The Treasury of Lives

Jang Tana is a Yelpa Kagyu monastery that was founded by Yelpa Yeshe Tsek, a major disciple of the Kagyu master Pakmodrupa, in 1068 in Nangchen, Kham. The site was already a sacred site, and there was a Bon monastery there first. Yelpa Yeshe Tsek converted the place into a Buddhist institution, and it's considered perhaps the most important religious site in Nangchen. A chorten there is said to contain Pakmodrupa's relics. The Yelpa Kagyu lineage is seen as having terminated, merging with other Kagyu branches. It is currently a branch monastery of Tsurpu, the seat of the Karma Kagyu tradition. 

Andreas Gruschke writes that Gesar Lhakhang chapel in Tana monastery contained consecrated relics attributed to King Gesar of Ling and his retinue; the relics were lost during the cultural revolution. These included two swords, the Tapa Lenme sword (ral gri btab pa lan med) of Gesar himself and Yasi Karten (ya zi skar phran) of his brother Gyatsa (rgya tsha). These were kept sealed in a box that could only be jointly opened by the Nangchen King and the Tana Abbot. There are chorten nearby the monastery that, according to local legend, contain the remains of Ling Gesar and his ministers.

Coordinants kindly contributed by Ged Manush, Naldjor Institute.


Gruschke, Andreas. 2004. Kham: The Cultural Monument's of Tibet's Outer Provinces, Volume 2, The Qinghai Part of Kham. Bangkok: White Lotus Press, pp. 110-115.


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