Shannan is the birthplace of Tibetan ancient culture, and many historic temples and monuments are located here. If you depart from Lhasa, head east along the Yarlung Zangbo River, in the Changguo Township of Gongga County on the way to the Samye Monastery, in the Zongyong Mountain Range on the Yalong Zangbo River sits a small but important monastery. This is the Dorje Drak Monastery. It is an ideal place for peaceful retreat, and it is also a strategic place from a defense perspective.
Dorje Drak Monastery is a famous monastery of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the six Nyingma Monasteries in Tibet. ‘Dorje’ means ‘Vajra’, and ‘Drak’ means ‘Stone Mountain’. The monastery obtains this name because of the natural Vajra pattern on the mountain behind it.
Dorje Drak Monastery is the first monastery among the three famous monasteries of Nyingma. It was built in the late 16th century by a famous Nyingma lama. Among the many sects in Tibet, the history of Nyingma School is the oldest. “Nyingma” means “ancient” or “old”. The Nyingma faction believes that they passed on the secret books of the Tibetan Buddhism before the Randama destroyed the Buddha, that is, the old secret curse.
In 1718, the Junggar Mongolian soldiers invaded Tibet. Dorje Drak monastery was destroyed by Mongolian cavalry. Later, it was revived by the local government and its influence began spread over the entire Tibetan area. Its teachings have been passed down to this day. It was destroyed by the Cultural Revolution again before restoration began recently.