There are many monasteries in India, spanning across all regions of the country. These monasteries are home to a range of fascinating religious practices, including meditation, yoga, and chanting of Buddhism. Many of these monasteries are also renowned for their artistry, including the production of intricate pottery and paintings.
Knowing the name of famous monasteries is important for the aspirant preparing for the government competitive exams like UPSC, CDS, SSC or the other state exams. From the section for art and culture it is important to know the name of a famous monastery and its location.
Some of the most famous monasteries are listed below.
- Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh
- Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery, Coorg, Karnataka
- Hemis Monastery, Ladakh
- Phuktal Monastery, Zanskar, Ladakh
- Tabo Monastery, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
- Enchey Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim
- Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun
- Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling, West Bengal
- Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
- Kye Monastery, Himachal Prades
- Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala
- Namgyal Monastery, Dharamshala
- Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim
- Gonjang Monastery, Sikkim
- Diskit Monastery, Leh
- Gondola Monastery, Himachal Pradesh
Monasteries to important to know around India.
There are hundreds of monasteries around India, so the name and location of all these monasteries is not so important. So we have listed down the most famous and important monasteries that are important from the competitive exams point of view.
Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh
The Thiksey monastery is located 20 km from Leh at a height of 11,800 ft. The architectural layout of this monastery is truly great. It is one of the most beautiful monasteries in India. After the building of a monastery in that region, the monk paladin decided to build a monastery in Thiksey. The statue of Buddha in the monastery is 49 ft tall.
Hemis Monastery, Ladakh
The Hemis monastery is located in the Ladakh, Himalayas. It is located at a distance of 44 km from the beautiful valley of Leh. The monastery’s history goes back to the 11th century. The Hemis monastery is the largest and also considered to be the wealthiest monastery in the Leh region. It shares its root with one of the ancient pupils of Buddhism, Naropa.
The ‘Mask Dance’ festival is celebrated here.
Tabo Monastery, Himachal Pradesh
Situated in the Spiti Valley, the Tabo Monastery lies to the left bank of the Spiti River and above the Tabo village. The Tabo Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in India. Rinchen Sangpo laid the foundation of this monastery in India in 996 AD.
Most of the parts of the monastery are filled with paintings including walls and ceilings. A number of caves encircle the monastery and thus it is also known as the ‘Ajanta of the Himalayas’. These caves are used by the Lamas for meditation as they provide extreme solitude.
Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery, Karnataka
It is located in the Mysore district of Karnataka, this monastery was established by Pema Norbu Rinpoche.
This monastery is home to more than 5000 lamas from across the world. His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche takes care of the monastery, all by himself. Even the expenses for the entire monastery are also managed by His Holiness.
During the Tibetan New Year in this monastery thousands of tourists come together to visit the sacred sites. It lasts for around two weeks. During that time, many traditional events are held.. During this period, formal processions, lama dance and several traditional events are hosted.
Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling, West Bengal
The Ghum or Ghoom Monastery is located at about a distance of 6km from the Darjeeling town. The monastery can be easily reached from the Ghoom Railway Station and it serves as one of the main tourist attraction points in Darjeeling.
There is a huge statue 15 feet of Lord Buddha in this place. It is covered in gold and precious stones. On the front side of the statue, two large oil lamps burn constantly.
Phuktal Monastery, Ladakh
It is located in the Zanskar region of Jammu and Kashmir. When you go there you will be amazed to see the small huts, made up of muds and wood built, just look like the shape of Honey-comb.
The entire monastery is built on the mouth of a cave and hence the name Phuktal was given to this monastery; in native language, ‘Phuktal’ means ‘through caves’.
The 12 storey complex of the Thiksey Monastery covers an entire side of a hill and the white colour of the monastery makes it look like a small whitewashed town consisting of many numbers of small buildings.
Diskit Monastery, Leh
It was established around the 14th century, the Diskit Monastery is located in Leh. It is the oldest and also the largest monastery in Leh. The Diskit Monastery belongs to the ‘Gelugpa’ sect. This sect is also referred to as the ‘Yellow Hat’ sect of Buddhism. It was founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo, who was a disciple of Tsongkhapa.
The Diskit monastery is highly influenced by Mongol mythology which depicts the life of an evil and anti-Buddhist monk.
The monastery itself is very magnificent and the large statue of the Jampa Buddha makes the monastery more impressive. The statue measures 32 m and is located on the top of a hill.
The ‘Festival of Scapegoat’ is the most popularly celebrated festival in this monastery. This festival is celebrated with the advent of winter during the month of February. Mask dance is also a famous festival celebrated in this monastery.
Enchey Monastery, Sikkim
It is located in the mountain range of Kanchenjunga in Gangtok. The Enchey Monastery is surrounded by dense forest; mostly pine trees.
A Buddhist tantric master, Lama Druptob Karpo; a master in the art of flying is believed to be the founder of this monastery. During one of the journeys to Maenam Hill, Karpo took a rest in this place for a few days and built a small shelter for resting. Years after the visit of Lama Druptob Karpo, construction of the Enchey Monastery started in the very same spot as a remembrance of the master of flying. The construction was completed in 1901.
The monks in this monastery organise the ‘Chaam’ festival. This festival is very close to the inhabitants of Gangtok and also attracts thousands of tourists and monks from other Buddhist monasteries around the world. The ‘Singhe Chaam’ is celebrated once in every three years and is the main attraction of the Chaam festival.
Gonjang Monastery, Sikkim
During this period, Gautam Buddha is believed to have turned the wheel of Dharma for the first time. ‘Pang Lhabsol’ and ‘Lhabab Duchen’ are also widely celebrated in this monastery.
Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim
Rumtek monastery is the largest and the most visited monastery in the entire region of Sikkim. This monastery was founded in Tibet during the 9th century. Later, in the early 1960s, the monastery was re-established in India.
Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
The monastery is located at Bomdila pass in Arunachal Pradesh. Throughout the year visitors come here to see its beauty covered with snowy mountains.
The monastery is also the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. The fifth Dalai Lama wished for a monastery in this region and thus the monastery was established. Mera Lama Lodre Gyatso founded this monastery.
Cultural festivals are an integral part of the Tawang Monastery. Among all the festivals celebrated in this monastery, ‘Losar’ is the main festival. This festival is celebrated to mark the Tibetan New Year and it runs for 15 continuous days. The victory of good over the bad is depicted in this festival.
Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun
It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Dehradun. It is one of the major Buddhist monasteries of the Nyingma School in Tibet and was founded in 1676. Rigzin Terdak Lingpa, whose ancestors are also known as ‘Nyo Lineage’, is the founder of the Mindrolling Monastery. The name ‘Mindrolling’ means ‘Place of Perfect Emancipation’. This monastery is also considered as one of the largest Buddhist Viharas in India.
Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala
The Tsuglagkhang complex is the residence of the Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama. The complex is located near Mcleod Ganj and is surrounded with beautiful forests of pine trees. The Dhauladhar Mountain ranges mainly comprises these forests.
The monastery also has a museum, Namgyal Gompa, Kalachakra temple and many more sacred paintings of Buddhist culture. The entire monastery is open to the visitors; there are no restrictions on visiting any part of the monastery.
Kye Monastery, Himachal Pradesh
The Kye Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the Spiti Valley. In the year 2000, it completed 1,000 years
Located at a distance of 12 km to Kaza, this monastery stands 4,116 m above sea level. Since its establishment, it has faced several attacks from the Mongols. And, due to repetitive reconstruction, the monastery looks like a fort today.
Gondola Monastery, Himachal Pradesh
The Gondola Monastery is located inTupchiling village of Himachal Pradesh. It lies at a distance of 18 km from Keylong. At this place Chandra and Bhaga River meet.
The foundation of this monastery lies in the 8th century. Guru Rinpoche or Padmasambhava founded this monastery. Even before this monastery was founded, evidence of the existence of Buddhist culture has been found within this place.
Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat, Himachal Pradesh
It is located in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh.The Palpung Sherabling Monastic Seat is spread over a tranquil pine forest of 30 acres, this Buddhist monastery has snow covered mountains as the backdrop.
We hope this article was helpful for you in your preparation. Now you have all the required information about the monasteries around India. If you want to give some feedback that is welcomed, feel free to comment down your suggestion or feedback.