Most popular Buddhist Monasteries in India
Hemis Monastery, Ladakh
Hemis is situated around 45 kms to the south of Leh on the western banks of the Indus River. The Hemis Monastery is the biggest and very richly endowed monastery of Ladakh. It was built in 1630. Impressive and intriguing, Hemis is different from the other important monasteries of Ladakh. The monastery is decorated on all four sides by colourful prayer flags which flutter in the breeze and send prayers to Lord Buddha.
One of the largest Thangkas is displayed every 12 years during the Hemis Festival, held for two days in June-July. The annual festival, commemorating the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava brings alive the courtyard of the monastery. The festival, where good triumphs over evil in a colourful pageant, also holds the annual ‘bazaar’ where Ladakhis from remote areas buy and sell wares. During the festival, various rituals and mask dances are performed in this courtyard.
Tawang Monastery, Aranachal Pradesh
About 2 Kms from the town is the Tawang Monastery. The Monastery is the second biggest and oldest in Asia and is known as the celestial paradise of divine site chosen by the horse was founded by Merag Lodroe Gyamtso in the year 1680-81.
The 8 m high glided statue of Lord Buddha dominates the sanctum. The great rotating prayer wheels, priceless thangkas, the drone of monks in prayer, sputtering butter lamps are an evocative vision. The Tawang Monastery has a residential building for the monks, a library, a museum and school for the basic education.
Phuktal Monastery, Zanskar
Phugtal Monastery or Phugtal Gompa (often transliterated as Phuktal) is a monastery in south-eastern Zanskar, Ladakh in northern India.
Founded by Gangsem Sherap Sampo in the early 12th century, the monastery is a unique construction built into the cliffside like a honeycomb. It is located on the mouth of a cave on the cliff face of a lateral gorge of a major tributary of the Lungnak (Lingti-Tsarap) River.
Home to about 70 monks the monastery has a library and prayer rooms.
Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh
Thiksay Monastery is located 19 km from Leh, the capital town of Ladakh. It is situated on a hillock overlooking the Indus Valley with full view of the magnificent Stok range.
Spon Palden Sherab with his Master Jangsem Sherab Zang, one of the six contemporary disciples of Lord Tsongkhapa, responsible for the dissemination of his teachings to the remote provinces founded Thiksay monastery in 1433 AD.
Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim
One of the most significant and largest monasteries in Sikkim, Rumtek is perched on a hill overlooking Gangtok. The monastery was founded by Wangchuk Dorje, 9th Karmapa Lama in the 16th century. Originally called the Dharma Chakra Centre, it includes a beautiful shrine temple and a monastery for the monks. The shrine was established with a reason to spread the teachings of the Buddha throughout the world.
Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
One of the six monasteries of the Nyingma school of Buddhism, Mindrolling Monastery, was built in 1965 by Khochhen Rinpoche. Located at a distance of 10 km from the Clement Town in Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Mindrolling Monastery offers an amazing view of the neighboring town. The monastery was built to renew the Mindrolling Monastery in India.
Ghum Monastery, Darjeeling
Ghoom Monastery is also known as the Yiga Choeling Monastery in Darjeeling (West Bengal). It belongs to the Yellow Hat sect, also known as the Gelugpa and houses a 15-foot statue of Maitreya also known as the Future Buddha.
Apart from the giant statue of Maitreya Buddha, the monastery also has an extensive collection of invaluable manuscripts that include the 108-volume Kangyur - supposed to have been spoken by the Buddha himself.
Namdroling Monastery & Golden Temple, Mysore
The Namdroling Monastery, popularly referred to as ‘The Golden Temple’. It is located in Bylakuppe, about 5 kms from Kushalanagara in Kodagu district. Namdroling Monastery’s main entrance is an attractive four story tower with a wheel portraying symbols of Buddhism. The main attractions inside the temple are the statues of Lord Buddha in the centre along with statues of Lord Amitayus and Lord Padmasambhava.
Enchey Monastery, Gangtok
Enchey Monastery, meaning 'the solitary temple', is a holy pilgrimage spot for the Buddhists situated in the magical wonderland of Gangtok surrounded by natural beauty. The presence of tall pine trees, flowery meadows and the beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga Hills, gives the devotees a feeling of being in the middle of a serene and blessed environment. Situated 3 km to the north-east of Gangtok, this monastery is about 200 years old. History has it that Lama Druptob Karpo, who was a very famous tantric with flying powers, flew down to the Maenam Hill and built a hermitage at this exquisite location