Buddhist Monasteries In India

If you're looking for some peace and solidarity, Monasteries In India are the way to go! India has some of the most beautiful monasteries that will truly take your breath away. Located among majestic (Read More) mountains and perched on hilltops, full of vibrant culture and history, these beautiful monasteries are a must visit!

Here is the list of 20 Buddhist Monasteries In India

1. Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling

Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling
3.2 /5

At a grand elevation of 8,000 feet, the Yiga Choeling or old Ghoom Monastery is the oldest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Darjeeling. Established in 1850 by Lama Sherab Gyatso, this shrine is part of the Yellow Hat sect known as Gelupka who worship the 'Coming Buddha' or 'Maitreyi Buddha'. A 15-foot high statue of Maitreyi Buddha is seen in the central hall, made entirely of clay brought from Tibet. This statue was installed during the tenure of the second head of the monastery Lama Domo Geshe Rinpoche. One can also find many rare Buddhist manuscripts within the premises. Visitors are treated to a beautiful view of the majestic Kanchenjunga outside the monastery. Prayer flags are flown by the resident monks in typical Tibetan tradition.

Location: Ghoom, Darjeeling, West Bengal
Entry fee: No entry fee, extra charges for photography (INR 10) and videography (INR 50)
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
Best time to visit: All year, 2:00 AM - 8:00 PM

2. Enchey Monastery, Gangtok

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 which was later renovated under the rule of Sidkeong Tulku in the Chinese Pagoda style.

Entry fee: no entry fee
Timings: 4:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Best time to visit: January - February during the dance festival.

3. Hemis Monastery, Hemis

Hemis Monastery, Hemis
4.1 /5 View 7+ photos

Hemis Monastery (Gompa) is a Buddhist Monastery in Hemis, Ladakh. Located 45 km from south of Leh, the Monastery was built by the Ladakhi king Sengge Namgyal. It is regarded as one of the seven wonders of India and is a world heritage site of the country. Surrounded by green hills, spectacular mountains and banks of River Indus, it looks both impressive and intriguing. It is also the biggest and the most popular monastery in the region making it a major tourist attraction.

Location: Hemis, Leh Tehsil, Leh, Jammu and Kashmir
Timings: 6 AM to 8 PM
Entry fee: INR 100
Best Time to Visit: May-September

4. Tawang Monastery, Tawang

Tawang Monastery, Tawang
4.4 /5 View 13+ photos

Located amidst the picturesque surroundings, the Tawang Monastery also known as the Golden Namgyal Lhatse is one of the gems in Arunachal Pradesh. Perched at the height of 3,000 metres above sea level, it has been recognised as the second largest monastery in the world, the first one being Lhasa. The monastery is believed to be 400 years old and has control over 17 gompas in the region. Built as a large mansion, it is an abode for over 300 monks. Lying amidst the Himalayan ranges, it offers a breathtaking view of the Tawang-Chu valley. One of the most prominent attractions in the monastery houses is the massive statue of Lord Buddha which is 8 meters in height.

Location: Cona, Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Timings: 7 AM - 7 PM
Best time to visit: October and April.

5. Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh

Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh

About 20 kilometres south of Leh lies one of the most significant monasteries in central Ladakh- Thiksey. The twelve-storey monastery is located on top of a hill, giving magnificent views of the town as well as the Indus valley below. Thiksey consists of numerous white buildings that are arranged in hierarchical order, which stand out against the rocky golden brown hills. Thiksey consists of 10 temples and is currently home to over a 100 monks.

Location: Thiksey Valley, Leh Manali Highway, Thiksey, Leh, Jammu and Kashmir
Entry Fee: INR 20
Timings: 7 AM -7 PM

6. Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery), Coorg

Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery), Coorg
4.5 /5

Namdroling Monastery, situated at a distance of 34 km from the Coorg, is the largest teaching centre of the school of Tibetan Buddhism known as Nyingmapa. Popularly known as the 'Golden Temple', the Namdroling Monastery holds some excellent examples of Tibetan architecture and artwork, as seen with the elaborately decorated temple tower and ornate outer walls, intricately adorned with beautiful murals. It is spread over an area of 80 square feet and was built from Bamboo which was donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetans in exile. Today, it houses many auxiliary structures like educational institutions and a hospital, in addition to being home to about 5,000 members of the Sangha community.

Location: Arlikumari, Bylakuppe, Mysore, Karnataka
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Best time to visit: February to March

7. Key Monastery, Spiti

Key Monastery, Spiti
3.6 /5

The Key Monastery is a famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the Lahaul and Spiti District of India. Located at an altitude of 4,166 metres above the sea level, the monastery is very close to the Spiti River in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh in India. Also known as the Kye Monastery and Ki Monastery, it is believed to have been founded by Dromton, who was a student of the famous teacher Atisha in the 11th century.

Location: Kye Monastery, Spiti Valley, Lahaul and Spiti District, Himachal Pradesh
Where to stay? There is an option to stay at the monastery and live among the Lamas for INR 200 per night. This includes all three meals that are cooked by the monks.
How to reach? Every day, there is a bus that leaves from Kaza to the monastery at 5 PM and returns the next morning at 9 AM.

8. Phugtal Monastery, Ladakh

Phugtal Monastery, Ladakh
4.2 /5

The Phuktal or Phugtal Monastery is an isolated monastery situated in the south-east part of Zanskar region in Ladakh. The Gompa owes its legacy to the renowned preachers and scholars who in ancient times resided in this cave. It has been the place for meditation, teaching, learning, and enjoyment. Phuk means "cave", and tal means "at leisure" in Zanskari dialect. The Phugtal monastery, which once was a retreat, looks like a honeycomb from a distance, hence giving it the name. The 2250 years old monastery is the only one that can be reached by foot. Trekking lovers would find this as a great getaway full of enchanting sights and sounds.

Location: Lungnak Valley, Southeastern Zanskar region, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
Timings: Summer: 4:30 AM - 7 PM; Winter: 8 AM - 5 PM

9. Diskit monastery, Lachung temple and Hundur monastery., Ladakh

Diskit monastery, Lachung temple and Hundur monastery., Ladakh
3.2 /5

The great Diskit monastery is the second biggest monastery in Ladakh after Thiksey. It is located on a hill, above the Shayok River in the Nubra Valley.The main attraction in this monastery is the beautiful statue of Maitreya Buddha, which stands at a height of 106 ft. There are also illustrations of various other guardian deities in the prayer room, as well as a huge drum. From the monastery, you can also see a panoramic view of the entire Diskit village.

Location: Diskit, Nubra Valley, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
Entry Fee: INR 30 per person
Timings: 7 AM - 1 PM and 2 PM -7 PM
Best time to visit: July and September

10. Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok

Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok
4.4 /5 View 7+ photos

The Rumtek Monastery is one of the largest and most significant monasteries in Sikkim, perched on top of a hill 23 km from Gangtok. Originally called as the Dharma Chakra Centre, it belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists who originated in Tibet in the 12th century. Verdant green mountains surround the monastery and thus serves as a visual treat besides being a focal point for spiritual solace. If you climb on top to the Rumtek Monastery, you can have a breathtaking view of the whole Gangtok town situated right opposite the hill. Besides this, the architecture of the striking monastery is one of the finest in the world.

Location: Tsurphu Labrang Pal Karmae Sangha Dhuche, Dharma Chakra Centre, Sikkim
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Best Time To Visit: October and mid-December

11. Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun

Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun
4.4 /5

One of the six major monasteries of the Nyingma School in Tibet, the Mindrolling Monastery was established in 1676 by Rigzin Terdak Lingpa which was re-established in Dehradun by Khochhen Rinpoche along with a group of monks in 1965. The monastery is not only a tourist attraction but also a destination where on a daily basis almost hundreds of individuals attain spirituality. Being an architectural masterpiece with several sections, the monastery is no less than a wonder to look at. Numerous beautiful gardens, large areas, and a stupa are all situated within the perimeter of the monastery. The Ngagyur Nyingma College is also present within the premises offering advanced Buddhist studies to monks who can pass on the knowledge to the upcoming generations.

Location: Bharuwala Colony, Clement Town, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Timings: 8 AM to 7 PM

12. Namgyal Monastery, Mcleodganj

Namgyal Monastery, Mcleodganj
4.6 /5

Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, is believed to have his abode at Namgyal Monastery in Mcleodganj which is also the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet. The serenity and ambience that this place creates in the minds of its visitors are enough to attract even those who are not inclined towards this religion. The Namgyal Monastery is often referred to as "Dalai Lama's Temple" as it is the personal monastery of the 14th Dalai Lama.

Location: McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: 4:30 AM to 8:30 PM
Best time to visit: March-June and September-November

13. Tabo Monastery, Spiti

Tabo Monastery, Spiti
4.2 /5 View 25+ photos

Standing tall and strong at a dizzying height of 10,000 feet, the Tabo Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries located in the Tabo Village of Spiti Valley. In fact, it is the oldest monastery in India and the Himalayas that has been functioning continuously since its inception. This alluring monastery is renowned as the 'Ajanta of the Himalayas'. This is because the walls of the monastery are decorated with fascinating murals and ancient paintings, much like the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra.

Location: Tabo, Spiti Valley, Lahaul and Spiti District, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: 6 AM - 7 PM
Best Time To Visit: May and October

14. Lamayuru Monastery, Lamayuru

Lamayuru Monastery, Lamayuru
3.4 /5

Lamayuru monastery, also known as Yuru Gompa is often referred to as a 'Lunar landscape' for tourists due to the series of mountains adjacent to it that resemble the surface of the moon. At the height of 3150 meters, the monastery also offers a beautiful view of the Indus river that flows below it. Although in ruins, the architecture of this monastery is similar to other Buddhist monasteries. Several buildings are dedicated to Buddha as well as other deities. In the main hall, there is a collection of thangkas, frescoes, and beautiful carpets. The monastery also has intricate murals that display a fusion of Indian and Tibetan arts.

Location: B.P.O Khaltse, Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM
Best time to visit: May - September

15. Stakna Gompa, Hemis

Stakna Gompa, Hemis
3.1 /5

Stakna monastery or Stakna gompa is another beautiful monastery located in Jammu and Kashmir, which gives amazing views of the Indus valley and the Indus river. The gompa exhibits Tibetan Buddhism as well as Indian culture. Home to only about 35 lamas, the monastery is renowned for its collection of arms and armoury. There is a small Dukhang at Stakna with intricate illustrations on its walls. There are many paintings of Bodhisattva, Tshong-san-Gompa and Padma Sambhava. To the right of the assembly hall is a seven feet silver stupa, which was made by the head Lama. The stupa represents Buddha and has various texts. There are also three statues of Buddha: Buddha from the past, the present and the future.

Location: Stakna, Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir

16. Nako Monastery, Kinnaur

Nako Monastery, Kinnaur
3.7 /5

Surrounded by dusty, barren landscape in the valley of Hangrang, close to the India-China border lies the Nako monastery. It is constructed across a beautiful lake, with four independent temples. The main temple worships five Shyani Buddhas: Akshobhaya, Amitabha, Vairochana, Ratnasambhav and Amoghasiddhi. All the temples are quite old, but their original murals have been preserved. There are various stone slabs that have been inscribed in the Tibetan language all throughout the monastery, showcasing Buddhist culture.

Location: Nako, Hangrang Valley, Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM
Best time to visit: April and October

17. Chokling Monastery, Bir

Chokling Monastery, Bir
4.3 /5

Located in Bir-Billing, the Chokling monastery consists of a complex of temples, stupas, headquarters for monks as well as a three-year retreat centre. There is a gigantic statue of Padmasambhava which is a famous attraction at the monastery. The entrance to the monastery is decorated with sculptures and murals. The background of majestic mountains creates a picturesque view for all tourists.

Location: Tehsil Baijath, Dist Kangra, Bir, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

18. Gandhola Monastery, Spiti

Gandhola Monastery, Spiti
3.2 /5

The Gandhola Monastery, also known as Guru Ghantal Gompa, is located around 20 kms from Keylong in the Lahaul Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. Perched on the Tupchiling Village hilltop, at the confluence of Chandra and Bagha Rivers, Gandhola Monastery is the oldest monastery in the Lahaul region, founded by Padma Sambhava around 800 years ago. It is famous for its wooden idols, which stand out from the clay idols found in all other monasteries.

Location: Gandhola, Lahaul and Spiti District, Himachal Pradesh
Entry fee: INR 30 per person.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Best time to visit: May and September

19. Palpung Sherabling Monastery, Keori, Himachal Pradesh

Palpung Sherabling Monastery, Keori, Himachal Pradesh

Accessible by only a single road, the remote Palpung Monastery is a magnificent monastery consisting of beautiful shrines and murals. Palpung is home to approximately 750 monks, of which 250 of them are enrolled at the monastic university at the monastery. Other than the university, the monastery also has shrine halls, a school, a library, a museum, an exhibition hall and a dispensary. The main assembly hall of the monastery is the biggest Tibetan Dege-style building in the world, with its walls that are strengthened with inset logs and beautiful window frames. However, most of the buildings in Palpung are in danger of falling apart. Due to the unique architecture of the building, it has been classified as one of the top 100 historic monuments in urgent need to be restored.

Location: Sansal-Palpung Sherabling Monastery Road, Keori, Himachal Pradesh
Entry fee: INR 30 per person.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Best time to visit: May and September

20. Alchi Monastery, Ladakh

Alchi Monastery, Ladakh
3.5 /5 View 10+ photos

Located in the Alchi Village of Ladakh, Alchi Monastery is a complex of Buddist temples of which Alchi Monastery is the oldest and most famous. Cemented on a flat ground unlike other monasteries in Ladakh, the traditional architecture of the monastery is a monastic complex which has 3 separate temples, known as Dukhang, Sumstek and the Temple of Manjushri. The construction of the monastery is what makes Alchi Monastery interesting to visit.

Location: Alchi, Leh District, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
Entry fee: INR 30 per person.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Best time to visit: Between May and September

Monasteries in India So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags already and travel to these spectacular Monasteries in India.

This post was published by Holidify.com

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