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The Sera Monastery is one of China's elite Buddhist monastic educational institutions. It dates back to the early 15th century.
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The Sera Monastery is a large complex of buildings. These include large religious halls, three respected Buddhist religious colleges, and many monk dormitories.
The major focus of the monastery is education, not worship (though the latter is still an intense pursuit). Sera Monastery draws both aspiring monks and learned scholars. The age span ranges from 8 to 60 and above.
Don't miss watching the monks debate with each other in a large courtyard. They emphasize their debate points with heavy foot stomping and loud claps of the hands. This highly animated debating method is part of the time-honored monastic educational system.
Over 10,000 monks (according to one estimate) once resided in the Sera Monastery. Today's number is under one thousand. Students have come from neighboring nations, including Japan.