Kumbum in Tibetan means “Hundred Thousand Images of the Buddha”. It is one of the six greatest monasteries of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism and the birth place of Tsongkapa, the founder of the Gelugpa sect and Ganden monastery near Lhasa. Under request of the third Dalai Lama to build the monastery at the site where Tsongkapa’s birth place, Kumbum monastery was founded by Rinchen Tsundru Gyaltsen in 1583,. after dedicated efforts of many masters of high spiritual achievement who continuously devoted themselves to the renovation and expansion of the monastery, Kumbum monastery has developed into a group of monastic complex comprising numerous temples, assembly halls, stupas, monastic colleges and monks quarters, this monastic architecture has a unique combination of Tibetan and Chinese artistic style. In the history, it housed for more than five thousand monks and it has very systematic Buddhist teachings start from beginners to the Gyeshe(Scholar).
There are numbers of historical relics and large collection of Buddhist texts are well preserved in the monastery. Frescoes, embroidery and butter sculptures are regarded as three special arts in the monastery.