Ganden Monastery is located on Wangbur Mountain, on the southern bank of Lhasa River, 57 kilometers (29 miles) from Lhasa City. Along with the Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery it is regarded as one of the three "great monasteries" of Tibet.
Built in 1417 by Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Gelugpa, or Yellow Hat school of Tibetan Buddhism, the monastery comprises some 50 structures, of which the largest and most-visited is the Main Assembly Hall (or Coqen Hall). The Sutra Hall within the Coqen Hall can hold up to 3000 worshipping monks. The other principal sights within the monastery complex are the Serdung, which contains the golden tomb of Tsongkhapa along with 95 silver stupas in memory of deceased spiritual leaders of the Gelugpa, and the Ngam Cho Khang Chapel where Tsongkhapa taught.
The scenery around the monastery is beautiful, and it is a very rewarding experience to make the clockwise devotional circuit of the complex, pausing to look at the sacred structures and shrines along the way and appreciate the serenity of the surrounding landscape.