India is honored as the land of origination of many religions. Buddhism, with millions of followers around the world, was founded in the Indian subcontinent. There are numerous Buddhist monasteries located in different parts of the country and visited by the pilgrims in large numbers. Here are the most popular monasteries that you may plan to visit while traveling through India.
Spend a day staying at guest house New Delhi and start the trip to Dharamsala, the home to Dalai Lama. The region has over 200 small and big Buddhist monasteries and a majestic spiritual atmosphere. Namgyal Monastery is the most popular one, as one can find the diverse rituals and prayers of Buddhism performed here. Godang Monastery, Tsuglagkhang Monastery and many other Buddhist attractions are located in the region.
Located in the beautiful mountainous region of Ladakh, Hemis Monastery is well-known for its gold and silver stupas and Lord Buddha’s statues made of copper. Enchanting mural paintings adorn different parts of the monastery. The monastery is the host to the annual Hemis Festival which is a grand celebration in the region. Accommodations can be found in the form of home stays and guest house in Ladakh, located amidst peaceful and relaxing surroundings.
The Tibetan Monastery is located at few minutes drive from Darjeeling, a popular hill station in West Bengal. More than 50 monks find their homes within the monastery which consists of a single-chambered temple. Maitreya Buddha is the 15-feet high statue of Lord Buddha inside the monastery. The statue has enticing beauty reflected by the precious stones used in its construction. Darjeeling accommodations are available in the form of home stays and bed & breakfast.
Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim in northeast India, accommodates Enchey Monastery, one of the most popular ones in the region. The golden cupola on the top and a number of idols inside the monastery are among the attractive features. Carved pillars and mural paintings on the walls add to the serenity and charm of this spiritual venue. Another attraction is the collection of festive masks that are used in annual dance festivals. The tourists can stay at one of the home stays in Gangtok.
The site where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon, Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh accommodates a number of Buddhist monasteries. The interesting aspect of these monasteries is that they are built by devotees from different countries like Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. Nearly 30 monasteries in the region showcase styles that are indigenous to different countries.
Just like home stay and bed and breakfast Delhi options, the similar accommodations are available for the pilgrims near each of these monasteries. A visit to any of these places can instill a great sense of peace and spirituality.