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7 Buddhist Monasteries in India You Must Visit When You Need a Break

Life can sometimes become overwhelming when you feel like you are not actually enjoying every moment but just surviving it somehow. There are times when you feel lonely, depressed and yearn for solitude and peace. If you have recently got a heart-break or if your professional life is going dingy or you simply need to get out of from a nasty situation, heading to these Buddhist monasteries in India is undoubtedly going to be a life-transforming decision you will ever make. No more crying and self-pity, the formula is simple, pack your bags and vamoose to these abode of harmony and inner peace for a soothing experience.

Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh

Being the largest monastery in India, Tawang is a mansion-like building surrounded by a 925 ft long compound wall that welcomes visitors throughout the year. The monastery is located at the height of 10,000 ft above sea level in the lap of Tawang valley. Tawang Monastery is believed to be 400 years old and control 10+ gompas in the region. The monastery houses over 300 monks, who can be seen doing dairy chores involving prayers, meditation, chanting, sweeping, cooking, maintaining the monastery, ordinating new monks etc. When entering the premises of the monastery, you are greeted by the massive 8 ft statue of Lord Buddha.

The interior of the monastery is swathed with interesting paintings, murals, statues, ancient books and so much more that are a visual treat to the eyes. You can also find rare and old scriptures tucked in some corner of the monastery on your visit. The aura of monastery is so powerful and tranquil that as soon as you step into it, you’ll feel calm and relaxed. This experience is enhanced when you communicate with monks and receive truckloads of enlightening insights on life. Tawang monastery is the best place to be to overcome sadness, depression and low-phase of life.

Tsuglagkhang Complex, Dharamshala

The complex is the official residence of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and is covered by breathtaking spots along the slopes of Dhauladhar range. You must consider yourself lucky if you get to enjoy live speech of Dalai Lama here. The complex itself speaks volumes about the perks of living a simple life and the tranquility it gives to your soul. The interior of Tsuglagkhang complex is an architectural beauty adorned with painting, murals, statues and ancient Tibetan Buddhism scriptures.  If you feel spiritually inclined, feel free to roam the premises of the monastery and enjoy the magical atmosphere where your soul wanders miles and miles away from earthly materials. The fluttering colorful prayer flags and the three-meter-high gilded statue of Sakyamuni Buddha are sure to give you peace of mind you need.  

Hemis Monastery, Ladakh

Hemis Monastery is considered to be one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in the country and is expected to have been built in 11th century. Although, the monastery doesn’t possess an attractive look, it continues to pull peace seekers and wanderlusts from across the world. Hemis is known for Hemis festival that takes place in June or July where you get to enjoy music performances, traditional masked dance, and get to witness the main rituals of Buddhist monks. The monastery is the place where the ancient pupil Naropa achieved enlightenment. It’s a perfect place to be for a spiritual retreat and form a deep connection with yourself. Hemis monastery also houses antique Buddhist artifacts, ancient statues and a collection of sacred thangkas. One visit to this place will leave you yearn for more.

Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok

Rumtek monastery is one of the most colorful Buddhist monasteries in India that also houses a controversial structure. The monastery has seen its fair share of violent altercation by monks over lineage and despite that, people flock to the place to find inner peace. On stepping into the premises of the monastery, the sound of chanting and serene air welcomes you and pumps some strength into you.

Rumtek is one interesting monastery that is heavily guarded all round the year owing to the controversies. During May and June, attending the Tibetan New Year celebration here will make you forget everything and take you back to the mystical land where you are happy and content. Climbing to Rumtek monastery is bound to give you an unforgettable and bewitching view of the Gangtok town.

Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun

Do you wish to escape from the humdrum of the cities and spend time with yourself in the calmness of nature? Head to Mindrolling monastery where hundreds of individuals come to attain spirituality. This captivating monastery is adorned with ancient scriptures, artifacts and paintings depicting the growth of Buddhism over centuries and illustrating the life of Gautama Buddha. Within the premises of the monetary, there lies a college where the spiritual teachings of Buddha are transferred to the next generation of monks. Other than the grand architecture, the monastery is swathed with colorful gardens where walking feels like walking in heaven. Do visit the place if you are genuinely interested in knowing more about the Buddhist culture.

Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh

Thiksey is a 12 storey monastery in Ladakh that must be visited once in this life to refuel the passion inside you and transform life altogether.  The whitewashed building of the monastery is arranged in a hierarchal order adorned with golden brown hills. At the height of 11,800 ft, the monastery is a sight to behold. Thiksey monastery has a vast collection of Buddhist statues, scripts, paintings and stupas. The statue of Maitreya Buddha, a 49 ft tall statue is the key center of attraction that was built to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama. The ambiance of monastery is so enchanting that you’d feel refreshed and healed up. Talking to a monk is more likely to bring changes in your attitude towards life in general. Thiksey has it all when it comes to serenity, calmness, peacefulness and harmoniousness.

Tabo Monastery, Spiti

At the dizzying height of 10,000 ft, Tabo monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in the country and is renowned as the ‘Ajantas of the Himalaya’. The monastery lies on the left bank of Spiti River and offers an alluring view of the landscape that will force you to stay there forever. Tabo is an ideal centre for learning Buddhism. The place is cut off from the world in October when Rohtang pass is closed owing to heavy snowfall in the region. Chakhar festival is the most anticipated festival celebrated in Tabo after every three years. With dozens of small and large caves, Tabo monastery is the place to visit at least once in this lifetime. You’ll know the difference when you reach there. The tranquil environment of the monastery with monks chanting prayers is an extremely eye-soothing sight.