Ranked 2 among Places to Visit in Tawang
Time Required: 1-2 hrs
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.
The three-storeyed building was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyamtso to complete the wish of Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso, the 5th Dalai Lama in 1860-61. It belonged to the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism and had a religious association with Drepung Monastery of Lhasa, which continued during the period of British rule. The main temple, Dukhang, boasts of magnificent interiors with beautiful artwork while the inner walls contain sketches and paintings of Bodhisattvas. The library is stocked with valuable old scriptures like Kangyur and Tengyur. All other primary structures have the traditional style of Buddhist architecture which will make you swoon. The vibrant festivals celebrated in the monastery are an icing on the cake.
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