Densatil hermitage/monastery, (near) Sangri, Xizang, CN

Raw data

“The Phagmo Drupa Kagyu (Tibetan:  Wylie: phag mo gru pa bka’ brgyud) or Phagdru Kagyu [lineage - tmc] was founded by Phagmo Drupa Dorje Gyalpo (Tibetan:  Wylie: phag mo gru pa rdo rje rgyal po), (1110–1170) who was the elder brother of the famous Nyingma Lama Ka Dampa Deshek [Katok Dampa Deshek - tmc] (1122–1192) founder of Katok Monastery. Before meeting Gampopa, Dorje Gyalpo studied with Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (sa chen kun dga' snying po) (1092–1158) from whom he received whole Lamdré transmission.[19]
In 1158 Dorje Gyalpo built a reed-hut hermitage at Phagmo Drupa ("Sow's Ferry Crossing") in a juniper forest in Nedong (Tibetan: Wylie: sne gdong) high above the Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) river. Later, as his fame spread and disciples gathered, this site developed into the major monastic seat of Dentsa Thel (Tibetan: Wylie: gdan sa thel ). Following his death the monastery declined and his disciple Jigten Sumgon sent Chenga Drakpa Jungne (Tibetan:  Wylie: spyan snga grags pa 'byung-gnas) (1175–1255), a member of the Lang (rlang) family, to become abbot and look after the monastery.” -

“Its founder Phagmo Drupa Dorje Gyalpo constructed the Dansathil Monastery in Phagdru in 1158.” -

“Phagmo Drupa established his own monastery at Phagdru. There he gathered 80,000 disciples, among whom 500 were highly accomplished in their realizations” - Kenchen & Khenmo (2010:161)

Phagmodrupa Dorje Gyalpo (1110–1170) was one of Gampopa’s most important disciples. Phagmodrupa’s Heart Son was Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön [= aka Drikung Kyobpa, ven.jigtengonpo] (1143-1217) (“Protector of the Three Worlds”). He took over the throne of Phagdru at Densa Thil Monastery for three years after his teacher’s death (1177-1179). In accordance with a prediction of Phagmodrupa he then established his own lineage with the foundation of Drikung Thil Monastery in 1179 in the area of Drikung, the principal monastery of the lineage.” -

“Day04: Lhasa- Samye Monastery- Tsedang- Overnight at Tsedang
Morning drive to Tsedang, located by Yarlung Valley, is the capital of Shannan Prefecture. […]
Day05: Tsedang- Yumbulakang- Trundruk monastery- Tsedang-
Overnight at Tsedang […]
Day06: Tsetang- Sangri- Woka - Camping
In the morning drive about 40 km to Sangri via Tsetang Bridge. On the way visit the remains of the Densatil Monastery located on the Phagdru Mountain, which is the ancestor temple of the Phagdru Kagyu, the most influential one of the four main sub-branches of the Kagyu Sect. After lunch at Sangri, drive downhill to Woka Waterpower Station. And then drive uphill for about 20 km and reach Woka village (3800 m) […]”

“The gDan-sa-mthil monastery (Densatil) was erected around the miserable mud and branch hut of the saint Phag-mo-gru-pa (1118 - 1170) during the second half of the 12th century. It is considered as the first grant monastery of the bKa'-brgyud-pa school. It was prosperous thanks to the liberality of the rLangs family.
The rLangs used to install in this monastery abbots born in their clan using their spiritual supremacy this way in order to establish their temporal power while looking for their roots and origins back to the first tibetan kings (7th 9th centuries) on whose land they had settled.
In 1351, Byang-chab rgyal-mtshan, the head of the family, taking advantage of the deliquescence of the Yuan dynasty managed to overwhelm the latter's allies (that is the Sa-skya-pa Tibetan school) […]”

“Phagmo trupa Dorje gyelpo (Phag mo gru pa Rdo rje rgyal po) came to the region of Densatil in about 1158. Densatil is situated not far from the Northern banks of the Tsangpo (Gtsang po) river which separates the region of On (’On) and Yarlung (Yar lung), both being areas where later the Lang Phagmo trupa (Rlangs Phag mo gru pa) family settled. (1)
Gradually, many pupils gathered at this location and a settlement made of huts developed there. When Phagmo trupa died in 1170, the loose congregation of his followers and disciples were left without a leader. Some remained where they were, while others dispersed, returning to their homelands or founding religious settlements in other regions. In 1198 a great council took place bringing together some of the main pupils of Phagmo trupa. They decided to build a monastery around the famous grass-hut of their beloved teacher. This monastery became known as Densatil.”

Input by: tmciolek, Jan 15, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 16 Jan 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Densatil monastery, CN.

General location of the Densatil monastery, CN.
Lat 29.3045 Long 91.9738
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2013.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=29.3045,91.9738&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Xizang Zizhiqu

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 29.3045 Long 91.9738 - based on visual identification of the site in maps/satellite imagery, - tmciolek, 15 Jan 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

11. Date-early

  • 1158 CE - Phagmo Drupa [Sow's Ferry Crossing] hermitage built on the slopes of the Phagdru mountain -
  • MBM chrono-tag: 1033-66c - tmciolek 16 Jan 2016
  • 1033-66c 1067-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • In 1198 a great council of Ven. Phagmodrupa's students decided to build "a monastery around the famous grass-hut of their beloved teacher. This monastery became known as Densatil." -

13. Date-late

  • Jigten Sumgon sent Chenga Drakpa Jungne (1175–1255), a member of the Lang (rlang) family, to become abbot and look after the monastery.” -
  • MBM chrono-tag: 1200=> - tmciolek 16 Jan 2016

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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