Even further north and at an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level is Tawang town. Tawang monastery located there, or more properly Gaden Mamgyal Lhatse, was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1680 and is one of the highest monasteries in the world. It stands on the spur of a hill and offers a commanding and picturesque view of the Tawang-chu valley.
Tawang Monastery is the largest of its kind in the country, is one of the largest monasteries in Asia and one of the oldest in the world. It has the capacity to house 700 monks, although at present there are only 450 living there. It is revered for its large collection of books, gold lettered Buddhist scriptures, tapestries and a colossal gilded statue of Lord Buddha.