Tradruk Monastery-Tsetang Region Highlights in Tibet
Tradruk Monastery is one of the earliest Buddhist temples in Tibet. Tradruk is said to have been the second of Tibet's earliest great geomantric temples after the Jokhang, and some sources even place it earlier. Under the rule of Trisong Detsen (755–797) and Mune Tsenpo, Tradruk was one of the three royal monasteries. It is said that the Tradruk Monastery was built by King Songtsan Gampo and later became the winter palace of the King and Princess Wencheng in Tsedang.
The original scale of Tradruk Monastery was very small. It has gone through three major period of reconstruction and expansion later. Around 1351, more Buddhist halls were added, and the basic pattern of Tradruk Monastery still seen today was laid. During the reign of the fifth Dalai Lama, the monasteries saw more repair and addition, including the golden dome. Later, the seventh Dalai Gesang Gyatso expanded the area of monastery by almost a hundred times, and the monastery became more ornate and extraordinary.
Tradruk Monastery contains the precious relics the Pear Tangkha, which, 2 meters in length, 1.2 meters in breadth, is made of 29,026 pearls and different precious stones by Naidong during the reign of Pamodrupa Kingdom. The most important treasure of Tradruk is a Tangka embroidered with thousands of pearls, which is said to have been made by princess Wen Cheng herself. It depicts Wen Cheng as White Tara. The Tangka is kept in the central chapel on the upper floor. It is one of only three Tangkas made by Wen Cheng. The two other ones are in the reliquary stupa of the 5th Dalai Lama in the Potala in Lhasa and in Shigatse. There is a famous "talking" statue of Padmasambhava at the age of eight years in the same room in Tradruk.