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Namgyal Monastery, Dharamshala

Visitor Information

  • Famous For: Tibetan culture, Buddhism.
  • Entry Fee: Not applicable.
  • Visiting Time: 5:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Visiting Duration:  45 mins.

Dharamshala, a quaint town in the heart of Himachal Pradesh, is a confluence of the different cultures and religions existing throughout the world. This admixture of religion and culture has indeed raised the significance as well as the popularity of Dharamshala up to a great extent. One such exotic place of religion is the Namgyal Monastery which is the heart of Buddhism in the hill station of Dharamshala. This monastery was founded by the third Dalai Lama in 1564 to 1565 as a place of worship and also an institute for spreading the great learning of Buddhism. Over the years, the Namgyal Monastery has gained prominent importance as the personal monastery of the Dalai Lama and has, thus, emerged as a popular tourist destination too.

Namgyal Monastry
Photo by Ranzen, CC BY-SA 3.0

Traveler Tips

  • Wear comfortable shoes as you will be required to walk uphill and downhill while going to and from the monastery.
  • Maintain silence in the premises of the monastery and do not try to enter the restricted zones.
  • Photography is prohibited in many parts of the monastery. So, make sure that you do not disobey the rules.
  • Keep the premises clean and tidy.

Things to Do

  • Offer your prayers to the Almighty.
  • Learn about the lives of the monks by interacting with them if they are free to do so.
  • Spend some time alone in introspection.
  • Trekking around the monastery is a soothing experience.

Availability of Guides

Guides are not available in and around the monastery as it is a place of learning and teaching. Do not disturb the monks busy in meditation and learning if you want guidance. You need to hire a professional guide by consulting a travel agency from beforehand. Guides are generally not needed here as everything is self-explanatory.

Best Time to Visit

There is no specific time as the weather remains favorable here throughout the year. Visit at your own convenience.

Monastry Inside
Photo by KaranKapoor1314, CC BY-SA 4.0

How to Reach the Place

Hire a pre-paid cab or car to reach the Namgyal Monastery easily. If you want to enjoy the scenic beauty by lingering around the beautiful hill station then, you can choose to trek to the monastery as well.

Interesting Facts and Trivia on the Namgyal Monastery

  • It was founded by the third Dalai Lama from 1564 to 1565.
  • It is also known as the Namgyal Dratsang in the local language which means the Victorious Monastery.
  • The café, the book shop and the guest house are available for the tourists.
  • The Namgyal Tantric College lies in the same premises where a number of monks learn the ancient so-called magic tricks.
  • The leisure time of the young monks studying at the monastery is spent playing badminton and practicing debate.

Nearby Attractions

  • Tsuglagkhang Complex
  • Kangra Valley
  • H H Dalai Lama Main Temple
  • Dal Lake
  • Kareri Lake
  • Chintpurni
  • Tibet Museum
  • State Museum of Dharamshala

 Nearby Restaurants

  • Tibet Kitchen
  • Nick’s Italian Kitchen
  • Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen
  • Illiterati
  • Lobsang’s Four Season Café
  • Snow Lion’s Restaurant
  • Morgan’s Place

The Namgyal Monastery is one of the most visited places in India. It is an ancient place where Buddhism is taught and practiced to the core of its origin and transformation. It is one of the very good centers for learning and spreading Buddhism and is, thus, visited by many pilgrims throughout the year. Apart from its religious importance, the architectural part of it also attracts many tourists. Besides these materialistic advantages, the serenity accompanied by the ringing of the gongs all around infuses a strong sense of trance in the tourists that leave them feeling born afresh again. Thus, the Namgyal Monastery is a truly recommended visit for all.

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