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Taer Monastery is also known as Kumbun Monastery. Butter sculptures, murals and appliques that are known as "the three wonders of the Taer." One erotic sculpture shows a woman having sex with an ox. Among the other miracles that have occurred there over the years have been the sudden appearance of trees at the Flower Temple and strange inscriptions that have been mysteriously carved into in their trunks. On display in one of the temples is the white horse that dropped dead after bearing the 9th Panchen Lama here in 1903.
The present Dalai-Lama was born in the hills nearby Taer and the 3rd Dalai Lama is buried in the monastery's Nine-Roomed Hall. Before the period of Chinese repression, 3,600 monks lived here. During the Cultural Revolution there were virtually none. By the mid-1980s, the number of monks had increased to 500 again.
Taer Monastery is regarded as the most Beijing-friendly Tibetan monastery. It was recently restored as part of a four-year, $5 million project paid for by Beijing because the main lama who resided there was deemed to be cooperative (the lama ended up escaping to India and the California in 1998). Former President Jiang Zemin visited the monastery.
I was here before the restoration and it was old and lovely, I returned after 4 years and it was difficult to recognize.