“Following the Noble Path is like entering a dark room with a light in the hand; the darkness will all be cleared away, and the room will be filled with light.”
~ Gautama Buddha
Amazing Arunachal Tourism welcomes you to the Tawang Monastery at Tawang ~ Arunachal Pradesh.
Tawang Monastery is the largest Buddhist Monastery in India and second largest in the World after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It is situated in the valley of the Tawang River, near the small town of the same name in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh, in close proximity to the Tibetan and Bhutanese border.
Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh is known in Tibetan as Gaden Namgyal Lhatse, which translates to “celestial paradise in a clear night.” It was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1680-1681 in accordance with the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso. It belongs to the Gelug school of Mahayana Buddhism and had a religious association with Drepung Monastery of Lhasa, which continued during the period of British rule here in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Tawang Monastery stands on the spur of a hill, about 10,000 feet above the mean sea level and is surrounded by the lush green hills of the West Kameng of Arunachal Pradesh with ravines and ridges around it. Tawang Monastery offers a commanding and picturesque view of the Tawang-Chu valley of Arunachal Pradesh and from a distance it appears like a fort as if guarding the votaries in the wide valley below. Tawang monastery is the largest of its kind in the Country (India). This monastery is the fountain-head of the spiritual life of the people of this region.
The Tawang monastery is three (3) stories high and is enclosed by a 925 feet (282 m) long compound wall. Within the complex there are 65 residential buildings that has the capacity for housing about seven hundred monks. However, the actual number of resident Lamas (Monks) at present is a little more than 450. The library of the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh has valuable old scriptures, mainly Kangyur and Tengyur. Of all the festivals celebrated in the monastery, Losar is the most elaborate and colorful.
The most imposing building of the Tawang Monastery is the assembly hall known as Dukhang. It is a three-storied building standing on the northern side of the court and houses the template and the Labrang (The establishment of the Abbot.) The inner walls of the Dukhang are painted with murals of various divinities and saints. The altars inside the Tawang Monastery are given water offerings in little cups and burning butter lamps.