Tana monastery, (towards) Ji'nyinsib, Qinghai, CN

Raw data

"The Gesar Stupas are situated in the region of the Tana Monastery ('Tana' means 'horse ear') south of Nanchen County, one day's jeep ride and two days by horse from Nanchen, at a height of 5,000 metres above sea level. The name of the Tana Monastery was adopted by reference to the nearby mountains whose twin peaks stand up like two horse's ears. The Monastery was founded by Sangye Yerpa (Yerpa Yeshe Tsik) of the Yerpa Kagyu lineage in 1068 AD [Erroneous date, it should read 1188 - tmciolek, 14 Feb 2013] and an ascendant of the Ling clan who descended from the Gesar of Ling. Sangye Yerpa was the root guru of Gesar Ling who, after receiving extraordinary teachings from his root guru offered 1,500 volumes of precious scriptures all written in gold ink, with covers of carved sandalwood embossed with […gems]. […] The Ling family also donated many precious images and included Gesar of Ling's famous sword and armour, the armour and costumes of each of his 30 ministers of state and the jewellery costumes and ornaments of their wives. The remains and relics of Gesar of Ling and his 30 ministers were in the stupa, hence the origination of the 30 Gesar Stupas. All the precious texts that had been donated were destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. As there were so many, the precious text are charred, however, the gold letterings still survive the fire and can be seen clearly on the remaining fragments. The Gesar Stupas were also destroyed and through the kindness of Samye Ling [Kagyu monastery in Scotland, UK], efforts are being made to restore the stupas."

References (suggested by http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tana_Gompa):

"Tana Sengge Nam Dzong" - the Monastery of Ling, in: Andreas Gruschke, The Cultural Monuments of Tibet’s Outer Provinces: Kham vol. 2 - The Qinghai Part of Kham (Yushu Autonomous Prefecture), Bangkok 2004, pp.110-115.
Tanma Jamyang Tsultrim: "Cultural Relics of the Tana Monastery in Yushu and Gesar", in: Tibet Studies, 1991, No.1, S. 184-190.

Andreas Gruschke - Übersicht über meine bisherigen Reisen in Gebiete tibetischer Kultur
[…] 2006 50. Osttibet (Juni-Juli) […] Yushu – Nangchen – Jinisai – Tana Gompa – Jinisai – Nangchen […]

Xangda - Other names: Nang-ch’ien, Nangqen, Nang-ch'ien, Hsiang-ta, Nangqên
[…] Lat 32.2500 Long 96.2167

Input by: tmciolek, Aug 1, 2012
"The Yelpa Kagyu (yel pa bka' rgyud) was established by Drubthob Yeshe Tsegpa [=Yelpa Yeshe Tsegpa - tmciolek] (drub thob ye shes brtsegs pa, b. 1134 [d. 1194 - http://yerpakagyud.blogspot.com.au]). He established two monasteries, Shar Yelphuk (shar yel phug) and Jang Tana (byang rta rna dgon)." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kagyu

“Accepting the invitation fro the host Rakshika Zong; at the age of 55, on Earth-Monkey year (1188), he [=Yelpa Yeshe Tsegpa - tmciolek] consecrated the North Ta Na monastery, and there at the gathering of large commune of sanghas he turned the profound and extensive wheal of Dharma. From the invitation of great Master Marpey, he traveled to Sho Gon. After then he was invited to Ling Yul, and there the king and his ministers honored him as the chief priest, and there also he turned the wheal of Dharma many times. With the invaluable gifts of various kinds of treasures, weapons, workers, goods etc. received from that continent, he arrived back to Ta Na by the magical power of the Guardian Angles [sic]. Relics of the king [Gesar - tmciolek] and his thirty valorous army were shifted to Ta Na. Sponsoring by the Jang Vhoe and Sang Bhum, at the age of 59, on Water-Rat year (1192), he consecrated the South Do Zong monastery, and there also formed a large commune of sanghas. At the age of 60, on Water-Ox year (1193), he consecrated the West Gon Lung monastery, and there also formed a large commune of sanghas. [[[shar-yelphuk] East Yer Phuk]]] monastery, South Do Zong monastery, West Gon Lung monastery and North Ta Na monastery, while he resided in those four seats of monasteries, he had composed many religious songs, prayers and many other commentaries. Under his tutorship, there had appeared lots of great benefactors like Khenchen Phurpa. Many of his pupils had also seen him in the form of their individual meditational deity credited with supernatural perception. Eh had also performed countless miracles. His fame and great deeds spread throughout the continent as Universal Master Choejey Sangye Yelpa. At the age of 61, on Wood-Tiger year (1[1]94), he assumed the act of falling sickness at Lha Dor. At the dusk of 17th Water month, to the eyes of common people he assumed the final act of leaving his human body from. His body was brought to Ta Na, and there performed the funeral ceremony amidst the large of head lamas. […] Dro Gon Yelpa Kagyue lineage has still survived with its esoteric instructions passed down from masters to disciples. With prevalent time and the grave situation under the Chinese occupation of Tibet, those monasteries had had been subjected to ruins; however with strong hope we are still in the progress of their restoration.” - http://yerpakagyud.blogspot.com.au

“Dana Temple pagoda relic, used by the Institute of Archaeology of carbon-14 determination, belonging to the Culture of the Song Dynasty in AD 1115 ± 70 years, […] Dana Temple now belongs to the Kagyu monastery, commonly known as the White Sect. […] The founder of the leaves Kagyu called Sanguie Yerba his life to build a four leaf Kagyu monasteries, and the other three have been lost in the dust of history. Nowadays, there is only this to retain complete leaves Kagyu monastery, and it is located in the hinterland of the Lancang River [= The Mekong] upstream are not unrelated.” [automated translation of: ] - http://baike.baidu.com/view/1092272.htm?fromTaglist

“Dana Temple […]  Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Qinghai (en), Buddhist temples
Nangqian County to many famous peaks, the southern part of the county Jiqu Township West Ga Yong Township, the East, and Gini tournament Township South Sango junction mountains of a mountain in the shape of a horse ears, known as the "Dana Hill, Hill waist with a thousand ancient temples, from afar, like a hanging mid-air, and awful, which is connected with ancient Tibetan hero king Gesar fame and reputation up that Temple. […] The Dana temple Tibetan called the the "the Dana Sengge Nanzong", translation Fort Malta lion days. The monastery is located at a rocky, shape resembles Baal, hence the name of the Dana Monastery.
Latitude and longitude: 31 ° 54'39 "N 95 ° 41'25" E [= Lat 31.91083 Long 95.69028 - tmciolek]“ - http://wikimapia.org/13417761/zh/达那寺

Input by: tmciolek, Feb 14, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 03 Mar 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Tana monastery, CN.

General location of the Tana monastery, CN.
Lat 31.910833 Long 95.690278
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2012.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Qinghai Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • The "official" coordinates are: Approx., Lat 31.910833 Long 95.690278 - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tana_Gompa; Approx. Lat 31.91083 Long 95.69028 - http://wikimapia.org/13417761/zh/达那寺; they do not appear to be right. They both place Tana monastery next to a mountain with a crest that does not resemble horse's ears. Also, tthe satellite photo of the terrain does not reveal any traces of the monastery in question. On the other hand, Andreas Gruschke's itinerary suggest the proximity of the Tana Gompa to the town of Ji'nyinsib.- http://www.gruzim.de/Meine_Tibetreisen.htm
  • However, there is also a much better topographical fit (see the Terrain map) i.e. an area suggested by the Panoramio photograph at Lat 32.1211 Long 96.3474, http://maps.google.com/maps? labelled - "囊谦藏王庙远眺 - The Nangqian Tibetan King Temple overlooking". This is, naturally, only an approximate guess, and the "real" Tana might be easily situated somewhere else within the 20 km radius from the coords Lat 32.1211 Long 96.3474 - tmciolek, 15 Feb 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

  • Vajrayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 1167-99c - tmciolek 15 Feb 2013
  • 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 15 Feb 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

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]

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