Sera Monastery is one of the three great Gelugpa university monasteries in Tibet (The other two are Ganden Monastery and Drepung Monastery). Sera Monastery tour is a popular tour on the itinerary of many Lhasa visitors. The monastery was founded in 1419 by Jamchen Chojey of Sakya Yeshe, a disciple of Tsongkhapa. The name of the monastery came from the fact that the site where the monastery occupies had many wild roses. Sera Monastery houses the Great Assembly Hall and the dwellings in addition to three monastic colleges. The structures in the monastery complex also form a clockwise pilgrimage circuit.
Sera Monastery sits at the foot of Tatipu Hill in the northern suburb of Lhasa. It is about 5km (3.1 mi) from Jokhang Temple and 6km from Potala Palace in downtown. It is especially famous for the unique Buddhist activity “Monk Debate” that takes place in the afternoon. Between 3pm and 5pm from Monday to Saturday, the monks gather together and challenge each other on matters of philosophy. It is one of the most extraordinary sights you can expect among all your Tibetan monastery visits.
Sera Monastery tour is one of the best short Lhasa tours we especially like to recommend to our guests. If you have a free afternoon in Lhasa and are looking for a most unique Tibetan Buddhism experience, this tour with our knowledgeable English speaking local guide is the ideal option for you!
What you can expect
Our local Tibetan English speaking guide and driver will pick you up in downtown Lhasa. A popular meetup point is Lhasa Ganggyang Hotel parking lot on Beijing East Road in the historic center. If you have a special request for meetup location we can happily accommodate that as well.
We will arrive at Sera Monastery and begin our tour. The highlights of our visit include touring the main architectural structures of the monastery and watching a monk debate session in the main courtyard. Inside the halls, you can find delicate religious objects and decorations such as scriptures in gold powder, colorful statues, and narrative murals. Our guide will tell you about the history of the monastery and everything you want to learn about Tibetan Buddhism. During the debate session, you will see hundreds of red-robed monks assemble in small groups striking different poses as a way to engage in religious topics. It is a spectacle you can't observe anywhere else.
After an enriching time in Sera Monastery, we will conclude our tour and send you back to the historic center or wherever you prefer in downtown Lhasa. We wish you the best on your further journey. If you have a great time with us, we welcome you to check out more Tibetan culture tours that we offer.