I had been describing the numerous and incredible places I had been visiting in Himachal Pradesh. Each has its unique significance and marvel. Today I would like to describe my visit to the holy and divine Dalai Lama temple at Dharamshala. Popularly known as the heavenly Namgyal Monastery. It is said to be the residence of several Tibetan monks and you can realize that the moment you are in the vicinity of the temple. They even celebrate the prominent Tibetan ceremonies and festivals inside the monastery.
Interesting Facts about the Dalai Lama Temple
The serenity and ambiance at the Dalai Lama temple are enticing, and alluring to devotees and travelers all year round. And the fact that HIs Highness the holy Dalai Lama preaches and spiritually guides his disciples enhances the aura of the place. The temple serves as the residence for about 200 monks who are preached and taught Buddhist scriptures and cultural traits, various skills, and rituals, belonging to Tibet.
The location of the Dalai Lama temple is scenic, atop a hill that is truly picturesque. The peace dwelling in the place soothes a person’s soul and rejuvenates the heart. The place is also a witness to a rich historical past when slowly it expanded its fame throughout the country and in the world. The temple has transformed the place into a spiritual and religious tourist destination.
The architectural grandeur of the temple
The intrinsic beauty of the temple is fabulous. You can find gigantic statues of Lord Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava, Guru Avaloktwshwara, and many other spiritual teachers. There are meditation areas where you can sit, relax, meditate, and perform rituals. Several religious books, Buddhist scriptures, and Tibetan books can be found inside the monastery.
If you walk down to the main area of the temple, you can find people rotating, praying, and chanting with the prayer wheels. There is a belief that rotating the wheels is the means to pay homage to the Lord. Monks can be seen either walking around the temple, sitting and relaxing, or meditating in the main hall. Being the abode of the Holy Dalai Lama, the temple is a revered and spiritual place to be in and experience tranquility. No doubt it lures several people into its religious environment. The quiet and silent feeling residing in the temple is awesome and mind-blowing.
The key attraction of the Dalai Lama temple is the huge idol of Lord Buddha sitting on an elevated pedestal. Near the statue, you can find the chief prayer wheel. It is plated in gold and is at the center of the temple. Devotees chant ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ while rotating the prayer wheel. Adjacent to the wheel is a big hall where people can meditate in large numbers. Besides, there are few shops nearby where you can find the religious books of the Dalai Lama and other spiritual teachers. There are souvenirs too to pick up and carry with you as mementos.
Preachings of the Holy Dalai Lama at the temple
The temple is highy revered due to the preachings and sermons of His Highness the Dalai Lama. The devotees sit on the floor, listening to him. His teachings are in Tibetan language. You can either bring a translator with you or hear it on the radio where there are translations available in various languages. You must check out the dates of His preachings in advance, online. Its better always to register for the sessions 3 days before. The tickets are available at the Tibetan Branch Security Office in McLeod Ganj .
Places to visit near Dalai Lama temple
You can visit some beautiful and pristine places near the Dalai Lama temple.
The complex is near to the monastery, only 2 minutes walk. Photang, the official residence of the Holiness Dalai Lama, is present inside the complex.You can walk around the complex, appreciating the greatness and royal grandness of the place. Tsuglagkhang temple is a key attraction in the complex, that remains open from 5 PM to 8 PM.
An artistic institute adorned by beautiful water streams, gurgling and flowing in serenity. It is a mesmerizing experience to witness the natural magnificence of the place. Norbulingka institute serves as the learning abode for the Tibetan culture, heritage, and traditions. Sewing, stitching, arts and crafts, carpentry are the many activities that are taught in the institute.
The museum is very close to the temple. You can check out the rich cultural heritage, festivals, customs, and traditions of Tibet. There is no entry fee and the museum is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Dal lake is another serene place to visit near to the monastery. Its better to watch the lake during the monsoons when the lake booms with the sparkling waters. The deodar forests at both sides of the lake enhance the astounding aura of the place.
You must not miss visiting the Stupa, resembling peace and victory. There is a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha at the top of the stupa.
Which is the best time to visit the Dalai Lama temple?
The months between February and June are the best time to visit the temple. The weather is not too cold and not too marshy. You will love the blooms around, along with the flora and fauna.
How to reach the temple?
By air, the nearest airport is Kangra from where you can hire a cab to reach the place. If you are staying at a hotel or homestay in Dharamshala or Mcleoganj, then you can hire a cab or rent a vehicle to reach the temple from anywhere. Even local buses are available in plenty to be availed and boarded to reach the temple.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.