Drepung Monastery is one of the great three Gelukpa university monasteries of Tibet, along with Gandan and Sera Monasteries, located at the foot of Mount Gephel in the west of Lhasa. Looking far into the distance, row upon row of white structures spread over the hillsides, giving the appearance of a huge pile of rice. Therefore, the temple was named Drepung , literally Rich Heap in Tibetan language, symbolizing the prosperity .
Drepung Monastery was built in 1416 by Jamyang Chojey, a direct disciple of Je Tsongkhapa who is the founder of the Gelukpa School. Occupying an area of 250,000 square meters, the temple is grand in scale, consisting of 4 Zhacangs, functioning as places for learning sutras. Numerous famous monks have learnt there, and there were once almost 10,000 Buddhist monks in the monastery, making it the largest monastery in the world at that time. The existing building was built mainly during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Among them, the Main Assembly Hall is quite majestic, with 183 finely decorated upright columns, which could hold 8,000 monks to chant sutras at the same. A great number of ancient Tibetan documents and scriptures are housed in the Drepung Monastery.