The monastery is the centre of the Gelug (Yellow Hat) school of Mahayana Buddhism, and is bordered with a 282 m long compound wall. It is a collection of 65 residential buildings for the monks, as well as other structures for different uses. Tawang Monastery was established in 1680-81, at the request of the 5th Dalai Lama, by his contemporary Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso.