Drepung Monastery, whose white grand buildings shining under the sunlight, lies in west of Lhasa under Mt. Gambo Utse, clustered round by the black mountain. Built in 1416, it is considered as one of the largest monasteries in the six principle monasteries of Gelu Sect in China. Drepung Monastery used to be the living palace of Dalai Lamas before the reconstruction of Potala palace (after the 5th Dalai Lamas was bestowed by Qing emperor Qianlong)
The 5th Dalai Lama enlarged Drepung and ruled there while the Potala was being built. This magnificent monastery was built on an enormous scale, resembling a huge walled city. From its roofs, one can enjoy a scenic view of Lhasa city.
According to religious records, during the foundation of Drepung, Tsong Khapa discovered a magical white conch shell with counter clockwise swirls, believed to be buried by the Buddha Sakyamuni. Tsong Khapa bestowed this religious treasure to Drepung, and it can still be seen today in the "Great Sutra Chanting Hall".
As the most powerful of the "Gelukpa" monasteries, Drepung had seven colleges and, at its height, housed over 10,000 monks. It owns many splendid murals, elaborate statues and other rich treasures. A giant golden statue of Buddha "Jiangba Tongzhenma" sits near the precious conch shell.