The Ganden Monastery was built in 1410 by Tsongkhapa. This makes it the first ever Gelugpa monastery in Tibet. Well preserved cultural relics can be found in the monastery. These historical relics date back to 1644 and are part of China’s rich history and culture.
With over four thousand monks residing in the monastery, the Ganden Monastery is one of the three principal monasteries along with the Dreprung and the Sera Monasteries. The Ganden Monastery is 57 kilometers east of Lhasa and is situated in the Wangbori Mountain that has an altitude of 3,800 meters.
The Ganden Monastery is accessible through bus from Jokhang Square which is available every day. The bus leaves at 7:00 am in the morning and comes back at 2:00pm in the afternoon.
A roundtrip fare is available for visitors for a nominal fee. Travel time from Jokhan Square to the Ganden Monastery is approximately two hours.
The Monastery opens at 9:00 am and closes at 4:00 pm in the afternoon. For visitors, there is an entrance fee to be paid upon entry. Locals enter the Ganden Monastery for free. Normally, it takes two hours to finish a tour of the whole monastery.
The main assembly hall of the monastery and the Tantric colleges are two of the main attractions present in the monastery. West of the assembly halls lay the Buddhist Building called Yangbajian. The Buddhist doctrine -protecting hall, the Numen Chapel, the Shidongkang Hall, and the Shangshi Hall can be found in the Yangbajian.
Buses going to the Ganden Monastery are also available in Barkhor Square. Travel time from Barkhor is roughly two and a half hours so the bus departs thirty minutes earlier at 6:30 am compared to the Buses from Jokhang Square which leaves at 7:00 am.