Palpung (Babang) Monastery
Palpung monastery is seated by the eastern bank of Jinshajiang river between Derge and Baiyu county, located in a forested valley over one hour drive from the nearest motorable road (Derge - Baiyu) Palpung's main building is remarkable for its huge size, complex design, and magnificent craftsmanship - so splendid that it has been called the "Little Potala Palace" after the Dalai Lama's famous (former) home in the Tibetan capital. Palpung ("Babang" in Chinese), originally built in the middle of 12th century, is traditionally a major teaching center for the Karma Kagyu sect, each year receiving many young scholars. It is regarded to one of the most sacred monastery for Karma Kagyupa (the other is the Tsubu monastery nearing Lhasa city). Palpung has suffered both from neglect during the Cultural Revolution and an earthquake that struck in 1993, bringing portions of the building to the verge of collapse. Repair of Palpung Monastery is a complex and expensive engineering project that is well beyond the capacity of local resources, yet if the work is not done soon the building will have to be abandoned - this would mean the loss of an architectural masterpiece. The World Monuments Fund of New York had named Palpung Monastery to its 1998 - 1999 list of the World's 100 most important endangered monuments. Because of the international help and the Centeral government's support, Babang monastery has been under reconstruction and repairing, soon, it will present all a new face.