Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery and Ganden Monastery are the three major temples in Lhasa. It was the last of the three temples to be built. There is the most famous debate ceremony in Tibetan areas. The debate was held in the northernmost debate hall in the temple. There are so many people watching the debate, and they can take a good position when coming there early.
In the many halls of the Sera Monastery, older murals are preserved. When you take a visit there, it is recommended to take preferably with a flashlight or headlights for easy appreciation. It is also recommended to go to the nearby rocky field when night falls, from which you can take a panoramic view of Lhasa. And the night scene at that time is more attractive.
Official telephone number of the Sera Monastery: 0891-6383639
Visiting time reference: more than 3 hours
How to go to the Sera Monastery:
Take bus No. 6, 16, 24 and get off at Sera Monastery Station.
Ordinary ticket: 50 RMB (Monday – Sunday during January 1st – December 31st)
09:00-16:00 (Monday – Sunday from January 1st – December 31st)
When you arrive at the temple, both the monks dressed in shackles and the Tibetans in Tibetan costumes reveal their sincerity towards the Buddha. It is like two worlds with us. Most tourists like you coming there for the famous dok ceremony. There are many people who watch the debate. The debate center is full of dense tourists and many foreign tourists.
Dozens of lamas standing there, are divided into one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-one combinations, questioning, rebutting, refuting and then answering, using a variety of gestures, physical movements, or hands waving rosary beads, one-legged independence, even glaring at each other, vigorously claping to make a strong voice. The debate, for the monks is a practice, for tourists is like watching a lively performance.
But you don’t have to care about it even though you don’t understand it. You don’t have to deliberately explore the meaning of chanting. You can be lucky enough to come here and feel what is happening. It is already the fate of the previous Buddha.