As we all know that Dharamshala is home for many, many religious places, at the same time, there is another amazing monastery to visit for both the pilgrims and the travelers that is none other than the famous monastery known as the Namgyal Monastery. The Namgyal Monastery in Dharamshala also happens to be the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet and the home for the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
The Namgyal Monastery is situated within the Tsuglagkhang complex. This complex also is the proud home to the residence of Dalai Lama, among various other shrines, temples, bookstores, souvenir shops etc. This Buddhist stupa is a memorial to those Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for a free Tibet. A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha is enshrined in a small chamber at the top. The stupa is located in the heart of McLeod and surrounded by prayer wheels.
Let us straightly go to the history of the Namgyal Monastery. The monastery was founded somewhere between 1564-1565 (16th century) and it was built by the second Dalai Lama in order to make sure that the Namgyal monks can assist the dalai lama in public religious affairs. The monks living here perform rituals for the welfare of Tibet and work as a center of learning and meditation on the profound Buddhist treatises.
In the year 1959, the Red Chinese invaded Tibet, after which, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama along with thousands of Tibetans, including hundreds of Namgyal monks, fled into the neighboring countries of Nepal, Bhutan, and India and re-established the Namgyal monastery in India.
The Namgyal monastery was re-established in India in the year 1959 and it was established in Dharamshala. The monastery has 200 monks; who have been serving the place for quite a long time now by preserving the ancient Buddhist rituals, artistic skills and ancient traditions. The monastery also encourages the monks to indulge themselves in the study of Buddhism which includes modern studies of both Tibetan and English language, study of Sutra and Tantra texts, Buddhist Philosophy, making butter sculptures, torma offerings, sand mandalas, playing various ritual musical instruments, ritual chanting, and dances.
Even if you are not a great religious person, you should still visit this amazing monastery only to experience the beauty and the serenity of the place. A lot of people visit the place only because it has a lot to offer as tourists’ spot rather than just being a place to worship the almighty.
As you know that the Namgyal Monastery is situated within the Tsuglagkhang complex, you can just simply take a cab from Dharamshala to the Tsuglagkhang complex or to the monastery. You should visit the monastery between 4.30 AM to 8.30 PM and it is open every day.
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