Monastery Interior

The Songzanlin Monastery interior includes the frescoes that can be found in the complex’s two main halls as the most interesting things to seee here. These colorful frescoes relate to legendary Buddhist stories, and the overall quality of the artistry is hard to deny. Also of major interest is the gilded statue that depicts Shakyamuni Buddha. This statue is no less than 26 feet tall (8 meters).

Other statues of Shakyamuni Buddha can be found in the Songzanlin Monastery interior. In fact, if you count them all, there are eight total. Interior visitors can also expect to see palm leaves that have rare Buddhist scriptures written on them, and there are also ornate altars to admire. Serving to illuminate the interior, at least in the five-story main hall, are butter-oil lamps, and it should be noted that this main hall can accommodate more than 1,000 lamas. It is very much used as a meditation chamber and a place where the lamas can chant their Buddhist scriptures.

As a side note, the colorful frescoes that can be found inside the main hall of the Songzanlin Monastery are said to have been painted by lamas who used a special liquid. This golden liquid was supposedly given to the monastery by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Among the things that the frescoes depict are guardian deities and the "wheel of life." For those who might be wondering, the wheel of life deals with the six realms of existence, and in its center are symbols relating to the three poisons of life. Heaven, hell, demigods, humankind, ghosts, and animals figure among the six realms of existence, while the three poisons of life are greed, hatred, and ignorance. These frescoes are typical of those found in monasteries and temples throughout Tibet.

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