Shalu is located at 68 km from Gyantse. The moanastery was establish by Jetsun Sherap Jhungney(one of most learn scholar in Medieval Tibet) in year 1040. Shalu literary means new bud in Tibetan. Jetsun was ask by his master to shot an arrow and where ever his short his he was ask to build a monastery and his short accidentally hit a bud. That is how the name of the monastery came into.
This is the only monastery in Tibet which has both Tibetan and Han artisan work. In year 1329 there was an earthquake in Tibet which has done an irreversible damages to the monastery and later it was rebuilt under the command of then emperor of China. He send Han artisan to help rebuilt the monastery which is the reason we can see both Han and Tibetan work of art in the monastery and architectural design too. Many chapel of the monastery still consist the original work of art from 14th century renovation.
The Shalu monastery has enshrine four main relic from its beginning, there are; 1) 1700 years old sutra board. 2) brass Urn which contain a water which will be change once after every twelve year and yet water still remain fresh after years of captive. 3) The stone basin use by the founder. And last 4) The six letter mantra of avalokiteswara (Om mani Padme hum) carved on the stone, which has said to be naturally formed.
according to our visit the main treasures of the Shalu monastery are; 1) Naturally formed pagoda which is formed on the tablet of stone. It is located on the left hand side of the main altar. 2) Naturally formed statue of buddha which is the main display on the altar. 3) Naturally formed mantra of Avalokitesvara (Om Mani Padme Hum). It is the white letter printed on the black stone tablet. It is located below the naturally formed pagoda. 4) Brass urn which contain water inside. The water changes once in every twelve years. But the water still remains fresh inside after years of captive. In old tibetan Society prior to 1959 peaceful liberation. Water is given only once in twelve year but now you can ask the monk in charge to give to you if you are curious to taste it.
At present the Shalu monastery has become very popular tourist destiny as it offer them a unique opportunity to explore the architecture and art work combining both Han and Tibetan tradition. Shalu has been under National culture protection unit since 1988. The Shalu monastery is also the starting point of one of the most popular trekking routes in Tibet.