Discover the Famous Buddhist Monasteries in India on Your Trip

Born to the King Suddhodana and Queen Maya in a royal family, Gautam Buddha become one of the world-famous Sage. Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal and brought up in Kapilavastu.

Born in 563 BCE, Buddha embarked an enlightening journey, the Wheel of Dhamma in India, Sri Lanka, Mayanmmar and all the South east Asian Countries. He left is home and family at the age of 29 in quest of answers to life.

India itself is dotted with many pilgrimage sites that can deliver answers to inquisitiveness. Start your Buddhist trail in India and follow the footsteps of Buddha to touch the key monasteries.

Here we have compiled the list of popular Buddhist Monasteries in India

 1)   Hemis Monastery, Ladakh

Despite of the fact, that Hemis is not the most good-looking monastery, yet it is the biggest and most extravagant Buddhist monastery in Ladakh. It came into existence before eleventh century however was restored in India in 1652. It houses an acclaimed assortment of old sculptures, consecrated thangkas, and different antiques. During the peak season, it's possible to stay in the monastery and participate in the Hemis Spiritual Retreat organized by the monks.  You will be provided with basic facilities and food. For those who are looking for longer holiday can look for home stays provided to travellers by the local villagers.

Located 47 km from Leh, Hemis Monastery lies on the west bank of Indus River. The Monastery was founded by the first incarnation of Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso, and is visited by travellers all the year round. You can enjoy the famous Guru Padmasambhava, also known as the Hemis festival, held in the month of June-July, every year.

Best Restaurant Near Hemis Monastery

Places to Stay Near Hemis Monastery

2)   Tawang Monastery, Arunanchal Pradesh


Tawang Monastery is located in the Bomidilla District of Arunanchal Pradesh. Nestled at 10,000 ft above sea level, it is one of the largest buddhist monasteries in India. Too add, The Monastery is the second biggest and oldest in Asia. It is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions of Arunanchal Pradesh. The monastery's prayer hall is beautifully adorned and you can see the see glimpses of monks performing their daily tasks.

The monastery was founded by Merag Lodroe Gyamtso in the year 1680-81. You can easily locate the famous 8 m high glided statue of Lord Buddha in the sanctum.

Those want to experience solace, can actually visit this monastery and watch how monks in monastery sustain with basic amenities and yet be calm and happy.

The monastery is actually a residential building for the monks encompassing a library, a museum and school for the basic education too. The residential huts, also called the Shas, can accommodate around 700 monks.

It is the hub of Gelug school of Mahayana Buddhism, and is surrounded by 282 m long compound wall. The monastery has a assortment of 65 residential buildings for the monks, as well as other edifices. You can also visit few of the lakes around the monastery including Banggachang,  Shonga-tser, Madhuri, and Pangang Teng Tso

Best Restaurants Near Tawang Monastery

Places to Stay Near Tawang Monastery

3.) Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim :

Located in Sikkim, 26 KM away from Gangtok, Rumtek is a famous Tibetan Buddhist monastery and is also known as the Dharmachakra Center. This is one of the largest and important monasteries of Sikkim. It is an important Buddhist site of Kargyu sect of Buddhists who originated in Tibet in the 12th century.

The splendid Rumtek Monastery is home to a beautiful shrine temple and an intriguing monastery which were constructed with the point to spread the Buddhist preaching around the globe. It is a visual delight to the eyes besides being divine retreat for peace. 

Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, a Buddhist college is situated just opposite to the monastery.

The primary structure of the structure is made as per the conventional plans of Tibetan cloisters. Insides are decorated with paintings, frescos, customary Tibetan engineering, models, and canvases.

If you happen to visit on time, you can also enjoy two important celebration including the masked dances during the annual group meditation (Drupchen) held in May or June, secondly two days before the Tibetan New Year (Losar). 

Best Restaurants Near Rumtek Monastery

 Places to Stay Near Rumtek Monastery

4)   Phuktal Monastery, Zanskar

If you are amongst those who love to trek, here is your chance, as Phutkel Monasteries in Ladakh that could only be reached by trekking. Located in the remote Lungnak Valley, Phugtal Monastery is amongst the top attractions in Zanskar. It was a natural cave in a cliff at Lungnak Valley, Ladakh and the present monastery is built around the natural cave.

The monastery was founded by Gangsem Sherap Sampo, a Tibetan Buddhist guru and houses 70 monks. It is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Tibetan Buddhists.

Best Restaurants Near Phutkal Monastery

 Places to Stay Near Phutkal Monastery


5)   Tabo Monastery, Himachal Pradesh

Also known as the ‘Ajanta of Himalayas’, Tabo Monastery is one of the popular monasteries in the Lahaul & Spiti. The Tabo Monastery was founded more than a millennium back in 996 A.D.

This monastery can be located in the Spiti valley and was founded by the great scholar, Richen Zangpo.

The monastery was established as an advanced centre for Buddhist learning and to conserve the Buddhist legacy. The monastery compound encompassed of 9 temples, 23 chortens, a monk's chamber, and also the nun's chamber. There are number of temples within the complex. It also houses exquisite ancient murals, few dating back to the 11th century.

Best Restaurants Near Tabo Monastery

 Places to Stay Near Tabo Monastery

6)   Namdroling Monastery and Golden Temple, Karnataka

The is a Tibetan Monastery and considered as second largest in India. You will be surprised to see the amount of Gold in the prayer hall and temple, particularly the immense gold statues of Buddha.


7)   Mindrolling Monastery, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

It is one of the main monasteries of the Nyingma school in Tibet. It was re-built in India in 1976 and has since grown to be a recognized center of learning.

Spanning over an area of 80 square feet and the places was donated by the Indian Government to the Tibetans in exile. 

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