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A small scene on the streets of Gyanak Mani Temple
The Gyanak Mani Temple is the largest collection of carved prayer stones (mani stones) in Tibet. There are several billion prayer stones stacked 3 meters / 10 feet high in a 1 square kilometer area. There is a row of 8 chortens (stupas) on the far eastern end as well as a small temple located in the middle. Prayer flags cover the entire area.
There are several stories about how the mani temple came into existence. According to many local people, it was founded by a lama from Chamdo. The lama went on a retreat to China and passed through the Jyekundo area on his return. He decided to build a house in the region and lived there for many years in seclusion. One day after meditating, he had a revelation and decided to build a mani temple. Supposedly 2 naturally occuring prayer stones were found at the current Gyanak Mani site. The lama considered this to be an auspicious sign and dedicated it as a site for a mani temple. Many monks and local people then started carving mani stones. Today, people continue to carve mani stones to add to the huge, growing pile.