Tawang Monastery

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2013

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Tawang town is quite big, up and down hill. The monastery is at one end of the town. An early morning view of the monastery. It was built in the mid 17th century. Tawang is at a height of 11,155 feet. If you suffer from blood pressure problem do check your pressure from time to time esp. if you going to Bumla Border 15,500 feet. To see pics of Drive to Tawang Click here

We reached Tawang abt 3 ish. U see me at the Monastery with a monk. It was somewhere here that the 14th Dalai Lama crossed over into India from Tibet 1959. In the 17th century a period of harsh rivalry existed between various Buddhists sects - an angry monk Meera Lama built a fortress here to protect the monks of his Gelugpa creed. It is called Tawang Monastery today. Some captions are courtesy Outlook Traveller - Heritage Holidays.

Entrance to Monastery early morning view. I landed at 5.15 am. Early morning prayer ended around 6 am. This massive citadel came to be known as Tawang Galdam Namgye Lhatse or the celestial paradise on the divine site chosen by a horse''. The monastery has a big library with impressive collection of ancient books and manuscripts. The famous gold inscribed scriptures Kangyur and Tangyur are preserved here.

Took this pic standing at main entrance door to monastery. U see a 28 foot high image of Buddha. Huge murals on the shrine''s walls gleam with acrylic paint, as do the intricately painted mandalas and chakras on the ceiling. Adjacent to the monastery building is the Centre for Buddhist Cultural Studies.

A close up of Lord Buddha image. Tawang Valley is an important seat of Mahayana Buddhism. The monastery also has a collection of gold lettered Buddhist scriptures, great rotating prayer wheels, an assembly hall, a library, a school for monks, a community kitchen, a museum, ritual vessels and Tangkhas paintings.

A side view of the prayer hall - early morning sun''s rays. Also visit the Urgyelling Monastery which is considered sacred as it is the birth place of Thangyang Gyastso, the 6th Dalai Lama. It is a very small monastery, took some effort to find the place.

A view of the Tawang Monastery taken from the base of the hill where is situated the lovely craft centre. Also visit Taktsang Monastery i.e. 45 kms from Tawang known as Tiger''s Den. Guru Padmasambhava is supposed to have visited there in the 8th century.

The monastery has a museum with some rare pictures and artifacts. This shows Dalai Lama''s escape from Chinese Occupied Tibet in 1959.

Former Indian Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi in Tawang in traditional Monpa tribe dress.

His Holiness Dalai Lama looks at one of the craft emporiums in Dirang in 1959. Sela Pass is the entry point to Tawang or the area where Tibetan Buddhism is practiced. To see pics of Sela Pass Click here

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Tawang with monks. To see pics of Tawang War Memorial Click here

A view of Tawang town from the monastery. Was about 5 pm. We went in Sept - very cold and foggy. See pics of Golden Pagoda at Chowkham in Arunachal Click here

Lamas outside the entrance to Tawang monastery on completion of early morning prayer. To see pics of Sarnath Click here

Two ladies knitting and walking down the market road in Tawang. Have seen women watching TV, chatting and knitting but never walking. To see pics of women knitting, Woolens of Munisyari in Kumaon, Uttaranchal Click here

A side view of the Buddha. Note the design around Buddha and on top of pic. Would have loved to spend more than 2 days at Tawang but was running out of time, had to catch a return flight from Gauhati. Tawang monastery is is the second largest (after the original one in Lhasa). Do visit Bumla Border i.e. about 3 hrs from Tawang. To see pics Click here

Buddha looks different in different regions/countries. This image of Buddha is at Bodh Gaya Temple. To see pics of the temple Click here