Sera Monastery

  • Chinese Name: 色拉寺
  • Address: No.1 Sera Road, Chengguan District,lhasa,Tibet, China
  • Location:拉萨市城关区色拉路1号
  • Opening hours: 08:30~17:00
  • Number of monks: 550
  • Recommend tour time2-3 hour
  • Buliding Time:1419 AD
  • phone: 0891-6383639
  • Offical Website:
  • Total Area: spanning 28 acres
  • Admission Fee: 50 RMB/Per
  • Ticket price: ticket + manual explanation 598 yuan
  • Completion time: 1434 AD
  • Features: Drepung Monastery and Gandan Monastery are collectively called the three major monasteries in Lhasa
  • Suitable season for play: all seasons
  • Suggested play time: 2-3 hours
  • Famous attractions: Abazakang
 Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery

Sera Temple is called “Sera Mahayana Temple”, one of the six main monasteries of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Together with Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery, it is called the three major monasteries of Lhasa. Located at the foothills of Selawuzi Mountain, 3 kilometers in the northern outskirts of Lhasa, surrounded by willow forests, it has been a place for eminent monks and living Buddhas to teach scriptures since ancient times. There are many small monks and nuns surrounding them.

In its heyday, there were more than 8,000 monks in the temple, which was slightly inferior to Drepung Monastery in scale.

There are tens of thousands of Vajra Buddha statues preserved in Sera Monastery, most of which are made locally in Tibet. There are also many bronze Buddha statues brought from the mainland or India. A large number of original color murals are preserved on the four walls of the main hall and the Zacang sutra halls. The most famous statue is the “Matou Mingwang” statue in the main hall

The architecture of Sera Monastery is dense but not crowded, cluttered and not chaotic, adapted to local conditions, and the main body is prominent. It embodies the unique style of the Gelug Sect. It is completely a religious city.

 Sera Monastery

Sera Monastery Things To Do:

Debating scriptures

Sera Monastery’s debates have always been famous in Tibetan areas, and it is also the focus of visiting Sera Monastery. The scripture debating ceremony of Sera Monastery is held in the debating hall on the north side of the temple. It starts at 3:00 pm every day and lasts until 5:00 pm. It is not available on Sundays and special festivals, so you need to pay attention. When debating scriptures, monks often sit on the ground while the other stands opposite, debating scriptures with exaggerated movements, which is very interesting.

Appreciate the architecture of Sera Temple

You can walk to see the architectural Buddhist hall of Sera Monastery. The perimeter of the entire monastery is about 1.5 kilometers. The layout of Sera Monastery is centered on the Tsochin Hall, surrounded by many buildings of major Zhacang. Different from the buildings of Chinese Buddhism in the Mainland, Sera Monastery is not arranged symmetrically on the central axis, but is scattered among the mountains. Among the famous temples are the Matou Mingwang Hall and the Tsochin Hall, which can be visited in particular.

The Matou Mingwang Hall enshrines the famous Matou Mingwang statue in Sera Monastery. Matou Mingwang is the Dharma protector of Tantric Buddhism in Tibetan Buddhism. It is said that this horse-headed Mingwang statue was excavated underground along with the sound of horse neighing when Master Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, heard the neighing sound while walking. Powerful magic power to ward off evil spirits. This is also the focus of believers visiting Sera Monastery. You can join the ranks of believers and pay homage to pray for yourself and ward off evil spirits.

The Tsochin Hall in the center is the larger building of Sera Monastery, supported by 108 large pillars, and can accommodate more than 8,000 monks when religious ceremonies are held. The statue of the founder of the temple, Sakyamuni Yixi, is enshrined in the hall. The hat on the head of the statue is very unique, with Sanskrit written on it. This hat was bestowed by Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty when he was preaching in the mainland. You can go and find it yourself.

Climb the back mountain to see the panorama of Lhasa

The back mountain of Sera Monastery is relatively high, and the panoramic view of Lhasa can be seen from the top of the mountain. It is a resort for mountain climbers. The relative height of the mountain is about 500 meters. It takes about 4 hours to climb the mountain. It requires a certain amount of physical strength. However, if you go up a little bit along the mountain road and look back at the city of Lhasa, you will have a very wide view. Tourists with poor physical strength or who are prone to high reflexes when they just arrived in Lhasa are recommended not to go up. to the top.

Sera Monastery Photo

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Sera Monastery Video

Sera Monastery Tourist Map

Tibet Tourist Map

Sera Monastery Travel Guide

must see tips

  1. Every year on December 27th of the Tibetan calendar, the monastery will have a Vajra Blessing Festival. There will be a blessed Vajra for believers to bless and exorcise evil spirits. At that time, many believers will come here to participate in the ceremony, and tourists can also come here to pray and exorcise evil spirits.
  2. According to the rituals of Tibetan Buddhism, walking around the temple, turning around the scriptures, and turning around the hall should all be in a clockwise direction.
  3. To respect the beliefs of the local people, do not use your fingers to point to the Buddha statues, take off your hat and be quiet after entering the main hall, and do not take pictures casually.
  4. After three o’clock in the afternoon, many halls will be closed. It is recommended to visit here in the morning or at noon, and you can look at the debates in the afternoon.
  5. Try to keep quiet when watching and filming the debates, and do not get close to take pictures all the time, so as to minimize the impact on monks.
  6. The altitude of Sera Monastery is relatively high. Tourists who are new to Lhasa should be careful not to exercise vigorously to avoid high altitude. When climbing the back mountain of Sera Monastery, you must do what you can, and you don’t have to force yourself to climb to the top.

The monks of Sera Monastery have a sutra-monitoring activity at 3 o’clock in the afternoon every day

Sera Monastery

The most famous statue is the statue of King Horse Head King Kong. In the four-story Jizhacang Dharma Protector Temple, walk straight into the main hall, pass a row of small halls, and the innermost one is. The locals would stick their heads into a small shrine and touch the base of the statue with their heads.

The Emperor Yongle bestowed on the Shakyamuni, and the 108 letters “Kanzhuer” in Beijing printed with cinnabar in 1410 (the existing 105 letters) is the most precious. It is not only exquisitely made, but also the first to be printed with engraving. Tibetan Tripitaka

You can see the entire Sera Monastery from a bird’s-eye view at the Buddha Tan in the northeast of Sera Monastery. Every year on the Seton Festival, the Buddha drying ceremony is held here

Sera Monastery