Today you will explore Tibet’s two greatest monasteries, the Drepung and Sera Monasteries. Drepung Monastery, founded in 1416 at the foothill of a mountain, was once the largest and most influential monastery in Tibet. The monastery is divided into two different colleges; Drepung Loseling and Drepung Gomang. Nearby, the Ganden Podrang (Ganden Palace) is famous as the center of the Tibetan government established by the 5th Dalai Lama in 1642. Thereafter, drive to Nyew town, a thriving new town to the southern suburb of the city, to visit the world first Yak Museum, opens in 2014, the museum is dedicated to the Yak, it covers over 8,000 square kilometers with primary mission of celebrating the “spirit of Yaks.” There are three exhibition halls focusing on a particular theme. Features yaks in Science and Nature, Humanity and History, and Arit and Spirit.
After lunch, you will visit the ancient Sera Monastery, founded in 1419 by another of Tsongkapa’s disciples, Jamchen Chojey. This monastery is divided in half by pathways, with the eastern section containing the Great Assembly Hall and the monk residences and the western section containing three famous monastic colleges; Sera Je Dratsang, Sera Me Dratsang and the Ngakpa Dratsang, all instituted by Tsongkapa as monastic universities that catered to monks from 8 to 70 years old. Another notable feature of this monastery is the debates between the monks on Buddhist philosophy, which you can witness in the monastery courtyard. After then, we would drive to the Ganden Monastery in the late afternoon to begin the trek, which takes around 90 minutes to complete.