The Treasury of Lives

Diana Lange, 2012, CC-BY-NC-ND

Meru Dratsang was the largest historic compound of the old town of Lhasa after the Tsuklakhang. Local history claims that the earliest temple of Meru, the Tsangpa temple, was founded by a minister of King Relpachen in the ninth century but the only available historical source suggests that Meru was founded in the eleventh century. In the sixteenth century, Meru was transformed into a Geluk monastery. In the nineteenth century, Meru became a regency seat when it became the Lhasa residence of the Regent Dedruk Rinpoche, Lobzang Khyenrab Wangchuk, formerly the Seventy-sixth Ganden Tripa. Meru has a close relationship with Sera Monastery, where the Regent Dedruk completed his studies. Meru Dratsang was closed down in 1959. In 1989, a small protector chapel was reopened and the reestablishment of a monastic community was officially permitted.


Alexander, André. 2005. The Temples of Lhasa: Tibetan Buddhist architecture from the 7th to the 21st centuries. Chicago: Serindia Publications, pp. 125-140.

Larsen, Knud, and Amund Sinding-Larsen. 2001. The Lhasa atlas: traditional Tibetan architecture and townscape. London: Serindia Publications, pp. 140-141.


Perspective Drawing of Lhasa

This drawing shows Lhasa before 1950 from an elevated perspective. The highly detailed representation shows many major monasteries and landmarks of Lhasa.


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