Shai monastery/hermitage, (near) Drigung Dzong, Xizang, CN

Raw data

“Uruzhva Lhakhang (also written as Zhayi Lhakhang) is located on the south bank of the Mangra-chu, about 1.5 kilometers upstream from Drigung township. It is a small temple of considerable historic significance for two reasons. Firstly, there are original 9th century obelisks flanking the entrance gate, which have inscriptions proclaiming the royal rewards and estates granted to Nyangben Tingzin Zangpo, the childhood friend of King Trisong Detsen who helped ensure the succession of the latter’s son Senalek Jinyon in 804. The obelisk on the left is in good condition, while the one on the right is fragmented. It was Nyangben who persuaded Trisong Detsen to invite Vimalamitra, the Buddhist master of the Dzogchen esoteric instructions (mengakde), from India, and who then became the pricipal recipient of these teachings in Tibet. Vimalamitra concealed the teachings at Uruzhva in the early 9th century and thesa were subsequently rediscovered in the 11 th century by the temple caretaker Dangma Lhundrub Namgyel, from which time their transmission has continued unbroken until be present. The second reason for the importance of Uruzhva is that the temple complex was restored during the 14th century by the great Nyingmapa master Longchen Rabjampa who fully comprechended its earlier significance for the Dzogchen tradition. Later in the 18th century the site came under the influence of sera monastery and was reconstructed by Dala Lama ?.” -
Input by: tmciolek, Apr 08, 2013

"SHAI LHAKANG (Zhwa'i lha khang): Nyang Tingedzin's Residence
The Shai Lhakang is located in the south-west corner of a village on the left bank of the Mangra Chu, 1.5 km to the east of Drigung Qu. […] Nyang Tingedzin Sangpo [ven.tingedzinsangpo], […] was a strong supporter of the Emperor Trisong Detsen in his efforts to promote Buddhism in Tibet, and […] became the first Tibetan abbot of the Sammie [i.e Samye] monastery. Nyang Tingedzin founded Shai Lhakang at the end of the 8th or the beginning of the 9th century.
During the Cultural Revolution the principal lhakang, together with the Guru Tsengye Lhakang and the Rignga Chorten, were totally destroyed. Only the ancient building used as monks' quarters that stands to the north of the site was preserved. […]
Shai Lhakang's early and abiding religious importance was derived from its founder's status as the principal recipient of the essential Dzogchen Precept Class (man ngag sde) instruction of the Indian master and pandita Vimalamitra. As the Emperor's preceptor Nyang Tingedzin induced Trisong Detsen to invite Vimalamitra [ven.vimalamitra] to Tibet. After Tingedzin had founded the Shai Lhakang in the early part of the 9th century, under the protection of the Guardian Deity Dorje Lekpa, it was here that he hid the Vimala Nyingtik texts as treasures for discovery in a later period. These texts were recovered from Shai Lhakang by Dangma Lhungyel [ven.dangmalhungyel], who was born in nearby Sho in the 11th century. […] -

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 10 Apr 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 Shai monastery, CN.

General location of the Shai monastery, CN.
Lat 29.975180 Long 91.914880
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2013.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=29.975180,91.914880&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Shai monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Xizang Zizhiqu

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 29.975180 Long 91.914880 - based on visual identification of the Shai site in maps/satellite imagery, - tmciolek, date.

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

  • Vajrayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 0767-99p 0800-32p - tmciolek 10 Apr 2013
  • 0767-99p 0800-32p 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • "In the 14th century the Shai Lhakang was restored by Longchempa, the synthesizer of the various Dzogchen lineages. Later the Lhakang came under the authority of the Gelukpas, and in the 18th century it was restored by the seventh Dalai Lama." -

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 10 Apr 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Architectural

16. Additional notes

  • "A fold high on the side of the mountain to the south of Shai Lhakang hides the site of a hermitage of Nyang Tingedzin.” [at Lat 29.97406 Long 91.91498 - tmciolek]" -

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

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

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

end of page

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License