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Buddhist Monasteries in India

Buddhist Monasteries Tour India


India is a colorful bouquet of multiple communities, religions and languages. It can be one of the best country of globe which really believes in secularism and give each and each individual an chance to comply with their personal religion with out any hindrance.

Ladakh has numerous historic monasteries called Gompas, where Buddhist monks and nuns live, study and apply their religion. The monasteries of Ladakh are located in scenic places, on hills and mountains and have rich collections of Buddhist Thangka paintings, artwork and artifacts. A lot of from the monasteries are open to tourists who can admire the architecture and art collections in these Gompas.

Alchi Gompa: Founded within the 11th century by the great translator Ringchen Zangpo, this monastery features a powerful impact of Indian architectural style as he constructed it on his return from India, right after getting acquired tutelage in Buddhism. It can be known as Chos-kor or spiritual enclave and includes of 5 temples, the richest when it comes to paintings and photos being the Dukhang (assembly hall) as well as the three-storey Sum-tsek. Its murals belong to the 11th and 12th centuries, and pre-date the Tibetan styles of painting discovered in other gompas.

It really is one with the oldest in Ladakh and has become maintained by the monks of Likir soon after having been abandoned for centuries like a place of worship.

Located about 70 kms off the Srinagar-Leh highway, it is the one 1 in Ladakh to be constructed on floor degree in contrast to all the relaxation that are constructed on cliff-tops or hill-tops.

Along with Phugtal Gompa in Zanskar and Tabo Gompa in Spiti, it really is a remnant of Indian Buddhism in Ladakh.

Photography is not permitted within the complex.

Namgyal Tsema Gompa: Built in 1430 on a cliff behind the Leh Palace, this gompa was founded by King Tashi Namgyal. It's got a three-storey high gold idol of Buddha along with historical manuscripts and frescoes. There's a fort previously mentioned the gompa that is in ruins, but a watch of Leh from there's amazing.

It's generally open in the early morning for morning prayers.

Sankar Gompa: This gompa belonging towards the reformist Gelukpa sect, can be a nice two km stroll north of Leh. It can be a subordinate monastery of Spituk and could be the residence from the Kushak Bakula, the erstwhile abbot with the Spituk Monastery. The Kushak Bakula’s residence would be to the north of the complicated.

The gompa has paintings and murals from the guardian god with the Four Quarters of Heaven, the wheel of Lifestyle, the Outdated Man of Longevity, Sakyamuni Buddha together with his sixteen sages and also the 35 benevolent Buddhas. You'll find images of your Budhist deity of compassion, Avalokiteshvara and Yamantaka (god of death), probably the most amazing being one with a thousand heads, arms and legs.

Shanti Stupa: Located about three kms west of the bazaar, this white monument of peace was built by a Japanese Buddhist order to commemorate 2,500 a long time of Buddhism and also to spread the message of peace. Inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1985, this stupa overlooks Changspa village and is also especially remarkable by evening illumination.

Likir Monastery: Situated on the reduced hill about 52 kms from Leh, this outstanding but much less visited monastery was founded within the 14th century. It really is also known as Klu-kkhyil (drinking water spirits) Gompa and is also mentioned to get the first in Ladakh to possess been built by Tibetan monks. The authentic structure is thought to get been destroyed by a fire and the current structure re-built within the 18th century, and re-dedicated towards the Gelukpa sect.

There is an external 25m substantial statue from the Maitreyi Buddha, really uncommon for Ladakhi gompas. The wall paintings depict the 16 arhats and also the 35 compassionate Buddhas. There is also a small museum that contains several Tibetan artifacts which are some hundred a long time aged.

Spituk Monastery: Sitting impressively on a hilltop appropriate from the Indus, about 8 kms from Leh, Spituk Gompa was constructed within the 15th century. It is 1 of the most influential monasteries of your Gelukpa buy and has Sankar Gompa as its subsidiary. It was built over the ruins of an 11th century gompa and supplies a wonderful watch with the Indus and Zanskar valley. The two prayer rooms that are unveiled only when a year in the course of Gu-stor festival, have some beautiful statues of Buddha.

Cave Monastery / Shergol Monastery: This monastery is located around the Wakha river valley in between Kargil and Mulbekh, about 240 kms from Srinagar and is a hard ascent halfway up a mountain slope. It belongs towards the Gelukpa buy and houses only two monks. The village beneath it includes about 35 households along with a trip to this gompa which appears to become in the middle of nowhere, can really feel ethereal as no other gompa can supply this kind of exclusivity, peace and tranquil.

Thiksey Monastery: Situated about 17 kms south of Leh, this monastery of attribute elegance is probably the most photographed, and also the most beneficial place about Leh to see a puja. It can be a wonderful complex with its red and yellow main building rising grandly above the quite a few monk cells. The Chamba lhakhang (‘house of God’ for the Buddha to arrive) was built in 1980 in hnour from the Dalai Lama and houses an impressive two-storey Maitreya Buddha. This gompa that homes about 500 monks belongs towards the Gelukpa sect, and exhibits outstanding works of artwork.

The roof of this monastery supplies a panoramic see using the Zanskar assortment in the backdrop.

Stok Palace: Built in 1814, the Stok Palace, which used to be the house of the Kings of Ladakh is located reverse Leh around the other facet with the river Indus. It is the one inhabited palace, the other two - Leh and Shey Palace are in ruins. You'll find much more than 80 rooms of which only 5 are open to the public. The palace museum includes a special show of tangkhas, outdated weapons, kings’ armour, queens’ ornaments and perak (turquoise-studded head gear), conventional clothing and silver jewellery.

Shey Monastery: Located fifteen kms south of Leh in direction of Thiksey, the ruins of this former summer time palace of your kings of Ladakh is perched substantial up on the rocky cliff. The 12 m Sakyamuni Buddha statue made of gold-plated copper by King Singge Namgyal’s son Deldan Namgyal, may be the biggest inside the location. There's a tiny library inside the reduced chapel along with a assortment of tangkhas. To the left of your gompa is a enormous chorten (stupa) with golden spires, and to its correct would be the ruins of a fort. Scattered throughout the nearby fields and along the hill array, really are a huge variety of disintegrating chortens, possibly the biggest assortment observed in Ladakh.

Lamayuru Monastery: That is the oldest of your significant gompas situated on or near the Indus and is considered to have been the sacred site for that pre-Buddhist religion recognized as Bon. Constructed inside the 10th century, the monastery is spectacularly situated on an eroded mass of rock beneath towering mountains, about the Srinagar-Kargil road, fifteen kms east of Fatu La Pass, and 127 west of Leh. It is inhabited by about 200 long lasting resident monks and has even housed up to 400 monks.

Originally founded as being a Kadam-pa establishment, it absolutely was subsequently offered towards the Dri-gung-pa monastic buy by Jamyang Namgyal, the Ladakhi king within the mid-16th century. It is now the principal monastery of your Dri-gung-pa order.

This unique gompa destroyed and restored a number of instances, nonetheless, numerous collections of tangkhas, carpets, statues and frescoes have escaped plunder and stay inside the gompa for viewing.

Lamayuru is host to two annual mask dance festivals, in the 2nd and fifth months from the Tibetn lunar calendar.

Phugtal Gompa: As its name suggests (Phug implies cave), the honey-comb-like Phugtal Monastery, property to more than 70 monks, stands in the opening of the huge cave on the cliff above the Tsarap River. It's 3 significant and 1 modest prayer space whose frescoes are comparable towards the 11th century ones of Alchi Monastery. The chorten right here is thought to home the relics of its founder, Tsherap Zangpo.

It will take a difficult, arduous trek of two or three days to achieve this isolated monastery, which seems to get miraculously glued on to the aspect of the vertical rock-face.

Leh Palace: Constructed in the seventeenth century by King Sengge Namgyal, it absolutely was abandoned inside the mid-19th century once the Kashmiri forces laid siege. The royal then family members moved south towards the current property in Stok Palace about the southern banks of your Indus. Though it really is 9 tales higher, there is small left to determine. It accommodated the royal household in the upper floors, and stables and store-rooms around the reduced floors.

It now homes the office with the Archeological Conservation with the Indian authorities, and stays a testimony towards the architectural splendour that was inspired by the Potala in Lhasa.

Zongkhul Monastery: Situated within the Zanskar valley, 20 kms south of Rangdum, this an exceptional cave monastery. It is spectacularly nestled on the rock-face overlooking the Zongkhul falls. The Indian yogi Naropa, is mentioned to have utilised the caves of this monastery for meditation, and his footprints are stated to get embedded inside a rock. Since then, this monastery has become a sacred place for meditation, with lots of enlightened ones like Dubchen Kunga Gyatso, Dubchen Nawang Tsering, Dzadpa Dorje and Kunga Choslag acquiring taken meditative solace here.

Some precautions to be noticed even though going to a monastery are:
  • Visitors are required to get off their sneakers before getting into a prayer region.
  • Observe local dress codes, for example sporting clothes that covers your limbs.
  • Don't disturb Monks at prayer, and always request permission just before taking photographs.
  • Do not touch religious artifacts.
  • Don't drink, smoke, consider medicines or spit within the monastery premises
  • Avoid talking loudly or disturbing the peaceful ambiance
  • Most Gompas cost an admission charge of about Rs. 25. If a payment isn't charged, it can be considered proper to depart a donation for the upkeep with the monastery.
  • In numerous Gompas, you might be expected to stroll around the premises only inside a clockwise path.
  • Ladies may possibly not be permitted to enter the inner prayer rooms of some monasteries.