Gendun Zhuba, a disciple of Zongkapa spent 12 years building the monastery with the financial aid of a big noble. The full name of Tashilhungpo Monastery is "Tashilhungpo Begyi Dechin Tamgyi Lenan Bagyi Waling", meaning "all fortune and happiness gathered here". Built along the mountain, the monastery looks magnificent and splendid, with buildings scattered in graceful order. It is the largest monastery of the Gelug Sect in Xigaze as well as one of the six major monasteries of the sect in China. Gendun Zhuba acted as the first abbot of the Tashilhungpo Monastery. In 1600, the 4th Panchen Lobsang Qoigyi Gyaincain expanded the monastery. Since then, all Panchen Lamas have resided at Tashilhungpo, and have managed to expand it gradually to the present scale. The main buildings include the sleeping hall for the Panchen, the auditorium (the administrative organ of the Panchen Lamas in Xigaze), great sutra hall, four Tantric colleges called Shaze, Gyikang, Tosangling and Ngapa respectively, 62 Micun (referring to the organizations comprised of monks according to their ancestral home), shrine halls and 60 stupa. The monastery in its prime had 4,000-odd monks. From the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, it also enshrined the tablet inscribed with "Long live the emperor! A long life to him!". A hall called "Gyianalhakang (Han-style shrine hall)" was also built to enshrine the tablet. During the New Year festival of Tibetan calendar, the Panchen Lama and lots of hierarchs went there to hold a ceremony of bowing in salute so as to show the subordinate relationship with the Qing emperors.
The construction of the four major monasteries of the Yellow Sect in Tibet provided the main pillars and base of the sect. Thus, it was widely supported by the manorial lords in various places, attracting increasing numbers of monks. It quickly became the largest sect of Tibetan Buddhism (1957)