Sera Thekchenling Monastery

This monastery, in northeastern Lhasa, was founded 1419 and once was home to 5,000-6,000 monks. The monastery is a teaching monastery and contains three colleges, plus a Great Assembly Hall.

One of the most interesting features at Sera Thekchenling is the Debating Courtyard, where young monks gather for vigorous question and answer sessions dealing with religious matters. One monk sits on the ground and is peppered with questions from another monk standing over him. A certain type of hand clap from the standing monk reveals whether the answer was correct.

The interiors of the monastery buildings are richly decorated in the traditional Tibetan style with representations of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, deities and lamas. The monastery also had a print shop where Buddhist sutras (religious texts) were printed.