Namgyal Monastery

4.6 / 5 105 votes


Weather:

Ideal Time: 1-2 hrs

Timings:

5:00 AM - 8:30 PM

Entry Fee:

No entry fee
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Namgyal Monastery, Mcleodganj Overview

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.

The foundation of Namgyal Monastery was laid down in the 16th century by the second Dalai Lama and was set up for the monks to help Dalai Lama in religious affairs. The monks residing here in the monastery carry out practices for the well-being of Tibet and work as a centre of learning and meditation on the Buddhist philosophical exposition. Also known as Namgyal Tantric College, it currently houses 200 monks who work towards protecting the practices, skills, and traditions of the monastery. The study of the languages Tibetan and English, texts of Sutra and Tantra, Buddhist philosophy, sand mandalas, ritual chanting, and dances are all included in the study of Buddhism.



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The monastery was founded as in 1564 by the 3rd Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Sonam Gyatso. Namgyal was the name given to the monastery in 1571 to honour the female deity, Namgyalma. After the Tibetan revolt in 1959, the Namgyal monastery was moved to Mcleod Ganj where it sustains even today. There are about 200 monks present in the monastery today who represent all the four main simple Tibetan traditions. Following the advice of the current Dalai Lama, Namgyal set up its branch in New York in 1992 including the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies within.

Though the external architecture of the monastery is not very royal, once you enter the premises, it gives a heavenly feeling. It opens up your mind and also helps you introspect the meaning of life. The interior of the Namgyal Monastery is decorated with paintings, sculptures, and images of Lord Buddha and other idols of Buddhism.

1. The visitors should wear shoes which are comfortable as they will be required to walk up and down the hill while going to or coming from the monastery.
2. It is vital to remain silent inside the monastery. Also, there are some prohibited zones.
3. Before clicking pictures inside the monastery, check if photography is allowed in that particular part. Try not to disobey rules.
4. The visitors must keep the site clean and tidy by not littering around.

There are two ways of reaching the monastery locally. One can either hire a cab or drive all the way up to the monastery. Another way to enjoy nature's beauty alongside is by trekking to the Namgyal monastery.

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