Tsetang (Zetang), the birthplace of earliest Tibetans, sits on
the south bank in the middle section of the Yarlung Tsangbo River
with a moderate climate at an altitude of 3,600 meters. The nearby
Yarlung River scenic area is a national scenic park with Samye Monastery,
Yumbu Lhakang Palace, burial site for Tsampos and Traduk Monastery
spotting the region.
Built in the mid-8th century, Samye is the first formal Buddhist
Monastery with the Buddha Dharma and Sangha in Tibet. The whole
construction of the monastery, for the stupas forest-like, the building
high and expansive, the scale grand and broad, is designed in accordance
with the shape of "mandala" layout, and furthermore, the
monastery is well-known to the whole world for the highlighted and
mixed perfection of Han, Tibetan and Indian architecture style in
the main hall and the numerous relics such as wood and stone carvings,
frescos and statues kept in the monastery. As described in a historical
book, this monastery is considered "an unimaginable construction
and incomparable monastery".
Towering at the summit of Mt. Tashitseri east bank of Yarlung River,
Yumbu Lhakang is the first palace as well as one of the earliest
constructions in Tibet. The legend says, it was established by "Bon"
religious believers for the first Tibetan King Nyetri Tsampo during
the 2nd century B.C., and later it turned to be the summer palace
of King Songtsan Gampo and Princess Wencheng in Shannan. Till the
reign of the 5th Dalai Lama, it was converted to a monastery of
the Yellow Sect.
Covering a total of 3.85 million square meters, the Tombs of Tibetan
Kings in Chongkye County are the only tomb group of Tibet. Here
buried the kings, ministers and some royal concubines from the 29th
generation to the last (40th) of "Tupo" Dynasty. Of all
the tombs, the most remarkable one is King Songtsan Gampo's.
Traduk Monastery is one of the earliest Buddhist temples in Tibetan
history. Built in 641 A.D., it is said that King Songtsan Gampo
established the temple to suppress the ogress in order to prosper
his kingdom. And later it became the winter palace of King Songtsan
Gampo and Princess Wencheng in Shannan. Of all the treasures and
relics kept in this monastery, the pearled Tangka -- "Avalokitesvara
at his rest" is the most remarkable one.