrang Monastery

The Labrang Monastery was founded in 1709 by the first Jamyang Zhêdü, Ngawang Tsöndrü, a prominent Tibetan lama of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. It was built in the traditional Tibetan architectural style and served as an important center of Buddhist learning and cultural exchange. Over the centuries, the monastery grew in size and influence, attracting thousands of pilgrims and scholars from across Tibet and neighboring regions. Today, the Labrang Monastery remains an important center of Tibetan Buddhism and continues to be a major pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists.

Why built the Labrang Monastery

The Labrang Monastery was built in 1709 in the region of Amdo, Tibet, by the first Jamyang Shepa, Ngawang Tsondru. It was built as a center for the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism and became one of the largest and most influential monasteries in the region. The monastery was seen as a symbol of cultural, religious and political power, attracting thousands of pilgrims and scholars from all over Tibet and the surrounding regions. It was also an important center for the transmission of Buddhist teachings, hosting debates and discussions on various aspects of Buddhism and attracting scholars and master practitioners from all over the world.

The best time to visit Labrang Monastery

The best time to visit Labrang Monastery would depend on personal preferences, but generally the period between May to September, when the weather is warm and dry, is a popular time for tourists. During this period, traditional Buddhist festivals and ceremonies are also held at the monastery, providing a unique cultural experience for visitors. Winter months from November to March can be cold and snowy, making it more challenging for travel, but the serene and tranquil atmosphere can be appealing for some visitors as well.

Things to do

Labrang Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu, China. Visitors can see and experience the following at the monastery:

Monastic life: Observe the daily activities of the monks and nuns, including prayers, meditation, and classes.

Cultural heritage: Explore the rich Tibetan cultural heritage through the intricate architecture, colorful murals, and Buddhist scriptures.

Religious ceremonies: Witness traditional religious ceremonies and rituals, such as the debate sessions, butter sculptures, and chanting.

Market fair: Visit the Labrang Monastery during its annual market fair, where local Tibetans gather to trade goods and participate in religious ceremonies.

Community interaction: Interact with the local Tibetan community and learn about their traditions and way of life.

Overall, visiting Labrang Monastery offers a unique opportunity to gain insights into Tibetan Buddhist culture and spirituality.

Labrang Monastery travel guide

Labrang Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in Xiahe County, Gansu Province, China. It is one of the six largest monasteries of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the most important cultural and spiritual sites for Tibetans.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Labrang Monastery:

Timings: The monastery is open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Visitors are allowed to enter the temple from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Dress Code: Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and knees. Shoes must be removed before entering the temple.

Admission fee: The admission fee is around CNY 50.

Cultural Respect: Visitors are expected to behave respectfully and follow the rules and customs of the monastery. This includes not taking photographs inside the temples and not engaging in any disrespectful behavior.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit Labrang Monastery is during the Shoton Festival, which is held annually in August. During this time, visitors can enjoy traditional Tibetan cultural performances, including masked dances, and opera performances.

Labrang Monastery is a beautiful and spiritual place that is well worth a visit for those interested in Tibetan Buddhism and culture.

Ways to get to the Labrang Monastery from Lanzhou

There are several ways to get to Labrang Monastery from Lanzhou, which is located in Gansu Province, China:

By Bus: Regular buses run from Lanzhou to Xiahe (the city where the Labrang Monastery is located). The journey takes around 5-6 hours and costs around 70-100 RMB.

By Train: Trains run from Lanzhou to Xiahe regularly and it takes around 5 hours.

By Flight: There are flights available from Lanzhou to Xiahe which take around 1 hour.

By Private Car: You can also hire a private car, either with a driver or without, for a more comfortable and flexible journey. This is the most convenient but also the most expensive option.

It is recommended to plan your trip in advance and book transportation tickets accordingly.

Where to stay overnight

Stay around the Monastery

There is a guesthouse in Labrang Monastery where you can stay overnight. It is called Labrang Tashi Kyil Guesthouse and offers basic accommodation facilities for travelers visiting the monastery. It is a great option for those who want to immerse themselves in the monastic life and culture. You can make a reservation by contacting the monastery directly.

Stay in Xiahe Town

It is about 2KM away from Xiahe Town to the monastery, and there are some of the luxury hotels in Xiahe include:

  • Labrang Tashi Kyil Hotel
  • Xiahe Laka Grand Hotel
  • Lanzhou Xiahe Inn
  • Lanzhou Xiahe Boutique Hotel
  • Xiahe Lotus Garden Hotel

These hotels offer comfortable and luxurious accommodations, with modern amenities and excellent services. They provide a great base for exploring the town and the surrounding areas, and a comfortable stay for those looking for a little extra comfort and convenience during their travels.

Morgen Mo

Hi, I’m Morgen Mo, if you like my article, please share it with your friends. Any sugguestions on this article, please contact me. Thanks!

Want to plan a private Gansu tour? CREATE NOW


CHINA OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019 We researched several companies and studied reviews on Trip Adviser before contacting who did a very China Culture Tour with an initial query. Right from the outset Grace who owns the company was excellent. She emailed detailed with pictures information and a suggested…read more details

Karen from US

Ready to Create a Unique Dream Travel?

Create My Vacation