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Top 16 Buddhist Monasteries in India


Buddhist religion has garnered accolades of recognition from spiritual seekers in the last few years which is the reason for the growing popularity of Buddhist tours among a wide section of travelers in India. Globally, the religion has impacted western popular culture owing to the distinct spiritual practices and meditation techniques enlisted in Buddhism. Read here: – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Top 16 Buddhist Monasteries in India

Top 16 Buddhist Monasteries in India You Must
Visit To Awaken Your Spirits
Buddhist religion has garnered accolades of
recognition from spiritual seekers in the last
few years which is the reason for the growing
popularity of Buddhist tours among a wide section
of travelers in India. Globally, the religion has
impacted western popular culture owing to the
distinct spiritual practices and meditation
techniques enlisted in Buddhism. Being the
birthplace of the Buddhist religion, India has a
host of Buddhist pilgrimage destinations which
promise to offer the best spiritual experience.
The roots of Buddhism religion lie in Bodh Gaya
district in Uttar Pradesh where Lord Buddha
obtained spiritual enlightenment while meditating
under a Bodhi tree which ultimately led to the
spread of the religion in other parts of
India. Buddhist Monasteries hold great
importance in the emancipation of religion and
its highly unlikely not to come across a
monastery, no matter which place you travel to in
India. Monasteries were initially built as refuge
for monks to take shelter in the rainy season but
were later turned into centers for learning
Buddhist teachings. India has an infinite number
of Buddhist Monasteries located in its northern
and eastern parts. The peaceful atmosphere of
these religious institutions compels visitors to
spend some quiet time away from the hustle of
city life. Interacting with the monks living in
the monasteries allows you to have a better
understanding of Buddhist lifestyle. If youre
seeking to spend your next weekend in the solace
of a Buddhist monastery, here is a list of some
of the most breathtaking Buddhist monasteries in
India worth visiting.
1. Hemis Monastery, Ladakh
Timings 6 AM to 8 PM  One of the wealthiest and
largest monasteries in Ladakh, Hemis monastery is
mainly famous for its rich collection of gold
statues, stupas, and thangkas. This monastery is
now a dwelling place for around a thousand monks.
The monastery also has a huge courtyard where
ceremonies and celebrations are held. This place
is most famous for the
annual Hemis festival which takes place in the
Hemis monastery. This festival holds great
significance for the people of Ladakh and is
famous among tourists as it showcases the rich
culture of Buddhists residing in this part of
India. This festival is celebrated to honour Lord
Padmasambhava who was known for his dedication to
spirituality. The displaying of the largest
thangka takes place in this festival every 12
years. The next exhibition of this thangka is
slated to be held in 2024.
2. Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh
Timings 6 AM -6 PM Thiksey monastery in
Ladakh is known for its stark resemblance with
the Potala Palace in Lhasa which enthralls
everyone with its enchanting beauty. The
monastery is a twelve story building with several
stupas, thangkas, swords, and statues. The walls
of the monastery are decorated with beautiful
paintings which reveal a rich artistic taste of
Buddhists. The 49 feet tall idol of Maitreya
Buddha placed inside Maitreya is the most
prominent attraction of Thiksey monastery.  You
can also find a large pillar engraved with the
teachings of Lord Buddha inside the building. The
monastery is located 20 km away from Leh and is
best visited during the summer season.
3. Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun
Timings  9 AM to 7 PM Situated amidst the
picturesque clement town, Mindrolling monastery
is in every way a dream escape for the lovers of
serenity and nature. The Japanese architecture of
this monastery invokes great interest among the
tourists. Youre bound to be enthralled with the
grand interiors, the moment you enter this
building. The monastery contains several
shrines, murals, and relics along with a 30 meter
tall statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. There is a huge
stupa inside the building which is surrounded by
prayer wheels. The monastery also houses a
bookstore where you can pick any book to know
more about the religion. The Buddha garden in the
building is another exciting feature of the
4. Namgyal Monastery, Dharamsala
Timing 430 AM to 830 PM Namgyal Monastery in
McLeodganj is a sought after tourist destination
that attracts thousands of visitors from across
the globe. The monastery is situated against a
scenic backdrop of rhododendron trees and
dhauladhar range. Besides being an eminent
tourist spot, Namgyal monastery is also the
residence of Tibetan spiritual leader, The Dalai
Lama which
makes it a preferred pilgrimage destination for
Buddhist spiritual seekers. The monastery is
located within Tsuglagkhang complex which also
houses a library, museum, and a temple. The
serene atmosphere of this place makes it a
perfect place for meditation.
5. Nako Monastery, Kinnaur
Timings 8 AM to 5 PM Nako monastery is a
charming structure lying at the edge of Spiti
valley. The area of the monastery falls under
Kinnaur district but bears stark resemblance with
the landscape and culture found in Spiti. The
monastery stands beside a beautiful lake in Nako
village which would leave the visitors bewitched
with its serenity. The monastery comprises of
four temples representing unique Victorian
style architecture. The clay idols, murals, and
paintings placed inside the temples attract a lot
of attention with their intricate artwork. This
monastery is best visited in the months of April
and October.
6. Chokling Monastery, Bir
Timings  9 AM to 5 PM Chokling Monastery in
Bir is one of the most enchanting monasteries in
India. This one is especially famous for its
gorgeous surroundings. The monastery is situated
near Bir, a world famous paragliding spot which
adds an interesting appeal to this place. Be
ready to be welcomed by the para gliders flying
over the monastery amid a lush valley dominated
by pine trees, forests and vast fields.
Strings of colorful flags spreading all around
the monastery lend a wonderful feel to its
surroundings. The monastery has a temple and a
meditation center overlooking a beautiful lawn
where child monks can be seen playing. Talking to
the monks and watching them perform the daily
rituals let you gather a better understanding of
the Buddhist lifestyle.
7. Enchey Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim
Timings 400 AM 400 PM Enchey Monastery is a
200 year old pagoda like structure situated
around 300 km from Gangtok. The surroundings of
the monastery are replete with abundant nature
and pristine beauty emanating from Kanchanjunga
hills. The Monastery is believed to be founded by
Lama Druptob Karpo, a Buddhist tantric who took
refuge in this secluded spot which was later
renovated into a Chinese style structure. The
monastery has around 90 monks with murals,
paintings, and images of Gods decorating its
interiors. Visiting this Monastery also lets you
witness the famous Chaam dance presented by
masked monks. Months of January and February are
considered the best time to visit Enchey
8. Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling, West Bengal
Timings 10 am to 6 pm Ghoom monastery is one of
the oldest monasteries in India and is worth the
attention of the visitors due to its unique
architecture. The monastery is situated just 17
km from the picturesque Darjeeling town. The
fifteen feet tall statue of Maitreya Buddha kept
inside the monastery grabs most of the attention.
A large oil lamp is placed near the statue which
remains lit all the time. The thangkas,
paintings, drums, and bells are what make this
place so inviting.
9. Alchi Monastery, Leh
Timings 6 AM to 6 PM Entry fee INR 30 per
person. Alchi monastery is a one of the well
known Buddhist Monastery of Ladakh that
mesmerizes everyone with its beautiful carvings,
paintings, and murals decorating it. The
monastery is one of the four different Buddhist
settlements in Alchi village. The building has a
large assembly hall, temples and a statue of
Bodhisattva. The monastery is built on a flat
area rather than on a hilltop as is the case with
most Buddhist monasteries. It also houses a huge
idol of Maitreya Buddha which is worth seeing.
10. Gandhola Monastery, Spiti
Timings 6 AM to 6 PM Entry fee INR 30 per
person. This monastery is perched on a hill in
Tupchiling village located between rivers Chandra
and Bhaga in Spiti. This eight hundred year old
monastery was set up by Guru Padmasambhava and is
popular among people of all religions. The wooden
idol of Buddha along with the ornate clay
sculptures and paintings placed inside the
monastery draw a lot of attention from
the visitors and also acquaint them with the
Buddhist art. The place is best visited in
summers and in the autumn season.
11. Stakna Monastery, Ladakh
Timings  6 am to 6 pm This monastery is located
on a hill that looks like a tigers nose and is
famous for the statue of Arya Avalokiteshvara, a
seven feet tall chorten cast entirely out of
silver metal and an idol of Lord Buddha kept
inside the stupa. The building also has an
assembly hall exhibiting paintings of different
gurus namely Shakyamuni, Bodhisattva, and Amchi.
The Indus River flowing near the
monastery gives an exhilarating experience to the
visitors. Due to the difficult weather
conditions, this area faces during winters the
monastery is best visited in the months of July,
August and September as the roads leading to the
monastery remain clear during this time.
12. The Lamayuru Monastery, Ladakh
Times 6 AM to 7 PM Lamayuru Monastery happens
to be one of the most fascinating spots to visit
in Ladakh. Being one of the oldest monasteries in
Ladakh, there are a variety of legends relating
to the monastery which garners great interest
from the visitors coming to Ladakh. The monastery
complex is spread over a vast area consisting of
five ancient buildings of which four have
been decayed. Lamayuru grabs most of the
attention due to its out-of-the-ordinary
landscape which makes you feel as if youve
landed on the moon. Lamayuru monastery is best
visited in the months of May, June to September.
13. Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim
Timings 9 AM to 6 PM This highly acclaimed
pilgrimage spot of Buddhists in Sikkim was solely
built as a seat in exile of sixteenth century
Karmapa who lent great contribution in spreading
the teachings of Lord Buddha around the world.
The monastery is situated atop a picturesque hill
24 km from Gangtok that offers splendid views of
the snow capped peaks, streams and pine forests
nestling the monastery. The insides of the
monastery are equally compelling when compared to
its amazing surroundings. Theres a shrine,
temple and a golden stupa belonging to the 16th
century Karmapa that are worth seeing. The images
of Dalai Lama and Lord Ganesha at the entrance
portray the connection between the two faiths,
Buddhism and Hinduism.
4. Diskit Monastery, Ladakh
Timings 7 AM 1 PM and 2 PM -7 PM Diskit
monastery poses a perfect contrast against the
barren landscape of Nubra valley in Ladakh with
its stark white exteriors. The monastery was
founded by a follower of Tsong Khapa and is
dedicated to the Gelupka order of Buddhism.
Tibetan Gompas, frescoes and other sculptures of
Buddhists are placed inside the building
which let you gather an idea about the ancient
Buddhist art. Among its most impressive features
is a statue of Cho Rinpoche kept in the prayer
hall. Visiting Diskit monasteryalso gives you an
opportunity to witness the magnificent views of
the cold deserts of Nubra. You can also visit the
huge statue of Maitreya Buddha located a short
distance away from the monastery. To savour the
uniqueness of this monastery in its best form
without any hassles, it is advised to visit this
place in July, August, and September. If you wish
to witness the famous Dosmoche festival held in
the month of February at Diskit monastery, you
have to be prepared to ace the extreme weather
conditions experienced in the valley.
15. Key Monastery, Spiti
Timings  6 am to 6 pm This is the largest
monastery in Spiti valley with a delightful
architecture that is well liked by visitors from
across the globe. On reaching the top of the
monastery you get to view the alluring sight of
Spiti River flowing below the hill. This
praiseworthy pilgrimage destination of
Buddhists in Lahaul and Spiti is a three storey
building consisting of a storage area that houses
artefacts of Buddhists, a prayer hall and a
separate room displaying murals and paintings.
The most irresistible feature of Key monastery is
its transfixing surroundings which provide a
perfect blend of nature and tranquility
especially for the seekers of solitude.  Best
time to visit Key monasteryis from May to October.
16. Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
Timings  8 am to 7 pm The most frequented
monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang monastery
is designated as the second largest Buddhist
monastery in the world. This famous abode of
Buddhists is located on a scenic land encompassed
by mountains, lakes, and gompas which lend an
arresting aura to the monastery. The huge
structure resembles a large fort from a distance
and has a number of
temples, stupas, and halls decorated with
intricate artwork. The grand interiors of the
Tawang monastery exude a rare magnetism which
blends perfectly with the serenity of its
surroundings. The giant sized doors throughout
the monastery delight the visitors with their
magnetic appeal. Months of March, April, May,
June, and September are considered the best to
visit Tawang.
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