McleodGanj Area Monasteries

Zilnon KagyeLing Nyingma Monastery with Dhauladhar Range Behind

Tibetans, as most Mahayana Buddhists, include a great deal of ritual worship in their daily life. The monastery is traditionally the center of their community and spiritual life. Many of the ornate hand crafted details in the architecture of these buildings have spiritual significance.

There are numerous Tibetan Buddhist monasteries on the hillsides encircling McleodGanj. 

Zilnon Kagyeling monastery (pictured above), in the Nyingma School, is located above town against the backdrop of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas, and among the most easily photographed.

Namgyal Monastery, the seat of His Holiness Dalai Lama, is a Gelugpa Monastery and part of a spread out temple complex in the town of McleodGanj. There are other smaller monasteries, including Tsangpa, located in this temple complex, as well.
Stupa on Kora Behind Namgyal Monastery Compex
Gyuto Tantric Monastery and College, situated a few miles below Lower Dharamsala in the village of Sidhbari, is the temporary residence in exile of His Holiness the Karmapa (whose traditional seat is the disputed Rumtek Monastery outside Gangtok, Sikkim).

Nechung Monastery is located at the base of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, roughly midway between McleodGanj and Lower Dharamsala. Nechung is the seat of The Nechung State Oracle, also known as Kuten la.
Snow Lion Outside Temple Room of Nechung Monastery, with Dhauladhars in Background
Tse Choekling Gelugpa Monastery is situated in a valley at the base of a hill below McleodGanj, accessible by a long flight of stairs from the alley behind Om Hotel.
Tse Choekling Monastery Viewed from Stairs to McleodGanj

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All images copyright Tammy Winand/Everyday Exile Project