Tibet Shalo Monastery, China

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Shalo Monastery

The Shalo Monastery lies in Congdui country of Tibet. It's 20 kilometers from the southeast of the Xigaze City.

In a quiet jungle valley, the ancient Shalo Monastery looks very outstanding with all villages nearby. This is its specialty that makes it different from other monasteries of the Yellow Communion.

In Tibet Shalo means new leaf and tender grass. It was built in 1084 and completed in 1087. The contemplative named Jiezunxiraojiong took the charge of founding.

Legends say that he once asked to his master when he selected the location. His master said: "I shoot my stick as an arrow, the place the arrow fall is the location." That stick just fell on a green grassland, so the Shalo Monastery had its location and name.

Thus "Congdui" means trade market in Tibetan. In ancient times the Congdui country was once the one of ten biggest trade markets of the whole Tibet. There were more than 100,000 households and a householder was established at that time.

In Yuan Dynasty traders are coming and going in an endless stream and extremely lively here. Later it declined gradually. But from the existing ancient constructions you can vaguely feel the grand occasion in those years.

There are two important figures linked closely with the Shalo Monastery. One is the founder of the monastery Jiezunxiraojiong, the other is the most learned pontiff named Budunrenqinzhu since the beginning of Tibet.

His contribution and dedication make this monastery receive many recommendations. After he passed away, the statue of Budunrenqinzhu was added in the Shalo Monastery and his turning bearing system were started to carry out.

The Shalo Monastery is made up of the Shalo Palace and the four storehouses. Nowadays the four storehouses have already become local-style dwelling houses around the palace. There are 49 houses in the whole palace and they cover an area of more than 1,500 square meters.

On the first floor of the palace there enshrined the statue of the Gautama and eight disciples and the Tibetan scripture "Ganzhuer" and "Danzhuer" were enshrined in the halls on both sides respectively. The compound construction of Han style is on the second floor.

The statues of the Gautama and Budunrenqinzhu are enshrined in the front of the palace. The left and right palaces are Tanchang Palace, the front palace is enshrined the statue of Cizun and the 16 arhats.

Speaking the construction of the Shalo Monastery, the murals are very important. The Tibetan murals in the Shalo Monastery have very high appreciation value because they have a very long history. Many figures, animals and plants all have the graceful miens of Han style.

On the winding corridor there are also murals and in them there are altar fields decorated richly and the Tibetan traditional auspicious patterns. On the 36 huge stone columns of the scripture hall there carved many Buddhist figures and in the winding corridor around there are all Buddhist Scripture and Buddhism stories.

The Shalo Monastery is an unadorned big monastery and it was listed as an emphatic preservation unit of cultural relics of the whole country by the China state council in 1988.

The four treasures to calm the monastery are handed down from hundreds of years to now in the Shalo Monastery. One is a scripture board put together by sandalwood, one is the holy water sealed by copper altar, one is the stone basin that the founder of the monastery Xiraojiongnai used to wash the face and one is a foundation stone carved 6-word saying.

That sandalwood scripture board is put together with 108 small boards. Allegedly it has the history of more than 700 years. That holy water of the copper altar is covered with red cloth and has the seal. It is said that the water is added every 12 years and it can wash 108 kinds of filths.