The Treasury of Lives

Tibet Heritage Fund

Shide Monastery was Reting Rinpoche's Lhasa residence, and the Shide-Reting complex was as large as the Barkhor in size. Shide is actually the name of a monastic community established in the vicinity of the Lhasa Tsuklakhang during the time of King Relpachen. The Shide monastic community shifted locations over the centuries. In the thirteenth century, the Tsel Gungtang rulers of Lhasa appointed the Shide monastic community as the caretakers of Ramoche Temple, which duty they performed until 1862 when the Reting regent was disgraced. Shide was reestablished in its present location in Lhasa in the mid eighteenth century under the Seventh Dalai Lama. When the Third Reting became regent in 1845, he restored the monastery which became his seat in Lhasa. (His primary seat was Reting Monastery.) The Reting tulkus were one of only a few high-ranking incarnation lines empowered to become regent of Tibet during the absence or minority of the Dalai Lamas. As such, Shide was one of only five regency seats in Lhasa.

After 1959 Shide Dratsang was closed, and its contents taken away. After 1966, as the Cultural Revolution began, the main temple was vandalized and, left to the elements, it collapsed in 1989. In 2003, restoration work began at Shide. 

Sources

Alexander, Andre. 2005. The Temples of Lhasa: Tibetan Buddhist Architecture from the 7th to the 21st Centuries, pp. 223-240. Singapore: Times Editions - Marshall Cavendish.

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