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Tashilhungpo Monastery (2)
West of the Tashilhungpo Monastery is the Qamba Buddha Hall, which was built in 1914 under the supervision of the ninth Panchen Qoigyi Nyima. The hall is 30 meters high and covers 862 square meters. In the hall, the bronze statue of Qamba Buddha is the highest of its kind in the world. It took 110 workers four years to finish casting it. The statue used 6,700 taels of gold and 115,000-odd kilograms of copper. The statue sits on a 3.8-meter-high lotus seat. It is 26.2 meters high, his shoulder 11.5 meters wide, his foot 4.2 meters long, his hand 3.2 meters long, his middle finger 1.2 meters long and his ear 2.8 meters long. Between his eyes are inlaid a total of 1,400 pieces of diamond of various sizes, pearls, amber, coral and other precious stones.

In 1985, the State Council allocated special funds to renovate the divine pagoda of the fifth to ninth Panchen Lamas, which had been destroyed during the 1966-1976 cultural revolution. Under the personal supervision of the 10th Panchen, the sacrificial hall built to the memory of past Panchen Lamas was named Tashinamgyi (Auspicious Heaven), which opened on January 22, 1989. The whole project lasted three years and eight months. Covering a floor space of 1,933 square meters, the hall is 33.17 meters high, inside which the divine pagoda is 11.52 meters high. The gilded pagoda is covered with a layer of silver and inlaid with precious stones. Its decorative patterns look grand and solemn. The remains of the Panchen Lamas in five sandalwood boxes are placed inside. In its center is the bronze statue of the ninth Panchen Qoigyi Nyima, while the walls of the hall present murals depicting the contributions of famous lamas of different sects.

The 10th Panchen Erdeni Qoigyi Gyaincain passed away on an inspection tour to Xigaze on January 20, 1989. Three days later, the State Council issued a decision to build a sacrificial hall to enshrine the body of the 10th Panchen Lama for people to pay their respects and to remember his love for the country and his devotion to Tibetan Buddhism. On an inspection tour to Tibet in 1990, President Jiang Zemin paid a special visit to the Tashilhungpo Monastery to the memory of the 10th Panchen Lama and inquired about the construction of the hall. With careful choosing of the design, the construction started on September 20, 1990. The state allocated 64.24 million yuan of special funds, and 614 kilograms of gold and 275 kilograms of silver to be used in building the hall. The project lasted three years. A grand inaugural ceremony was held on September 4, 1993 and the hall was named Shesongnamgyi, meaning sacrificial hall for the three sages of Paradise, Human World and Nether World. The naming itself was a serious matter. Four names were submitted, and each was wrapped inside a zanba in the shape of a ball. The four balls were put in a bottle before the body of the Panchen Lama. After three days of sutra chanting, a ball jumped out of the bottle when it was being shaken. Peeling off the zanba, the name appeared: Shesongnamgyi. The 35.25-meter-high sacrificial hall covers a floor space of 1,933 square meters, and its wall is 1.83 meters thick. The style of the building is at once traditional and modern, displaying both ethnic and religious features.

 
 
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