Tran means roc and druk means dragon in Tibetan. The monastery got is name from the legend that it could only be built after Songtsan Gampo had turned into a roc and conquered an evil dragon. It's said that renowned figures in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, such as Padmasambhava and Milariba, had practised Buddhism nearby after it was built and the remaining relics are Sacred land for the devotees.
Trandruk was built during the reign of Songtsan Gampo, and later extensionswere designed by Juequjian of it. It's said Princess Wencheng stayed and practised Buddhism here at one time and left some relics. Trandruk later converted to Gelugpa and experienced large-scale reconstruction and later it belonged to Gelupa (one of the Sects of Tibetan Buddhism).
Constructed as the first Buddhist chapel in Tibet, the Trandruk Monastery is situated at the southern slope of the Mt. Gangpo Ri about two kilometers (one mile) from the Tsedang Town. Initially, the monastery was built during the reign of Emperor Songtsen Gampo (617-650), who founded the Tibet Regime in ancient China. Later on, it belonged to the Yellow Hat Sect and had been reconstructed in the early 18th century. So far, it has a history of about 1,300 years
The Trandruk Monastery comprises two main buildings: the Naiding Lakang (a chapel) and the Main Assembly Hall (also called Tshomchen). Consisting of two floors, the Naiding Lakang is said to be the oldest chapel in the monastery. On the first floor is enshrined the statue of Songtsen Gampo, and Padmasambhava and other Buddhas are worshiped on the second floor. The Tshomchen is composed of the courtyard, the Great Hall and the cloister around it. On the walls of the cloister were painted murals and the images of Lobsang Gyatso who was the fifth Dalai Lama and other famous hierarchs. There are 12 Buddhist chapels in the Great Hall. The Cuoqing Lakang is the main chapel. In the chapel is enshrined the statue of Sakyamuni and other two Buddhas with ten Bronze Bodhisattvas flanked on the left and right. On the second floor of the Great Hall are the dwelling of Dalai Lama and some other chapels.
Legend has it that Padmasambhava and other Buddhist hierarchs once practiced Buddhism near the Trandruk Monastery, which made the monastery renowned. Many pilgrims are attracted to come to the monastery to worship.
You can get a public bus from NaiDong Road in Tsedang to Trandruk Monastery for 2 Yuan. Alternatively it costs 10 Yuan to get there by motor tricycle or 5 Yuan to by local tractor. As it's only 2 kilometers from NaiDong Road to the Monastery, you can walk there in about an hour.
Tour Trandruk Monastery
The lower layout of the main hall is similar to that of Jokhang in Lhasa. Once many ancient murals and the sculptures of Songtsan Gampo, Princess Wencheng, Nepal Princess Chizun and the minister Ludongzan were kept in the monastery. But they were gone for some historical reasons. Later the fifth Dalai Lama made some repairs and added a golden roof and there were further repairs made by the thirteenth Dalai Lama. Unfortunately a double-layer bell, which was cast under the supervision of the Han monk RenQing (DaBao) in the late 8th Century has since been destroyed. The bell was cast with 12 sentences of inscriptions in Tibetan and with 6 sentences on each layers. They were arranged from left to the right. The monastery has otherwise been restored and redecorated.
A pearl Thangka which is housed in one of the chapels representing Chenrezi (the Bodhisattva of Compassion) at rest is the monastery's major treasure. It is 2 meters long, 1.2 meters wide and is made up of 29,026 pearls and a diamond, two rubies, a sapphires,185 turquoise, amber, 1997 corals and 15.5 grams of gold