India has numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries that are quite famous as our country is the birthplace of Buddhism. Buddhism is regarded as one of the most peaceful and loving religions due to its focus on truth, non-violence, and letting go of all worldly things.
The place where Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment also happens to be the most important center of Buddhism i.e., Bodh Gaya in Bihar. So, without further ado, let us check out the most well-known Buddhist temples and monasteries in India that you must definitely visit in this lifetime!
Located in Bodh Gaya, this temple is a place of holy pilgrimage and is one of the most famous Buddhist temples. The name of the temple literally translates to the “Great Awakening Temple.” It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and that alone is reason enough to visit this place.
It is believed that Buddha gained enlightenment under a Bodhi Tree, and a descendant of this tree can also be found in the Mahabodhi Temple.
Hemis Monastery in Ladakh is one of the most well-known monasteries in the country. In addition to being situated amidst natural beauty and scenic vista as far as the eye can see, it is also a sacred place for Buddhists.
The monastery is situated 44 km away from the stunning valley of Leh. In addition to that, the history of this monastery goes all the way back to the 11th century.
This is when, in 1672, the monastery was constructed by Sengge Namgyal, the king of Ladakh. This monastery is also the wealthiest and largest in the region of Ladakh.
Another popular monastery in Ladakh is the Thiksey Monastery. It is located at a massive height of 11800 feet some 20 km from Leh. This monastery can easily be regarded as one of the most architecturally stunning monasteries in the country.
It is absolutely magnificent to look at and is also considered to be a sacred place of immense historical importance. It was built in the 15th century by Pladen Sangpo, and there are several mysterious tales associated with the establishment of this monastery in the Ladakh region.
Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery
If you ever happen to visit the famous hill station Coorg in Karnataka, you simply cannot leave without visiting the Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery. This monastery is the perfect place to learn Buddhism and all the teachings of Lord Buddha.
This monastery has taken a number of disciples under its wings to offer education about the religion. In addition to spiritual and religious teachings, the monastery also provides the students with courses such as philosophy and debate to enhance their knowledge. His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, has also blessed this monastery on one of his visits.
The Tabo Monastery is situated in the Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh. This alone is a reason to visit the enchanting place where this monastery is located. The monastery is ancient and was built in 996 AD.
In addition to that, the entire place is packed with paintings on the ceilings as well as walls, which gives the place its undeniable historical importance. moreover, the entire monastery is surrounded by a number of caves, which has given it the name “Ajanta of the Himalayas.” Despite the passage of centuries, the monastery and the stupas it houses are in good condition.
You can also consider visiting the Ghoom Monastery in Darjeeling, West Bengal. It is just 6 km away from the central town of Darjeeling. You can access the monastery easily using the Ghoom Railway Station, which is also one of the foremost tourist attractions in the place.
Lama Sharap Gyatso built this monastery in 1850, which makes it the oldest monastery in the area. One of the unique features of the monastery is its library, which comprises some of the most ancient scriptures and books on Buddhism.
Therefore, this monastery is also one of the leading learning centers in the region for learning Buddhism.
Finally, this list will not be complete without mentioning Enchey Monastery in Gangtok, Sikkim. Situated in the country’s north-eastern part, this monastery is a well-loved structure in the region.
It was built in 1901, and ever since then, it has been known as a place of remembrance and peaceful stays. The monastery has a very colorful architecture and offers scenic views, thanks to its enviable location. You will even be able to see monks dressed in traditional attires, meditating in the monastery on one of your visits.
Therefore, if you are seeking some much-deserved serenity and peace in quiet surrounds, these monasteries are a good place to start. If nothing else, you will definitely end up learning a bit about the teachings and life of Buddha.