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Tawang Monastery(Temple)in Tawang Arunachal Pradesh

Here is Some Information about Tawang Monastery(Temple)in Tawang Arunachal Pradesh India.

Location:  180-km From Bomdila, Tawang District, Arunachal Prdesh
Built in: 17th century A.D
Built By: Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso
Dedicated to: Lord Buddha
Significance:Tawang Monastery is the Largest In India and 2nd Largest In Asia.
Visiting Timing: 1 Hour
Best time to Visit: October to April
Nearest Railway Station: Rangapara(Assam).
Nearest Air Port: Tezpur(Assam).

About Tawang Monastery 

The Tawang Monastery is located at 180-km From Bomdila, Tawang District, Arunachal Prdesh.It was built in 17th century A.D and built by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso.The Tawang Monastery also known as "Galden Namgyal Lhatse" is famous Buddhist monastery which was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyamtso in the year 1860-61 AD. The Tawang Monastery stands on the start of a hill, about 10,000 ft above sea level and has ravines in the south and west, narrow ridge on the north and a gradual slope on the east.
This Buddhist monastery tour offers an imposing and picturesque view of the Tawang -Chu valley. The major attractions here lies in the appreance of the monastery. monastery appears like a fort from a distance, as if guarding the admirers in the wide valley below. Tawang monastery in Arunachal Pradesh is the largest of its kind in the country and 2nd largest in Asia. The Tawang Moanstery has the capacity for housing about 700 monks, but, the actual number of resident Lamas (Monks) at present is a little more than 300. This monastery of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is the source of the spiritual life of the people of this region.
The Architecture Tawang Monastery 

The majestic monastery can be entered from its northern side along the ridge by the gate 'Kakaling', which is a hut-like structure with its walls made of stone. The ceiling or the interior roof of the Kakaling are painted with Mandalas or the Kying-Khores, while the inside walls have been painted with pictures of the saints and divinities. After Kakaling, comes the main gate of the monastery in its northern side. Its eastern wall is about 925 feet long while the height differs in between 10 to 20 feet.

The Tawang monastery houses several structures within its premises, the most prominent being the 'Dukhang'. The Dukhang or the assembly hall, which is the main building of the monastery, stands on the northern side of the main court. This three storied complex houses a temple and a 'Labrang', which is the establishment of an Abbot. The interiors of the Dukhang are equally well marked with a magnificent work of art. Its inner walls have been painted with the sketches of several saints and Bodhisattvas, whereas the northern wall of the hall is covered with an altar, used for religious ceremonies; and again, towards its(altar) left lies a silver silk casket holding the Thangkas. The Thangkas have been dedicated to the chief deity of monastery, Goddess Shri Devi, also known as Palden Lhamo. This Thangka, which was painted(Painting known as Ja-Droi Ma) with blood drawn from the fifth Dalai Lama's nose, was given to Merak Lama by His Holy Highness the fifth Dalai Lama himself. Besides, the northern side of the building nests the largest image of the monastery, a huge statue(26 feet high) of the Lord Buddha, standing in the middle of the hall.
Another prominent structure of the monastery is the 'Court', situated at the back of the Gompa(monastery). The stone slab court hosts religious dances and other ceremonies, held according to the lunar calendar of Monpa. On the western side of the court lies a three storied building, known as 'Par-Khang', the library. The Par Khang houses numerous sacred scriptures and Buddhist texts. A two storied structure is located on the southern side of the court, with its one part storing the monks' provisions, while the another one being occupied by Dra-Tsang Buk and his associates. Lastly, on the eastern side of the court is located Rhum-Khang, a two-storied structure. The Rhum-Khang is used for cooking sacred food on the rituals and refreshment for the monks on festive days.

The 'Sha' or hut(60 in number) is another important structure of the monastery, used as residential quarters by the monks. The Centre for Buddhist Cultural Studies is an integral part of the monastery, and act as a learning centre for the young monks, who are taught traditional monastic education along with several subjects like English, Hindi, Arithmetic and others.

Festivals celebrate 

The main festivals celebrated by the Tawang monastery are Losar and Torgya, which not only mark important days for the Buddhists, but at the same time let the people of the area to assemble and celebrate their culture and tradition.
The Losar festival, which is celebrated in the month of January, marks the beginning of the New Year according to the Monpa or lunar calendar. This 15 days festival is celebrated by lightening lamps, offering prayers and hoisting prayer flags. Another festival, Torgya is celebrated by the Lamas of the monastery for three days starting from the 28th day of the eleventh month of the lunar calendar. On this occasion, the Lamas make a Torgya, which is a pyramidical structure made of barley flour, offer prayers, lighten every corner of the monastery, and perform dance to signify the victory of good over the evil spirits.
Other main festivals celebrated in the monastery are Saka Dawa - celebrated on the fourth month of lunar calendar to mark the Buddha's enlightenment day, Dukpa Tse-Shi - on the 6th month of the lunar calendar to mark the fist sermon of the Buddha, Lhabab Duechen - to mark the reincarnation of the Buddha in His Shakyamuni form, celebrated on the ninth month of the calendar and Ganden Ngamchoe - to commemorate the death anniversary of Tsongkha-Pa, the founder of Gelugpa sect.

How To Reach Tawang Monastery 

By Road : Tawang can be reached by a state transport or private bus, or a jeep taken from either Bomdila(185 km), Tezpur(365 km) or Guwahati(555 km) via Sila Pass.

By Rail:
The nearest convenient railhead is at Guwahati(555km), which is connected to the cities like Delhi and Mumbai by Rajdhani Express and other trains.
By Air : The nearest airport is at Tezpur(Assam), 365 kilometers away, which is directly connected to Kolkata(West Bengal) by two flights weekly. One can also take a flight to Guwahati(Assam), 555 kilometers away and connected by daily flights to different parts of the country.
Picture Gellery of  Tawang Monastery 

Google Map of Tawang Monastery 

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