Tsuglagkhang / Dalai Lama Temple Complex
Historical | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 2 km from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand and 4 km from Dharamshala, Tsuglagkhang Monastery is the most important Buddhist Monastery situated in McLeod Ganj suburb of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.
Tsuglag Khang, also known as Dalai Lama's Temple complex, is the home for His Holiness Dalai Lama. It is among the world renowned religious centers and is thronged by Buddhist pilgrims throughout the year. Tsuglagkhang Monastery is beautifully built structure. This is more like a temple along with being a residential complex for His Holiness and his followers.
The complex houses the Photang (Dalai Lama's residence), Tibet Museum, Tsuglagkhang Temple, and Namgyal Gompa. The monastery deals with training of monks for rituals associated with holy shrine, whereas the temple is a chief place of worship. A beautifully decorated statue of Lord Buddha along with beautiful statues of Padmasambhava and Avalokiteshvara are housed in the temple. It is open from sunrise to sunset each day and is visited by thousands of tourist and devotees.
The first building inside the Tsuglagkhang Monastery is Tibet Museum. The ground floor of the monastery comprises of Chinese incursion of Tibet along with several other pictures. The museum shows tourists the major cause behind the inflow of Tibetans to India. This monastery is the biggest Tibetan Temple outside Tibet. It has got a big meditation hall that comprise of some beautiful thangkas, and statues along with Kalachakra temple that has beautiful murals.
The monastery also has a place called Namgyal Gompa which is reserved for Tibetan monks to get indulged in a religious debate. There is also famous Kora ritual which includes walking in a clockwise direction along with a specific path. This monastery has a garden, cafeteria, book shop, museum and a library.
Kalachakra Temple is located adjoining the Tsuglagkhang. The temple has fresco decorations of 722 deities of the mandala, Shakayamuni Buddha, and the central Kalachakra image. Dalai Lama personally directed the painting of the frescos done by three master painters over a period of three years. The walls and columns have many traditional Tibetan Thangka paintings.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM in winter (Nov - Mar) & 5 AM to 7 PM in summer (Apr - Oct)