Top 15 Spiritual Buddhist Monasteries To Visit In India

Buddhism is the world’s fourth largest religion and about 7% of the whole world population practices it. The primary teachings of Buddhism include the Four Noble Truths which basically delineate that everything we are surrounded with is impermanent including our souls and we should not crave such things. Buddhist monks practice meditation and lead simple life, in such monasteries people from outside are allowed to come and reside in for a while to experience the teachings and simple life.  

Rumtek Monastery

This monastery is situated in the Indian State Sikkim and is also known as Dharma Chakra Centre. This bright and comely structure is surrounded with nature which include mountains, streams and green trees all of it makes up for a tranquil ambience. Rumtak Monastery has a rich history and is in the center of a controversy known as Karmapa Controversy.

Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery

This is located in Bylakuppe in the Mysuru district of a South Indian state Karnataka. It is also the largest teaching centre of Nyingma traditionone of the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism in the world.Various Monks and nuns from around the world come to study here, quotidian facilities such as schools and lodgings are available in the monastery too.

Key Monastery

Situated at a staggering height of 13668 ft above sea level, this one is built near the Spiti valley in the Himachal Pradesh. Key Monastery has a rich history and has undergone several striations throughout its lifetime from attacks by Mongols to being ravaged by fire, still it managed thrive and prosper in the present time.

Namgyal Monastery

This one is situated in the Mcleodganj, Dharamsala,India and is the personal monastery of his holiness Dalai Lama of Tibet.He gives speeches here twice a year which are free of cost, one of the major tourist attractions because of the snow capped mountain ranges and fresh air this place sees major traveller traffic.

Ghum Monastery

It is also known as the Old Ghoom Monastery and is located in the Darjeeling where it was built in 1850, It is also quite famous for its 15 feet figure of Buddha. Although being recognized as one of the oldest present monastery it’s condition is not so great right now with aids from governments not available this monastery is surviving with aids from local devotees.

Thikse Monastery

This monastery is situated on top of a hill called Thiksey in Leh-Ladakh, India. One of the largest Monastery present in the area of Ladakh it is well known for the Gustor ritual and sacred rituals such as mask dance known as Cham Dance which take place during the ninth month according to the Tibetan calendar.

Tawang Monastery

Located in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh is the largest monastery in India and the second largest in the world. This monastery celebrates four different festivals, each different in its purpose such as blessing of crops, warding off evil spirits, recitation of sacred scriptures and new years.

Phugtal Monastery

It can be seen as the grand architectural feat given the placement of the buildings which are only accessible on foot. This is as close to old times you can get with monks visiting nearby villages at auspicious occasions and providing herbal medicines made by physicians themselves to aid the citizens.

Diskit Monastery

It is located in the Nubra Valley ,also known as the “Orchard of Ladakh”, is one of the largest and oldest monastery in the central Ladakh region. The monastery can be reached through flight of steps and is generally inaccessible during winter months due to heavy snowfall in the region. Festival of the Scapegoat is one of the famous festivals celebrated during the month of February.

Dhankar Monastery

Highly famous for its unique and complex built this Gompa is situated at the height of 12774 ft, the name itself translates in English as “Fort On The Cliff”. It is surrounded by splendid nature and is classified as one of the most endangered sites by World Monuments Fund.

Mindrolling Monastery

This fairly new monastery was built in 1965 in the Clement Town, Dehradun. This spiritually rich architecture serves as the tourist destination and sees heavy footfalls from around the world. It is said to provide a 360 degree view of the splendid valley and one of its main attraction is the Stupa which is also the tallest Stupa in the whole Asia.

Alchi Monastery

This historically rich monastery is stated to be built back in between 958 and 1055, 10th century and is part of the complex containing four monuments. It is situated in the Alchi village of Leh district. Not only intricately built the monastery is a treasure chest of breath taking beauty and fine craftsmanship which can be seen in several ceiling paintings and murals.

DzongKhul Monastery

This was founded by Naropa, an Indian yogi and monk in the Stod Valley, Ladakh. This monastery houses various important scriptures and artifacts, it has also become a famous spot for Kagyu meditation. The Zongkhul Huchot festival is celebrated in the fourth month according to Tibetan Calendar.

Hemis Monastery

Hemis was claimed to be the origin of the various important scriptures and was also once falsely claimed to have an unknown gospel containing information regarding Jesus’ visit to India. Hemis Festival is also a auspicious occasion which was resplendently celebrated every 12 year cycle.

Gandhola Monastery

It is said to be founded as early as 8th century and is located in Himachal Pradesh. Several distinctive vases with metal work from that time period have been found and are placed in British Museum, in addition to this a severed marble head dating back to 2nd century has also been situated inside the corridors of the monastery itself.

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