Delve into the 14 Buddhist Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh!

Himachal Pradesh also commonly called as Dev Bhoomi is located in the North West of India. A state that has quaint surroundings, plethora of natural serendipity & home to diverse cultures, multi regional states along with divine faith in spirituality. Since the state is influenced with myriad cultures one that stands out from the rest is Buddhism that dates back to its inception in the bygone era. Followers of Buddha came migrated to India in search for a place where in they could meditate and attain nirvana. Let us find out 14 Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh that has not only helped people change their prospective about their lives but also embarked them to walk on the path of peace and harmony like any other faith made by the Humankind.

  1. Namgyal Monastery

Associated with Dalai Lama and his activities the Namgyal Monastery is one of the Tibetan Buddhist Institute found by the third Dalai Lama in the 16th Century. Situated in Dharamsala and with over 200 young and old monks this monastery has a unique mandate that it is the personal monastery of his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and attracts tourists from all around the world looking to instill Buddhist knowledge.

  1. Kye Monastery

Located at an altitude of 4166m above sea level it has the peculiarity of being of the oldest and biggest Monastery in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Dating back to the history as old as in the 1000. A.D, this monastery has survived many Mongolian attacks and is an example of exemplary monastic architecture that has the Chinese influence covering it. With beautiful paintings, stucco images, important manuscripts & collection of weapons takes you to a euphoric world. This monastery is now a training centre for the Lamas.

  1. Dhankar Monastery

As the name states ‘ place in the mountains inaccessible to the strangers’ this monastery is rising high at an altitude of 3894 m above sea level in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Serving as the capital of Spiti and a prison in the erstwhile era it is one of the oldest monastery with an age of almost 1200 years old. With picturesque surroundings and breathtaking sceneries this Gompa is associated with Gelukpa order of the Tibetan Buddhism and currently has over 150 monks residing in it. The imperative highlight of this Gompa is the Dhyan Buddha seated back to back along with myriad ancient scriptures, protector deities and many more besotted artifacts revealing the Buddhist culture.

  1. Rewalsar Monastery

Located in the Mandi town of Himachal Pradesh, a place with religious sanctity of Hindus, Sikh and Buddhist, the three communities of India. Rewalsar, a place that flaunts natural beauty and surroundings with lakes and substantial woods. Standing at the periphery of the lake this monastery is revered by people of every religion & faith. An amalgamation of Indo- Chinese approach the Gompa offers exquisite carvings, humongous image of the Stucco image of the Padmasambhava, a renowned Guru/saint or sage from the 8th & 9th century and is one of the popular destinations of tourists respectively all through the year.

  1. Guru Ghantal Monastery

Nestled in the Tunde village in Lahaul &Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh this 800 years old monastery is the only Gompa having wooden idols of Padmasambhava, Brijeshwari devi & other famous lamas. This Moanstery was found by Padmasambhava, a tall man known to be the reincarnation of Lord Bhudha. It is also anticipated that before turning into a Buddhist Monastery it was the temple of Goddess Kali as there is black stone image of the Hindu deity in the innermost chamber.

  1. Kardang Monastery

Coming from the Durgkpa Lineage and approximately 900 years old Kardang Monastery is one of the popular tourist’s destinations in Lahaul Spiti of Himachal Pradesh where in the people are gifted with the knowledge of Buddhist religion & culture. At an altitude of 3500m above sea level & with breathtaking & astounding sceneries, this Gompa offers a huge library that houses scriptures, texts & weapons of the Buddhist ethnicity dated back to the 12 to 13th century.

  1. Shashur Monastery

Located at a mere 37 kms from Manali, Shashur Monastery offers a great association with the red hat of Tibetan Buddhism has a devout bond with the Lion Cave Temple of Bhutan. The Monastery has piles of stoes which are embossed with the most powerful invocations. And with mesmerizing paintings in lieu of the 84 Budhas, a 5m Thangka offers you a divine vision and harmony respectively.

  1. Tayul Gompa

Located at an altitude of 3900m above sea level and one of the oldest Monastery it is at a distance of 6km away from Keylong in the Lahual and Spiti Valley. This Gompa houses thankas, the life of Lord Buddha along with 5m tall image of Guru Padmasambhava. But most important appealing thing of all are the Mani Wheels. It is said that on turning the wheel, the people are blessed by the kindness of God. It also has the ability to self turn itself once in years on auspicious occasions and the last time it turned the wheel itself was in 1986.

  1. Thang Yug Gompa

Situated at an elevation of 4270m above sea level and constructed in the 14 century, this Gompa is located at a distance of km away from Kaza. It is associated with the Sa-Kya- pa sect of Buddhism & has a great historical importance. This Monastery has appeared to be the popular objectives of all the Tibetan Scholars from all around the world. It was earlier built in the Hikkim Village but a massive earthquake destroyed and was later shifted to the current location. People still visit the old location where it was situated.

  1. Kungri Monastery

Built in 1330 A.D & 12klms away from the Spiti Valley this is second oldest Gompa in the Lahaul Spiti region in Himachal Pradesh. The only monastery following the Nyingmapa and oldest order of the Buddhist sect has 3 separated rectangular blocks in front of the east & has the influence of the tantric cult of the erstwhile Buddhist era. This Gompa recently garnered attention by receiving foreign aids for its renovation.

  1. Nako Monastery

It is situated at an altitude of 3660m above sea level in the Hangrang valley of Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh. It encompasses four holy places along with other buildings at the western edge of the township. With two temples naming the main and upper temples are having utmost importance & are considered to be having the oldest ceiling panels, Clay monuments and murals. The main temple is also well known as the (Translator’s Temple) from the bygone era of the Buddhism history.

  1. Tashigang Gompa

Situated at the convergence of Sutlej River and Spiti River in the Lahaul & Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh flock humongous amount of tourist all around the year and consists of old and new Gompas. It can be easily accessed from either Namgaya or from Shimla through NH22. With old Gompa having the statue of Shakyamunu Budha where as the new Gompa is having the mesmerizing interiors with Buddhist books, wall paintings and a huge Tibetan Drum to bewitch the tourist visiting this exquisite part of the Monastery.

  1. Lippa Monastery

Situated 14 kms away in the Kinnaur district of Himachal; Pradesh in Janghi, it is one of the imperative centre of Buddhism. Found by the well-regarded Lama Devarama a renowned astrologer the monastery is houses three places of worship two from the ‘Tangyur’ and ‘Kangyur’ scriptures while the third depicts the ‘Goldang Chakodar’.

  1. Tabo Monastery:

Recognized in 996 AD in the Tibetan Year of the Fire Ape, this Monastery was found by the well-known educator Lotsawa Rinchen Tsang Po and is approximately thousand years old making it one of the oldest Gompa with a huge and treasured historic importance. It was urbanized as an advanced centre for learning and is home to invaluable Buddha scroll paintings, frescos, manuscripts & murals depicting the stories of the Mahayana. Well –known as the Ajanta of the Himalayas’ is well preserved by the Archaeological survey of India.

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