As the seat of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, it was founded in 1073, by Khön Könchok Gyalpo. The only surviving ancient building is the Lhakhang Chenmo, an impressive structure with 16 meters high walls. Originally a cave in the mountainside the Main Assembly Hall Lhakhang Chenmo founded in 1268 and restored in the 16th century.
The Gompa grounds (Buddhist fortifications ) cover more than 18,000 square meters, while the huge main hall covers some 6,000 square meters. Thick walls support the building, along with huge sacred pillars. Along the walls of the hall, there are large statues of Buddha. These statues contain relics of Sakya abbots. The Buddha in the center contains relics of the founder of the monastery.
A huge library of as many as 84,000 scrolls were found sealed up in a wall 60 meters long and 10 meters high at Sakya Monastery in 2003. The oldest of these hand-written books are over 1000 years old. All the books in the library survived the Cultural Revolution unscathed, as the entrance was sealed and untouched for several hundred years.