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 Phuktal or the Phugtal Monastery is situated in a remote corner of the Lungnak Valley and the visitors needs to reach on foot and they can ask the monks to provide them a room for the night.
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. One can stay in the monastery to learn more about their culture and mingle with the monks.
Just above the town of Dharamshala, in Mcleodganj, is Tsuglagkhang, the place where the Dalai Lama resides. It is one of the most significant places of worship which attracts devotees from all over the world and serves tourists as well. This complex houses Dalai Lama's residence, Tsuglagkhang Temple, Namgyal Monastery and Tibet Museum. People who are able to secure the special permission to stay will have a nice time experience the life of the monks and the unique ways of the monastery.
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. Staying at this monastery will provide guests with an opportunity to experience the prayer rituals as well as taste the food made in the restaurant.
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. The Hemis Monastery has a guest house which houses the guests and we will recommend them to visit the place during the Hemis festival and the place is situated at 12000 feet above sea level.
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. The Mindrolling Monastery is a remarkable place present in Dehradun and it is the perfect place for getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city and it is a great place to try authentic Tibetian cuisine.
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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.
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. Accommodation is available at an affordable rate and the guests get to know more about the monastery and the school that they follow.
The main attraction of the Lamayuru region, the sprawling Lamayuru Monastery, lies at a distance of about 127 km from Leh. Murals, frescoes and column paintings exemplifying the Kashmiri style of Buddhist iconography are what stand out in this monastery. The monastery also has a small temple dedicated to Avalokiteshwara, the manifestation of the compassion of all Buddhas. Two annual Mask Dance Festivals are held in Lamayuru Monastery, marking one of the best times to visit the place. The ancient Lamayuru Monastery does allow the guests to book a room to experience the life and we will suggest people to visit during the Yuru Kabgyat festival to know the place well.
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. The Tabo Monastery welcomes visitors and they have cosy rooms with attached bathrooms and their restaurant also provides good food and the locals try to make them as comfortable as possible.
The Nako Monastery that can be found in the village dates back to the 11th century and is a popular tourist attraction that people especially love to visit. The monastery comprises of four large and spacious halls, the oldest one of which is known as Dukhong. The walls of the Dukhong are adorned with the decorations of a complete mandala, and to the eastern side of this Dukhong lies another hall which is smaller in size. The location of the Nako Gompa, while staying at the place guests will get to relax and they will be close to the Nako Lake which is considered sacred and one can walk around the village.
So, here are some of the amazing monasteries present in India that lets the guests stay in the quaint and cosy rooms available in the building. It is a good way to experience the life of the monks and to know more about Buddhism. Have you visited any of them? Or are you planning to stay in any one of them? Let us know in the comments below!