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The Labrang Monastery is a large, sprawling Buddhist complex of significant importance. It is second in size only to the Potala Palace monastery (a Hillman Gold Medal winner) in Lhasa, Tibet.
From the tourist's perspective, the Labrang Monastery ranks high on the scale in ambiance. There is much to explore including interesting halls and temples - and a worthy museum exhibiting statues and relics.
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Over 4,000 monks once inhabited Labrang (today the count is several hundred).
Don't miss in Labrang the early morning gathering of the monks at the steps of the main hall. They collectively chant as they wait for the prayer building to open its doors.
The most interesting periods to visit Labrang are during one of its annual festivals. By far the best event is Monlam, the Great Prayer Festival. It takes place sometime from February to early March (the exact dates vary because they are based on the Tibetan lunar calendar).
The Labrang Monastery dates back to the year 1709.
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