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ABOUT MONASTERIES IN HIMACHAL

The history of Buddhism in Himachal Pradesh dates back to the 8th century. Dalai Lama after exiting Tibet found his lhasa in Himachal Prdesh. The valleys of Spiti, Lahaul and Kinnaur have major Buddhist traditions.Dharamshala is blessed with the prescence of Dalai Lama, and his magnificence attract huge numbers of tourist to this place. In Himachal Pradesh you will also find a necklace of Buddhist Monastries and Gompas stretched across the enormous landscape.The Buddhist Gompas add a very distinct significance to the splendor of the Himachal valley. Large portions of population of Himachal Pradesh follow and adhere to the tradition of Buddhism. Many of the Monasteries here are very ancient. With passing time Buddhism was accepted as a major relegion in Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur valley.

Popular Monasteries in Himachal Pradesh are:

Tabo Monastery: This is situated at an altitude of 3,050 m. It is a 47 km travel from Kaza. Based on the banks of the river Spiti, the Tabo village the center of a very famous Buddhist Monasteries- Sherlang, Duang, Chamba,Chibbo, Domlang Gompas. This monastery shelters almost 60 lamas.

Yon-Yud Gompa: This is located at an altitude of 1,300 m high cliff. It serves the western side of the Central Spity.

Ki Monastery:It is one of the ancient and largest among other Monasteries of Spity dominating KI-village. It is so huge that almost 300 lamas are provided religious training in the Monastery. The Monastery boasts of preserving rare paintings and scriptures of Buddha. It has a huge number of rooms and abundance of corridors. This Gompa acted as both monastery and a fort.

Bon Monastery: It is second oldest Monastery in the world. It is situated at a distance of 12 km from Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. It is also known as Yung Durung Ling.

Kardang Monastery: This is located in the village named Kardang, at 15,000 high ‘Rangch peak’ of Lahaul. This Monastery was constructed during 900 A.D. Lama Norbu revitalized this Monastery from ruins in 1912. This place houses massive drum containing strips of paper. The Sacred hymn ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ is written on these papers.

Kungri Gompa: This is the second oldest Monastery in Spiti. It was constructed around the year 1300 A.D. It is the only Gompa in Spiti that dedicated to Nayingmapa Buddhism.

Dhankar Monastery: It was constructed more than 1000 years ago. This monastery serves the eastern side of Spiti. It is based on a distance of 25 km east of Kaza. Dhankar was the capital of the Spiti kindom in th 17th century. This monastery shelters around 150 monks. There is an ancient prison on top of the hills.

Guru Ghantal Gompa: It is located at an altitude of 3,020 m. This is a complete wooden temple. Every year a fair named ‘Ghantal Festival’ is held here. The Avalokiteshwara- a sculpture of head made of marble is dated to the 8th century.

Sashur Gompa: Deva Gyatso constructed this Buddhist shrine in during the 17th century. It is situated in Lahaul. During the months of June and July the lamas enact devil dance which attracts a crowd of visitors. This Gompa has a rare wall painting depicting all 84 sidhas of Buddhism.