The Tradruk Temple is located in the Tibetan foothills of Gongri south of the city of Tsetang. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the world dating all the way back to the 7th century. Many believe that this monastery once had both Milariba and Pandhamasangbawa meditated nearby making it a holy site for pilgrimage. The focus of this temple is the Cuo Qin main hall that houses a rare consecrated Sanshi Buddha image made out entirely of copper casting.
The Tradruk Temple has seen its share of rough times through the centuries, including natural disasters and persecution. During the Mongolian invasion of the 16th century the monastery also suffered heavy damage from military forces. Also, during the reign of the 5th Dalai Lama the monastery was restored and added to by the monks residing there, and during the 7th Dalai Lama a golden roof was added. Once again during the Cultural Revolution several buildings were destroyed and again rebuilt in the 1980s.
The treasures of the temple include the many pearls that are said to be scattered throughout the surrounding property made by princess Wen Cheng. There are many legends that surround the Temple including a legend that says the land is the site of an ancient lake where a dragon once resided. A nobleman named Srotsan Gampo wanted to build a grand castle where the lake was, so he devised a plan, he drew out the five headed dragon from his cave by imitating the noise of its greatest enemy, a giant bird. The lake was emptied during a long battle between a five headed dragon and the ancient bird giving the man what he desired.
The Tradruk Temple is shrouded in great mystery and legends but it is an amazing site to behold, especially the precious pearls that have been passed down from generation to generation. It is a miracle they are still the property of the monastery to this day. As the one of (if not the) oldest monasteries in the world is a must see for all world travelers or Buddhists.