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Photographer's Note

This afternoon we had the opportunity to go on an optional tour of the Sera and Papungka Monasteries which I didn't want to miss. "Sera Monastery, one of the largest of the Gelugpa sect. In the Tibetan language, sera means "wild rose garden." The monastery earned the name for the opulent wild roses that grew all around the site centuries ago. At its peak, the monastery was the home for more than 7,000 monks. While the number of roses and monks have diminished with the passage of time, the monastery and its grounds have only increased in cultural significance and emotional power. Built in 1419 - the year that the sect's founder, Je Tsongkhapa, died-Sera Monastery features the largest tsokchen (main assembly hall) in the town, four stories high and with nearly 11,000 square feet of floor space. The monastery was built to house precious gifts from the emperor to one of Je Tsongkhapa's disciples." Previous text from OAT trip booklet.

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