Samding monastery is also known as Samten Ling monastery that currently belongs to Gelugpa sect and sometimes called as yellow hat. Moreover, the head of the monastery is Droji Phagmo, is a female incarnated lama revered the highest incarnated female incarnation in Tibet. Sometimes Tibetans also called Sera Khandro. It is located on a 9m high ridge above the lake and about 112km far from Lhasa, the monastery conprises tombs of celebrities related to the monastery including the Thinley Tsomo. The monastery divides the Dumo-tso and Yamdrok Lake and from the monastery perching on the ridge offers great views of the snow-capped mountains in the south. The monastery is surrounded by many of the snow-caped mountains and near by there are lots of piled up stones and prayer flags all around. The Dukhang (main assembly hall) is five-floor chapel where every religious ritual happens and monks and nuns use to get there for praying and holding ritual ceremonies. However, apart from the main assembly hall, you can also see some of the residential three-floor buildings around the chapel. The tombs of the celebrities are main relics in the monastery. The present Buddha Sakayamuni is the main statue of the monastery in the main assembly hall. Nagartse is the nearest town to the monastery about 8km on a paved road.
The original date of the monastery is always arguable, but generally it is accepted that was founded by Khetsun Zhonudrub in 12th century and later Thinley Tsomo renovated this monastery in the year 1472 (the 1st female lama of the monastery), and it was associated with the Bodong sect, initiated by Bodong Chokle Namgyel (1306-86). Samding monastery is very famous in 1716 where Mongolian armies come to invade the monastery but the female lama, Dorji Phagmo transformed all her nuns into pigs and escaped all of them from the invasion and save the monastery. However, the monastery was destroyed in 1959 and renovations took place several years after. Samding Dorji Phagmo has long been revered as the highest female incarnation in Tibet. The monastery is the seat of the female incarnation Samding Dorji Phagmo since and Thinley Tsomo was known as the 1st Dorji Phagmo. Sakyamuni’s statue is the main statue of the monastery apart from the tombs of the celebrities. In addition, you can find the mystical footprint of the 9th Dorji Phagmo in the monastery. The present Dorji Phagmo is residing in Lhasa and holds some significant position in the Tibetan Buddhist Association centered in Lhasa.
The traditional architecture of the monastery are white in color with golden roofs in different models. The main assembly hall, which is five-storeys building. Both the protector’s chapel and main assembly hall leads by a long and steep stairs. The residential building is three-storeys building and around 12 rooms excluding the monastery kitchen and storeroom. Each room house for maximum two monks of nuns. All the walls of the monastery are white in color signifying the purity of mind, and stripes in brown and black color on the top of the walls. The calm and peaceful location is ideal for meditation practices.