Institute of Tibetan Medicine and Astrology
The history of Tibetan medicine can be dated back to 2,300 years ago but for giving this a worldwide recognition Mentsekhang played an important role. Mentsekhang, the Tibetan medicine institute was built in 1916 as the center of research for Tibetan medicine. This serves as the traditional Tibetan hospital and is incidentally the largest in Tibet. It is located at Yuthok Lu just west of the Jokhang Temple. This was also the place for calendar calculations and was under the Tibetan local government before the Cultural Revolution in 1959. In 1980, Mentsekhang was expanded and it became the immediate centre for research and production of Tibetan medicine. This is also the place where training and treatments are provided. The institute is spread over an area of 40,000 sq meters and has 450 staff working. It consists of various departments like, orthopedics, pediatrics, internal medicine and surgery, etc. Mentsekhang also trains Tibetan doctors. The Tibetan medical theory is portrayed on Thangkas as a teaching tool. Beautiful Thangkas depict somatology (the physiological and anatomical study of the body); blood circulation and even surgical procedures are displayed on the walls of Mentsekhang.