Pabonka (pronounced Fa-bong-kha) monastery is one of the most ancient Buddhist sites in Lhasa. It located on lower slopes of Mount Dukri, to the west of Sera monastery. It is infrequently visited, but takes only an hour’s walk from Sera turn-off. It is built on a flat-topped granite rock, modeled on Devikoti, a temple in Guwahati, Assam. The original structures may well predate Jokhang and Ramoche because King Songtsen Gampo and his queens seems have gone there. The temple also contains six-syllable Mantra, prepared by Thomi Sumbhota, who also created the Tibetan alphabet here during a three-year sojourn, following his return from India. During the eight century, King Trisong Detsen, and Guru Rinpoche stayed here for seven days and Tibet’s first seven monks is said to lived here for sometime. The building and the Stupas were destroyed by Langdarma, the anti-Buddhist King in 841. It was reconstructed over the years and the fifth Dalai Lama also added a floor in the course of his renovations. It suffered more damage in the cultural revolution and has undergone repairs in the recent years.
An easy 20 minute walk from Pabonka, lead up to Tashi Choling hermitage with good views. From Tashicholing, 30 minutes walk drops down into a ravine to Chupsang Nunnery, with over hundred nuns. The complex contains an enclosed debating courtyard, an assembly hall, entrance courtyard and kitchen.