Drak Yerpa in Lhasa
Located in the La Riningbu Mountain, about 20 kilometers northeast of Lhasa, Drak Yerpa is a Nyingma sect(Red religion) temple as well as one of the four hidden meditation places in Tibet. It was built in the 7th century and has a history of 1,500 years. Drak Yerpa is one of the spiritual temples built by Songtsan Gambo, the first king of Tibet. The Songtsan Gambo built it for Princess Mansa to practice meditation. The biggest feature of Drak Yerpa is that combine temples and caves.
Founded in: 7th century
Party: Nyingma sect(Red religion)
Location: Dazhi County, Lhasa, Tibet
Opening hours: 9:00am -17:30 pm,every day
Ticket fee: RMB 30 yuan
Reputation: one of the four hidden meditation places in Tibet
1 The History of Drak Yerpa
In the middle of the 7th century, Songtsan Gambo, who was the first king of Tibet, built Drak Yerpa for his wife, Princess Mansa. On the cliffs of Yerba, 108 caves are well-known as meditation places for famous monks. There are more than a dozen existing caves in Drak Yerpa, among which the Songtsan Gambo Buddhism Cave was first built on the cliffs. The original cave contains Buddha statues, ancient murals, and statues of Songtsan Gambo. The Buddha statue has been destroyed in the past.
In the 8th century, Akamatsu Dezan advocated Buddhism and invited the master Padmasambhava from India to promote Buddhism in Tibet. When the master Padmasambhava practiced preaching in Drak Yerpa, he created practice caves which called the “108 Great Achievements”. And since then, Drak Yerpa has become the famous secret meditation place for many pilgrims and monks.
In the 11th century, Atisha was taught for five years at the Maitreya Temple in Drak Yerpa. Drak Yerpa became an important palace for Bka’-gdems-pa (one sect of Tibetan Buddhism).
In 1647, the Fifth Dalai Lama established a four-story Gelug temple in the Drak Yerpa. At the same time, he built many temples such as Providing Buddhist temples, Dalai Lama’s palace, etc. Those temples are dedicated to the status of Atisha, Tsongkhapa, etc. In the 18th century, the Drak Yerpa established the temples of secret Gelugpa sect.
2 The scenery around Drak Yerpa
Drak Yerpa is full of natural aura, where is a good place to meditate. The pines and cypresses on the hills are tall, and the mountains are covered with clear springs and streams. In the spring and summer, the mountains are blooming, and the birds are singing. The Drak Yerpa is hidden in the cliffs, very stunning.