In the monastery of your heart, you have a temple where all Buddhas unite.
Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, is believed to have his abode at Namgyal Monastery in McLeod Ganj which is also the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet. The 3rd Dalai Lama has established the Namgyal Monastery in 1575 in Tibet and was relocated to Dharamshala following the Tibetan uprising in 1959. Initially, this place was a monastery from the palace of Lhasa, which establish its new incarnation in Dharamshala. The monastery is said to perform all principal Tibetan ceremonies and host Tibetan monks from around the world. The ambience that this place creates in the minds of its visitors are enough to attract even those who are not inclined towards this religion. It accommodates around more than 200 monks who are involved in preserving the rare rituals, skills, Buddhist scriptures and culture which they brought from Tibet.
Namgyal had already get its notability in Lhasa and since its restoration in India, the monastery has unfurled its wings across the Atlantic. In 1992 the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies was built in Ithaca, New York, which is directly under the hold of the Namgyal Monastery of Dharamshala.
Best Time to Visit
The best time is February to June to visit Namgyal Monastery keeping in mind that a tour would also involve some hiking across the Himalayan hill station. In summer, and spring the Himalayan town comes to life and a blooming flora on your way up to this monastery would lighten up the mood.
Also, all the year the monastery is open for everyone, but it will be good to avoid travel to McLeod Ganj during the monsoons which cause hurdles from July to September.
How to Reach
After reaching Dharamshala airport, you can easily get cabs and cars to take you to McLeod Ganj. You can also hire a cab if you want to pay a visit to this historical monastery while staying in this sleepy Himalayan hill station.
For solo travel, you can take a bus from Pathankot to reach Dharamshala. Local buses are available from Dharamshala that take 20 to 25 minutes to reach McLeod Ganj.
A small trek from your hotel to the monastery would let you enjoy the serene beauty of the hill station and develop you well for a calming experience in this monastery. For this, you can ask to the hotel where you will stay or there are also taxi stands nearby from where you can book one.
- Travel Guide / Map Print Out
- PhotoIDs for all members
- Pen and a small Diary
- Bag Locks
- Torchlight or Flashlight
- Power bank
- Hand Sanitizer