Buddhism is a prominent religion across the world and encourages peace.
Numerous Tibetan Buddhist Gumpas and temples have thrived since ancient times in India.
They are spread all across the country. Some of them are famous historical sites as well.
In this article, you will get to know the following Buddhist temples and monasteries in India,
- Tsuglagkhang Complex
- Tabo Monastery
- Tawang Monastery
- Wat Thai Temple
- Rumtek Monastery
- Hemis Monastery
- Mahabodhi Temple
- Thiksey Monastery
Let’s see each of these in detail.
1. Tsuglagkhang Complex
|Timings||5 AM – 8 PM|
Located at a distance of 4 kilometers from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, the Tsuglagkhang monastery is the home of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, along with his followers.
The temple complex is one of the most renowned Buddhist religious centers. It is also one of the largest Tibetan monasteries outside Tibet.
Tsuglagkhang Complex is a popular destination to visit in Dharamshala.
When you enter the complex, the first building is the Tibet Museum. As you go deeper inside the stunning complex, you will find the Tsuglagkhang temple, Photang, and Namgyal Gompa.
There is also a charming statue of Lord Buddha and Padmasambhava. Training monks is done here for rituals linked with the holy shrine. Every element inside the complex is decorated beautifully, and the tranquil environment makes it an ideal place to be at peace.
The temple is open for visitors from dawn to dusk. Every year, thousands of devotees pay their visit to this religious site.
2. Tabo Monastery
|Timings||6 AM – 5 PM|
|Established in||996 AD|
Founded in 996 CE, the Tabo Chos-Khor Monastery is situated in Tabo village of Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh.
It is the oldest Buddhist enclave operated continuously in India and the Himalayas. The monastery includes 9 Temples, 23 Chortens, as well as Gumpas. The walls here are covered with stunning murals and stucco carvings.
When you visit Tabo, paintings and art pieces tell the culture and rich history of the Himalayas. For meditation, the monks use the caves located above the monastery.
The temples inside the complex hold irreplaceable sets of manuscripts, Buddhist scroll paintings called Thangkas, and brilliant wall paintings.
The best part about visiting the Tabo is that you will experience the life led inside the monastery. You will also get to know more about the religion.
3. Tawang Monastery
|Timings||8 AM – 7 PM|
|Established in||1680 AD|
In 1680, Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso, the 5th Dalai Lama, founded the Tawang monastery. It is located in the Tawang Chu valley in Arunachal Pradesh.
The spiritual site is the second largest in the world and is a whole new experience when you enter the premises.
Entering through the massive doors, the first place that will come into the site is the Dukhang, which is filled with magnificent artwork. Inside the hall, the walls are sketched of Bodhisattvas and numerous saints.
Next up is the court that holds ceremonies and religious dances. Lord Buddha’s colossal is another attraction inside the complex. The peace and the calm surrounding the atmosphere are rejuvenating.
4. Wat Thai Temple
|Timings||8 AM – 8 PM|
Wat Thai Temple is a temple and monastery built by Buddha’s disciples from Thailand. It was created to mark the Golden jubilee when the king of Thailand ascended his throne.
The temple is located 4 kilometers from the Kushinagar bus stand in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. And is amongst the most stunning structures in the state.
Covering an area of 10 acres, the Wat Thai Kushinara Chalermaraj Temple displays the traditional form of Thai Buddhist architecture. While visiting the temple, you will find a monastery, school, library, health center, and a lush garden.
The place is wrapped in nature with a variety of orchids, flowers, and trees. This holy site is a popular tourist stop attracting national and international travelers.
5. Rumtek Monastery
|Timings||6 AM – 6 PM|
The Rumtek monastery is a habitat for the community of monks and is situated near Gangtok, Sikkim. This Dharma Chakra Centre was built in the middle of the 18th century.
The Gompa is aesthetically very pleasing, and it consists of golden sculptures and murals of Tibetan style. The features of the temple are enhanced with all the Thangkas and numerous tiny gold models of Lord Buddha.
On your way in, you will find Lord Ganesha’s images and pictures of the Dalai Lama. The Golden Stupa is amongst the main attractions that hold the relics and remains of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.
The stupa is brimming with stunning decorations and is the leading site where devotees pay their visit. Kora is also performed at this site which is a traditional activity in the Tibetan region.
Several festivals are celebrated throughout the year and are enjoyed thoroughly. Rituals and practices related to Karma Kagyu Lineage are performed here by the monks.
6. Hemis Monastery
|Timings||6 AM – 8 PM|
The Hemis monastery is located 45 kilometers away from Leh and dates back to the 17th century. This Himalayan Buddhist shrine displays the finest Tibetan architecture and holds a lot of history.
Several paintings of the Mahasiddhas are present in the gallery in the courtyard. The wall stones are covered with illustrations of religious figures, and there is also the wheel of life and the enchanting guardian deities.
The monastery has a library containing saliant Tibetan books, a priceless collection of gold statues, precious gem-embedded stupas, and gold statues.
Every year the Hemis festival is celebrated and is devoted to Lord Padmasambhava. Dance performances are held portraying the reincarnation of Lord Buddha. Ceremonies are performed, and the monastery comes alive when all the celebrations are enjoyed thoroughly.
7. Mahabodhi Temple
|Timings||6 AM – 5 PM|
|Established in||996 AD|
The Mahabodhi Mahavihara goes back to the period of the Mauryan king Ashoka who built the diamond throne in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the one where Lord Buddha accomplished enlightenment. The temple was later restored.
The complex has two large shikhara towers, and the Buddhist architecture is astounding.
The main temple was constructed out of bricks mostly and is wrapped with stucco. You will find the Vajrasana next to the Bodhi tree, numerous votive stupas, and the six-enlightenment sight of Lord Gautam Buddha.
However, the seventh spot, the lotus pond, is situated outside the complex. Beside the temple, there is a museum that has all the ancient elements and a lot of history in it.
The shrine and the Bodhi tree are very sacred spots and hold some precious phases of Lord Buddha’s life.
You will find much more details when you visit and explore the place and know about everything that once happened there.
8. Thiksey Monastery
|Timings||6 AM – 7 PM|
|Established in||1430 AD|
The Thiksey Gompa is seated in Thiksey, Ladakh. It has a striking similarity with the Potala palace in Tibet.
It is a 15th-century temple that consists of a lot of ancient pasts. The main monastery is 12 storeyed and is the habitat of 60 lamas.
At the complex, you will see the charming Maitreya Buddha, a 49 feet giant statue. Next, you can see the prayer hall or the assembly hall. It contains the Tibetan Calendar, containing the Bhava chakra.
The other attractions include the Lamokhang temple, tara shrine, mani walls Kangyur, Stangyur, and stupas. A school is also present for the Buddhist nuns.
According to the Tibetan calendar, an annual festival is celebrated called Gustur Ritual. Sutras are chanted in the morning. After that, for celebration, Cham dance is performed. It’s a new experience to be a part of this.
These are some of the famous Buddhist temples and monasteries in India that you can visit. The serene spiritual retreats are ideal for rejuvenating your soul and mind.
Their peaceful environment portrays the Buddhist culture and traditions you might love to experience while visiting the places. You won’t be disappointed!
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