India is a melting pot of cultures and religions since time immemorial. Every region is blessed with people from various religions, communities, and cultures coming together and sharing every aspect of life that they have brought with them to this land. The presence of Buddhist Monasteries in India is a fitting example of this phenomenon.
These Monasteries provide a perfect getaway for all those who are looking to escape their hectic and chaotic life in search of peace and tranquility. Mostly situated among green hills or secluded mountains, these Monasteries have helped many visitors successfully introspect and make their lives easier.
These glorious temples of spirituality can be reached by traveling through some of the most scenic train routes in India. That’s right; you can find peace and that too without spending a fortune. Simply undertaking the journey towards one of these Monasteries will help you relax and forget about all of your worries.
So, without further ado, have a look at some of the Buddhist Monasteries in India where peace resides permanently.
1. Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
Located at a height of 10,000 feet, among the picturesque Himalayas, the 400-year-old Tawang Monastery has to be at the top of our list of stunning Buddhist Monasteries in India. You must come here early in the morning and catch the monks’ morning prayers to witness a serene and peaceful ambiance that cannot be found anywhere else. Don’t believe us? Book our Arunachal Pradesh tour package now and check it out for yourself!
- Birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama
- Largest Monastery in India
- Second Largest Monastery in Asia
- Altars dedicated to Mahayana Buddha
- Losar Festival – 15 days long celebration which marks the Tibetan New Year
- Torgya – Tibetan cultural festival where masked dancers perform traditional dances
- Thangkas – sacred Tibetan paintings
How to reach: Buses to Tawang operate regularly from Tezpur railway station.
Best time to visit: October to April
2. Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun
One of the most famous Buddhist Monasteries in India to visit by train, the Mindrolling Monastery must be included in your Dehradun tour package. It is one of the 6 major Monasteries that belong to Nyingma School in Tibet and is a great place to immerse yourself in the Buddhist culture.
- World’s largest stupa – 185 feet high
- A 35-meter-high gold statue of Shakyamuni Buddha
- The Ngagyur Nyingma College is a great institution to learn about Buddhist scriptures, traditional Tibetan medicine, and Tibetan Lunar Calendar
- Shopping complex – where clothes, artifacts, and handicrafts made by monks are sold
- Carefully curated landscape gardens
- Elaborate murals
- Countless religious relics
How to reach: The Mindrolling Monastery is just 9 km away from the Dehradun Railway Station.
Best time to visit: March to June
3. Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala
Nestled among the Himalayan pine forests, the Tsuglagkhang Complex is an important Buddhist Monastery in Dharamshala. Also known as the Dalai Lama’s Temple, the complex houses many relics that are sacred to Buddhism. You must partake in “Kora”, a ritual walk around the Monastery along with the monks amidst the fluttering of countless prayer flags on your Dharamshala holiday to experience peace and tranquillity like never before.
- Official residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- 3-meter-tall gilded statue of Shakyamuni Buddha
- The Tibet Museum
- Namgyal Gompa – where monks hold religious debates
- Kalachakra Temple
- Many sacred murals, statues, and paintings of Padmasambhava, Avalokitesvara, and Shakyamuni Buddha
- A bookstore and a café
How to reach: You can reach the Tsuglagkhang Complex easily by bus or car from Pathankot railway station.
Best time to visit: November to March
4. Ghoom Monastery, West Bengal
Located at a height of 8,000 feet, the Ghoom Monastery also called Yoga Choeling belongs to the Gelukpa Sect of Buddhism. It is merely 6 km away from Darjeeling and can be easily included in your Darjeeling tour package to enjoy an escape to serenity.
- Established in 1850 by Mongolian astrologer and monk Sokpo Sherab Gyatso.
- 15 feet high statue of Maitreya Buddha – decorated with gold and several precious stones.
- Images of Chongapa and Chenrezi – disciples of Buddha.
- 108 volumes of Kangyur – an ancient Tibetan Buddhist manuscript that is equivalent to Gospel.
- Walls decorated with Thangkas.
- Antique bells and drums – used for many Tibetan rituals.
How to reach: Ghoom railway station is just 10 minutes’ walking distance from the Monastery.
Best time to visit: All year round
5. Hemis Monastery, Ladakh
Located at about 12,000 feet in the cold desert of Ladakh, Hemis Monastery is the largest in Ladakh, as well as, one of the Buddhist Monasteries in India where you can stay with the monks. This intricately ornate Monastery of the Drukpa Lineage belongs to the Brokpa sect of Buddhism. The key highlight of our Leh Ladakh tour packages, Hemis Monastery is definitely worth a visit.
- Naropa a pupil of Yogi Tilopa attained enlightenment here
- Sacred Thangkas
- Ancient statues of Guru Rinpoche
- Annual Hemis festival or Guru Padmasambhava festival – where the famous masked dance is performed
- Several Buddhist artefacts and relics
- Spiritual Retreat – wherein you can stay in the Monastery with the monks
How to reach: Hemis Monastery can be reached by any mode of transportation from the Jammu Tawi railway station
Best time to visit: April to July
6. Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery, Karnataka
Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery or the Golden Temple in the Bylakuppe district of Mysore is the second-largest Tibetan settlement in India and the largest in South India. It is one of the largest Buddhist Monasteries in India and is often called “Little Tibet”. The use of gold all over the Monastery from the domes to the stupa and even the statues is sure to leave anyone speechless.
- Gold statues of Buddha
- Prayer hall carved in gold
- Golden bell with 2 gold deer statues on either side
- Largest teaching center of Tibetan Buddhism under the Nyingmapa lineage
- The sangha community of over 5,000 lamas resides in the Monastery
- Lama dance – takes place during Tibetan New Year celebrations
How to reach: Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery is easily accessible by public transport from Mysore railway station
Best time to visit: July to February
7. Tabo Monastery, Himachal Pradesh
No Himachal Pradesh tour package is complete without including Lahaul and Spiti Valley in it. The “Ajanta of the Himalayas”, Tabo Monastery is located amidst this mystical valley. Dimly lit rooms decorated all over with Tibetan art forms and murals, and the humming of daily prayers early in the morning, add to the mysticism of one of the most popular Buddhist Monasteries in India.
- Wheel of Law – a highly significant religious relic
- 9 temples
- 4 stupas – dated between the 13th and the 15th centuries
- 23 chortens – a saint’s tomb or a monument dedicated to Buddha
- Z’al-ma – chamber of picture treasures
- gTug-Lha-khang – Temple of the Enlightened Gods
- Meditation caves – hand-dug by monks to take shelter in the harsh Himalayan winters
- Chakhar festival
- Sekrong School – offers knowledge about Buddhism as well as subjects like Arts, Science, Maths, Information Technology, etc.
- Monk’s and Nun’s chamber
How to reach: You can drive up to the Spiti Valley from Kalka, Shimla, and Jogindernagar railway stations.
Best time to visit: May to October
8. Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim
Rumtek Monastery or Dharma Chakra Centre is the seat-in-exile of the Gyalwang Karmapa. The monks perform rituals and customs of the Karma Kagyu lineage. It is one of the most vibrant Buddhist Monasteries in India that can be easily reached by train. Be sure to book your Sikkim tour package and visit the Monastery during the Tibetan New Year to witness the enthralling masked dance performance.
- Managed by the chief of Tibetan Buddhism’s Karma Kagyu order His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa the XVI.
- Statues of Virupaksha, Virudaka, Dhritarashtra, and Vaishravana – the four guardians of the universe.
- Drupchen – annual group meditation.
- It resembles the Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet.
How to reach: New Jalpaiguri railway station is closest to the Rumtek Monastery.
Best time to visit: September to May
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