Drepung Monastery

Five miles northwest of Lhasa lies the sprawling Drepung Monastery, founded in 1416. By the time of Dalai Lama V (1641), Drepung had over 10,000 monks in residence, making it the largest monastery in the world.

The monastery, however, was closed and suffered considerable damage during the chaotic years of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1977). It reopened in 1980 with approximately 500 monks, many of whom were young novices.

Photos here include the interior of the monastery, with its ornate depictions of religious icons and scenes.