Tourists explore different parts of the world in search of what they wish to experience – be it natural beauty, stunning cityscape, or anything else for that matter! There are some who travel to find ultimate tranquillity or spiritual advancement. Monasteries can be the perfect place for them! India, the land of diversity, is home to several such Buddhist monuments. Most of them are in the northern and eastern part of the country. However, they are not limited! In this article, we have mentioned certain Indian monasteries that’ll let you discover – or perhaps rediscover – your spiritual side.
Hemis Monastery, Ladakh
The Hemis Monastery is situated in Ladakh – an awe-inspiring region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Built under the reign of King Singge Namgyal in 1672 AD, it is historically linked with Naropa, an ancient devotee of Buddhism who achieved enlightenment in Hemis. It’s best to visit this building in the months of June and July. During this period, the vibrant Hemis Festival is conducted to honour Lord Padmasambhava.
Namdroling Monastery, Coorg
Lying in the midst of Bangalore and Mysore, the Namdroling Monastery shelters 5000 monks and nuns, and acts ‘as a centre for the pure upholding of the teachings of the Buddha.’ There’s also a proper meditative environment for the interested ones. The Namdroling Monastery categorises visitors into International Tourists, Indian National Tourists, Palyul Dharma Students, and Dharma Students from other centres. Potential travellers should check the official website for essential guidelines regarding the same.
Tabo Monastery, Spiti Valley
Tabo Monastery is located at a height of approximately 10,000 feet in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. This beautiful spot is famous for its wall murals and stucco sculptures. They are significantly similar to the ones found in the Ajanta Caves of Maharashtra. Tabo Monastery also features attention-grabbing thangkhas and statues. On top of the monastery, there are cave- and cliff-like structures which have been used by the monks for meditation since years.
Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling
Constructed in 1850, the Ghoom Monastery has a 15-feet high statue of Lord Buddha known as ‘The Maitreya Buddha’ or the ‘Coming Buddha’. Quite interestingly, it has been created with clay brought from Tibet. Furthermore, there are two large oil lamps near it that stay illuminated 24/7, throughout the year. The library of this monastery contains old Buddhist scriptures and books. Photography is allowed but chargeable.
Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun
The Mindrolling Monastery was established in the 17th century by Rigzin Terdak Lingpa. It is believed to be one of the most sacred places for Buddhists. The Mindrolling Monastery is an ideal venue for acquiring knowledge through Buddhist scriptures and other academic courses. Traditional Tibetan medicine and Tibetan lunar calendar are taught as per the directions of Ngagyur Nyingma College. The scenery around the monastery is absolutely captivating and has been attracting people since centuries.