Tibet Xigaze Sagya Temple, China

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Sagya Temple

The Sagya Temple lies in the Sagya Town, which is 130 kilometers away from the southwest of Xigaze. Almost everyone who goes to Xigaze will go visit the Sagya Temple, because it has the title of the second Dunhuang in Tibet.

Walking towards west from the capital of Tibet - Xigaze and crossing over the Jiacuola Mountain, which has the elevation over 5,000 meters, you will see the Sagya Basin between the Gangdisi Mountain Range and the Himalayas Mountain Range. That purplish red "castle" erecting in the center of the basin is the famous Sagya Temple.

At that time, the Sagya Temple was divided into south temple and north temple. The north temple no longer stands. Nowadays and the south was built in 1268 and preserved to presence.

Now the so-called Sagya Temple refers to the south Sagya Temple. It is a group of typical castle construction of Yuan Dynasty, covering an area of about 5,000 square meters.

The appearance is very special and it has two rings of city walls, on which there are stacks. There are watchtowers on the four corners and the city river outside of the city wall.

Looking at it suddenly, you will feel that it is like an ancient warring defense system. The city wall has two other colors - black and white including purplish and it is the important symbol of Sagyaism. Purple is the symbol of the Wenshu Bodhisattva, black is the symbol of Vajra Patron Saint, and white is the symbol of the Guanyin Bodhisattva. The three colors form a flower, so the Tibetan Buddhism commonly called "Flowerism".

The main palace called "Lakangqinmo", meaning the main god hall. There are 40 big pillars inside the main hall. Among them, there are four thickest pillars. Each diameter has 1.5 meters and it takes three adults to put their arms around the pillar.

The local people call them some interesting names "Jianaseqingawa", meaning it is the pillar sent by the emperor of Yuan Dynasty. The other three pillars are respectively call "the pillar sent by male tiger", "the pillar sent by wild yak", and "the pillar sent by Sea God" and they all have interesting origins.

These huge pillars of gigantic stature have not a bit patches. Because of textual criticism, they are coming from the Zhentang Gully Forest in south of Sagya Town belonging to the Himalayas nature reserve area.

In the main hall there enshrined the three generations of Sakyamuni Buddha image and five founders of Sagya Buddha image. Inside the manes tower hall, there are also successive Sagya Masters' manes towers. Almost every local people know the five Sagya founders and many of them can say several stories to you.

The artistic treasures in the Sagya Temple are quite rich and they have a very high value, called "the second Dunhuang" in Tibet. The mural paintings of Yuan Dynasty inside the temple are about 10,000 square meters totally. Unique is the image of the Sagya Master and Altar City.

Only about the Altar City, there are over 130 paintings. The Tibetan scripture classics are very profound and vast. There are more than 2,800 scriptures are manuscript classics of Yuan Dynasty and Ming Dynasty. The Beiye Sutra that was from old India and had thousands of years' history has been invisible in the world, but you can see it in the Sagya Temple.

At the same time, preservation on large number of Beiye Sutra recorded the contents of medical science, astronomy; calculation and so forth took placed in the Sagya Temple. Among them, written in Tibet, Chinese, and Mongolian total 3,636 pages.

Additionally, the preservation of Tibet scriptures copied with gold powder and cinnabar were mostly in the Sagya Temple. The sealing lawsuits and imperial seals that the emperor of Yuan Dynasty gave the local officials in Sagya are ancient prose things now.