Pabonka Monastery is one of the most ancient Buddhist sacred sites in the Lhasa, Tibet.
The monastery is located some 8Km northeast of Lhasa, and is one of the most ancient Buddhist sites in Lhasa valley. The monastery was built in the 7th century by King Songtsen Gampo. In addition, it is on a flat-topped granite boulder said to resemble a tortoise.
History of Pabonka Monastery
Pabonka may well predate the Jokhang and Ramoche temples because King Songtsen Gampo and his queens seem to have gone there on the advice of Shridevi in order to suppress the supine ogress. So, they constructed a nine-story palace, known as Nyangdren Pabonka Podrang. Furthermore, then they went to retreat in order to determine the best sites for the construction of their geomantic temples. Loads of the Three Enlightened Families affirmed their support for this endeavour by leaving self-arising impressions of themselves in stone. It was later placed within the Rigsum Gonpo Lhakhang, which the king constructed along with 108 stupas.
The anti-Buddhist King Langdharma destroyed the nine-story palace in 841. Due to the destruction, the palace was rebuilt in the 11th century. The fifth Dalai Lama added an extra floor to the two-story building. It suffered damages in the Cultural Revolution and has undergone renovations in recent years. The Pabonka monastery also contains an original stone inscription of the Six-syllabled Mantra prepared by Tonmi Sambhota who created the Tibetan alphabet here during a three-year sojourn following his return from India.