SONGZANLIN MONASTERY - CHINA
Gedan Songzanlin Monastery, also called Guihua Monastery, is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan province, as well as one of the 13 large lamaseries in the Kangzang region (the joint area of Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan). Built in 1679 along the mountains with a magnificent facade, the present monastery is a faithful imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. In 1724, during the reign of Emperor Yongzheng in the Qing Dynasty, the monastery was renamed the "Guihua Monastery". During its time of greatest prosperity, there were more than 3,000 monks in the monastery. Covering an area of 33.35 hectares, the monastery has solid walls and five gates. Two main lamaseries, Zhacang and Jikang, command the highest position in the architectural complex.