Tashilhunpo is one of the six major temples of the Gelukpa Order of Tibetan Buddhism and the residence of Bainqen Lama. It houses the chortens of the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth Bainqen Lamas. The most recently constructed of these, that of the tenth Bainqen Lama, is the most magnificent.
In the wake of the passing of the tenth Great Master Bainqen (1938-1989), the government and the people, both lay and monastic, worked together for three years and eight months building a chorten in his memory. A ceremony held on September 4, 1993, the day the structure was completed, marked its passage into religious use. Shaped much like an inverted alms bowl, the ll.52-metre-high chorten is divided into three sections-a vault storing food, medicines and pearls, a middle area housing Buddhist sutras and scriptural writings by former incarnations of the Bainqen Lama, and an upper chamber bearing the mortal remains of the tenth Bainqen Lama, together with the ritual objects he used before his passing and other items from his daily life. Incrusted with a skin of gold foil and inlaid all about with precious stones, the chorten is embellished with 275 kilo rammers of silver and 614 kilogramís of gold.