Tawang Monastery / Galden Namgyal Lhatse

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Visit the World’s Second largest Monastery

About 2 Kms from the town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, in the Northeastern part of India lies the Tawang Monastery, the second largest monastery in the world after Borobudur in Indonesia.
Standing at an altitude of about 3000m it is known as the Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhatse i.e., the celestial paradise of divine site chosen by the horse was founded by Merag Lodroe Gyamtso in the year 1680-81.who was a contemporary of the Fifth Dalai Lama.

Tawang Monastery

The 8m high glided statue of Lord Buddha dominates the sanctum. The great rotating prayer wheels, priceless thangkas, the drone of monks in prayer, sputtering butter lamps are an evocative vision. Pierced atop a hill dominating everything around and below it is an enormous yellow-roofed Tawang monastery which was originally a large and fortified complex strategically sited where the caravan routes from Tibet, Bhutan and West Kameng met. Home to over 500 monks, this ‘chosen’ site is surrounded by mountains on all three sides except on it’s east, as isolation from domestic life was considered to create an ideal environment for monastic pursuit.

Tawang Monastery

The monastery comprises an assembly hall, a library, a museum, a school for monks and residential quarters for the monks. It stands like a fortress guarding the valley of Tawang Chu. The main idol is the 28th feet golden statue of Lord Buddha.

Tawang Monastery

Why should one visit?
As the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama, it is a holy site for Tibetan Buddhists and a prominent center for Gelug or Gelugpa, the pre-eminent Buddhist school in Tibet. The great rotating prayer wheels, priceless
thangkas, the drone of monks in prayer, sputtering butter lamps are an evocative vision.

Architecture:The Tawang Monastery features a distinctive architectural style that combines Tibetan and Indian influences. The complex includes a large assembly hall, residential quarters for monks, a library, and various other buildings. The assembly hall, known as the Dukhang, is adorned with intricate murals depicting Buddhist deities, scenes from the life of Buddha, and other religious subjects.

Accessibility: Tawang is a remote region that can be challenging to reach due to its mountainous terrain and sometimes difficult weather conditions. The nearest airport is in Tezpur, Assam, and road access is also available.

Religious Significance: Tawang Monastery is a center for religious and cultural activities. It is the spiritual home to many Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns who study Buddhist philosophy, scriptures, and practices. The monastery also plays a role in preserving Tibetan art, culture, and traditions.

Library: The Tawang Monastery houses a valuable collection of ancient scriptures, manuscripts, and books related to Buddhist philosophy and practices. The library is an important resource for scholars and practitioners.

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