Situated around Barkhor Street is the charming Changqu nunnery. As the only nunnery in Lhasa, Cangqu nunnery is an excellent place for nuns and local girls to learn about Buddhism. This nunnery has delivered famous influential Buddhist figures. One of them is Samding Dojepamo Deqenquzhen.
The place is relatively small. It consists of 2 areas. One is for ceremonial activities while the other is for daily activities. Even so, a humble and terrific nunnery I would say. For the place that is so neatly ordered, and for the kind smiles in every nuns’ face. Almost 100 nuns are staying there at present. Cangqu nunnery is known as public nunnery. Chants and prayers are recited every morning. The largest chants are held monthly.
The significant feature of Cangqu nunnery is its underground cave with a statue of Srongtsen Gampo. The well known Buddhist is believed to have been using the cave for meditation and studies. No wonder that since hundred years ago, many pilgrims from Tibet comes to pray here. 3 nuns come everyday for chanting prayers and taking care of the cave.
Cangqu nunnery shall be proud that it can manage to handle the funds on its own. It doesn’t depend on the state for maintenance and living. Instead, the nunnery even has started some entities that successfully raise some funds for the nuns as well as nunnery’s maintenance.
Not only that, Cangqu nunnery runs clinic as well. The clinic is handled by medical professionals assisted by nuns who pose some medical knowledge. It has served the locals for years.
Visiting cangqu nunnery shall not be complete without having a sip of ‘Qia A Mao’ tea. It is a special tea made of milk, black tea, and sugar. Another treat here is Tibetan noodles and steamed buns made by nuns. The tea house is run by the nunnery. It is located in the road with its own small garden inside. Many visitors passing from Barkhor Street will spend a little time to rest in the tea house and do some prayers in the nunnery.