Pelkor Chode Monastery
The Palcho Monastery or Pelkor Chode Monastery or Shekar Gyantse is the main monastery in the Nyangchu river valley in Gyantse, Gyantse County, Shigatse Prefecture, Tibet, China. The monastery precinct is a complex of structures which, apart from the Tsuklakhang Monastery, also includes its Kumbum, believed to be the largest such structure in Tibet, that is most notable for its 108 chapels in its several floors and the old Dzong or fort.
The earliest history of the Penchor Chode Monastery is traced to the ninth century. Pelkhor-tsen, son of Langdarma (anti Buddhist King of West Tibet) after whom the monastery is named as Pelkor Chode, lived here and attempted to perpetuate the Yarlung dynasty of his father who had been assassinated.
Gyantse town was established between the 14th and 15th centuries as a feudatory, with the Sakya sect playing a crucial overlord role. During this period, the Buddhist monuments were also built with the Dzong (the old fort) followed by the Kumbum and the Pekor monastery. All three structures have been dated. Tsuklakhang monastery was built by prince Rabton Kunzang Phak between 1418–25. However, Gyantse's historical importance declined by the end of the 15th century.
The Tsuklakhang, the main temple of the monastery was built in 1418–1428 by Rabten Kunzang Phak, the second Prince of Gyantse, who was a devotee of Kedrub Je (1385–1438), one of Tsongkapa's leading disciples later recognized as the 1st Panchen Lama.
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