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Gerdeng Temple & Gemo Temple

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Gerdeng Temple

Gerdeng Temple is located in the northwest section of Aba County and is the largest Gelugpa (Yellow Sect) Tibetan Buddhist temple in the prefecture. It is also a branch temple of the Langmu Temple that lies between Ruoergai County and Gansu. It is much larger than the other temple. Gerdeng Temple was built in 1870 of Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). During the Long March of CCP (1934 - 1936), it used to be a base of the Red Army leaders.

The temple is constructed with the Grand Assembly Hall, 4 institutes, 5 Buddhist halls, and various styles of houses that are home to the monks. The Grand Assembly Hall is among the few largest ones of these kinds within the Tibetan inhabited area. It has 120 pillars and can admit thousands of monks to recite prayers here. The spacious square in front of the hall is used as the stage for religious ceremonies. During the religious festivals, crowds of visitors would come there to see lamas reciting sutras and performing Changmo dances (Sorcerer's Dance). Around the temple there is a long walkway that traverses a length of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) and is lined with over 5,000 prayer wheels. When a religious activity is held, over 1,000 monks can be in attendance, which is quite spectacular.

The most famous attraction of the temple is the grand white stupa. It is an example of the rare grand stupas in the Tibetan inhabited area. The stupa is 49 meters (161 feet) tall, with 7 stories. The stupa contains many Buddhist statues along with exquisite murals. Visitors can enter and are permitted to climb up it. Around the main stupa are 24 smaller, white stupas. There is also a circumambulation passage around the stupa, with hundreds of prayer wheels. The mani stone mound and stone board with various sutra scripts and Buddhist figures are also quite impressive.

Gemo Temple

Gemo Temple in Aba Prefecture is another of the three largest Tibetan Buddhist temples of Gelugpa (Yellow Sect) within Aba County. Also known as the 'Huiyuan Temple', it is a branch temple of the Labrang Monastery in Gansu, which is one of the six largest Gelugpa temples within the entire Tibetan inhabited area.

Gemo Temple was built in the year 1790 of the Qing Dynasty, and was originally named 'Faxiang Temple'. The temple's most famous architecture can be found in the grand white stupa, which was completed in 1999. It is 35 meters (115 feet) tall, attaining a height of 7 stories. Around the base of the stupa, 140 large, brass prayer wheels can be found, most of which are over 1 meter (3.3 feet) tall. The exterior stupa is painted with numerous Buddhist figures etched with auspicious patterns. Inside the stupa there are many Buddhist statues, murals and scripts.

The buildings in the temple also include the main assembly hall, institute, and a circumambulation passage. The circumambulation passage is equipped with 36 huge prayer wheels along with 1,500 smaller ones.

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