Located in Qutan Town, Ledu County, 80 kilometers from Xining, Qutan Monastery was built during the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty. Qutan Monastery is a unit understate protection, and it is famous for the Ming-style buldings, precious relics, and valuable murals of the Ming and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Also known as the Lesser Forbidden City, the pattern of the building complex resembles that of the Forbidden City in Beijing, with chapels, halls, pavilions, gallery of murals, Buddhist pagodas, and drum towers scattered symmetrically on both sides of the axis. The mural gallery with an area of 360 square meters has a collection of huge painted murals, vividly depicting the life of Sakyamuni. The colors of the murals are still bright after experiencing 600 years of wind and rain.
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