Ganden monastery wast built in 1409 by master Tsongkhapa on a hilltop about 35Km east of Lhasa. It is the first and the mother monastery of the Gelugpu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Tsongkhapa was born in the Tsongkhapa area of Amdo, the north-easter part of Tibet. He came to Central Tibet to study Buddha Dharma from different masters of the Niyngma, Sakya, Kagyu and other schools at that time. After many years of study and established a new school of Buddhism, the Gelugpa.
In 1409 Tsongkhapa organized the first great prayer festival in Lhasa and at that time many of his students and patrons requested him to build Gaden monastery with their supper. So the construction began in the same year and since then it became a great learning center. There are two main colleges-Shartse and Changtse, and within them there are many Kangtsens or dormitories. In terms of relics there is the funeral stupa of Tsongkhapa, his teeth and the famous Gaden throne.
The throne-holder of Gaden is considered the head of the Gelugpa school (even though the Dalia Lama has more political power). Tsongkhapa was the first throne-holder and after that, throne-holders are chosen through a system of scholarly examinations. The school is mainly based on the systematic teaching of Atisha and the Kadampa school, but Tsongkhapa emphasised strict monastic discipline and a highly organized curriculum of study. Monk in the Gelugpa tradition study and practice the Lamrim, or the “Gradual path to enlightenment”, that was written by Tsongkhapa based on Atisha’s text. they also study general subjects of Buddhist philosophy and practice.