Samye Gompa, 'Samye Monastery', is the oldest monastery in Tibet and one of the most important historic landmarks in Yarlung’s Valley of Kings.
A circular wall that contains 108 chortens surrounds the large monastery complex. The Samye Monastery was designed strictly according to the Buddhist principles of the universe and India’s Temple of Odantapuri served as its model. The main temple in the centre of the monastery symbolizes the mystical Mount Meru that is surrounded by four temples, each located in one of the four directions of the compass.
The introduction of Buddhist monastery culture and the decline in the Bon system of faith with its demonic beliefs, gave Tibetan society a new structure.
Despite its great age and dramatic history, Samye Monastery is still one of the most beautiful and unique religious sanctuaries in Tibet.
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