Relaxing at home and recollecting my memories of visiting Himachal Pradesh brings smiles and happiness. The varied combo of nature, history, divinity, and academics is the treasure of the place. I saw numerous spots during my stay in the state, each with its own kind of uniqueness. One such was the visit to the Norbulingka Institute at Mcleodganj. Sharing my experiences of visiting this holy institute, the ambiance around it, and the different curricula being taught to the students.
Interesting Facts about the institute
Norbulingka institute earned its name from the summer residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama. The main purpose behind setting up this institute was to provide employment to the Tibetan refugees and also preserve the culture, traditions, art, and crafts of the Tibetan culture. Carpentry, weaving, tailoring, doll making, reading scriptures and many more activities are taught and practiced in the institute.
Located at the backdrop of the majestic Dhauladhar mountain range, the institute is filled with greenery and flowing streams. The garden is well maintained and artistically decorated with beautiful flowers and plants. You can find a pool of water with different kinds of fish swimming around. In some places, it is pleasant to find the different incarnations of Lord Buddha and his scriptures beneath the trees. The paved meandering paths, small waterfalls, and ponds create a soothing environment; much to the delight of the visitors.
Deken Tsuklagkhang temple
The temple of the Norbulingka institute is the finest example of Tibetan architecture and culture. You can sit, relax, pray or meditate inside the warm and ambient environment inside. The images, sculptures, and paintings are all done by the artists of the institute. The frescoes on the walls depict the acts and deeds of Lord Buddha, Dalai Lama, and prominent Buddhist philosophers. The statue of the Lord Buddha made from copper sheets is the key attraction, placed at the center of the temple.
Losel Doll museum
The museum of the Norbulingka institute is small but houses beautiful cute curated dolls. There are about 150 dolls adorned with the traditional costumes of the Tibetan culture, created by the artists of the institute. There are dolls belonging to Tibetan kings and royal families, dancers, opera singers, merchants, and local men and women folk with traditional costumes and performing rituals. The purpose is to showcase the richness of Tibetan culture.
Norling Art gallery
The Norling art gallery is essentially a library with a reading room and collection of Buddhist and Tibetan scriptures. You can find beautifully curated images of the Medicine Buddha and Green Tara. The best part is the finest and most creative paintings, hung inside the gallery. The reading room is quiet and cozy to spend a good time reading the books of your choice.
There are several workshops inside the Norbulingka institute, suitable for learning several creative works for individuals aspiring to learn weaving, stitching, carpentry, wood painting and carving, fabric painting, and many more. Visitors are allowed to visit the workshops and witness the wonderful craftsmanship and artistry of the Tibetans. The Applique techniques, weaving of silk, sculpturing of images, and exquisite woodwork can be observed inside the workshops.
How to reach Norbulingka institute?
You can either hire a car from Dharamshala or a bus from the Dharamshala bus stand.
The institute is a sacred abode, a place to refresh minds and rejuvenate hearts. So if you get a chance, please visit the institute.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.