May 10

Following the Path of Buddha-Himachal Buddhist Monasteries

Posted by himachalpradeshtourism.org on May, 10, 2012

The state of Himachal Pradesh is well known for its Buddhist Monasteries. The state has been under strong Buddhist influence, and this has been the reason that Dalai Lama also made Himachal Pradesh as is residence.

Himachal Pradesh has some of the best Buddhist Monasteries. The impact of Buddhism can be clearly seen on the buildings, temples and monuments of the state. The valley of Lahaul and Spiti, Dharamshala, Mcleodganj enshrines numerous monasteries. Splendid Gompas, Buddhist monasteries, built along bare mountain-sides seem to be a part of the Himalayan terrain. These are the repositories of a wealth of Buddhist art and culture in the state.

Tabo Monastery
Tabo Monastery is one of oldest monasteries of India, dating back to 996 AD. The Tabo Monastery is actually a complex, which enshrines 33 deities, 9 temples, 23 chortens, a chamber and many small gompas. Tabo Monastery is an important link to the history of Tibetan and Indian art. The monastery celebrated a millennium of its glorious existence.

Kye Monastery

The Kye (Ki) monastery is another very old monastery of Himachal Pradesh. The dates of Monastery go back to 1000 AD. About 300 lamas receive their religious training in the monastery, which houses rare paintings and beautiful scriptures of Buddha and other gods and goddesses.

Dhankar monastery

Dhankar monastery is situated at an altitude of 12,774 feet, 24 kms from Kaza. The Dhankar Castle is sets picturesquely on a clay hill above Shichilling village. The Dhankar monastery belongs to Gelugspa School of order. The Gompa has over 150 monks, some fascinating ‘thangka’ sculptures and a statue of the ‘Dhyan Buddha’.

Namgyal Monastery

The Namgyal Monastery was founded in 1575, by Sonam Gyatso, the third Dalai Lama. Namgyal means Victorious. Since its inception, the monastery has assisted the Dalai Lamas in their public religious activities and performed ritual prayer ceremonies for the welfare of Tibet. From the beginning, Namgyal has been a center of learning, contemplation and meditation on the vast and profound Buddhist treaties.

Guru Ghantal Gompa

This Buddhist temple is situated 4 kms above the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga in village Tupchiling in Lahaul. The Avalokiteshwara – a marble head sculpture belongs to 8th century AD. The monastery is completely built in wood. An annual fair is held here in the month of June called ‘Ghantal Festival’.

Kardang Gompa

The Kardang Gompa is situated in the village Kardang at 15,000 feet high ‘Rangch peak’ in Lahaul. It was erected in around 900 AD. Kardang is the largest Gompa and most popular in the region. With colorful frescoes and murals, it has an enormous prayer drum containing strips of paper upon which the sacred mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ is inscribed a million times. The liberary here contains largest collection of ‘Kangyur’ and ‘Tangyur’.

Gemur Monastery

The beautiful sculpture of ‘Marichi Vajravarahi’ belongs to 11th century AD and is located in Lahaul. The figures of the goddess are lovely and sophisticated. It is 18 kms from Keylong in ‘Bhaga Valley’ where devil dance is held during July in the Gompa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>