7 Spectacular Monasteries In India Where You Can Stay And Unwind

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Monasteries provide an experience of quiet and solitary existence in abundance. While most Buddhist monasteries in India offer accommodation for only those who are keen on taking a course or studying Buddhism, some of them also offer accommodation for tourists and adventure junkies looking for solitude. Below is a list of 7 Buddhist monasteries in India where you can stay for a short while for an astounding experience and buoyant memories to take back with you…

Credit: Palash K

Photo of Thikse Monastery, Thiksey by Pritha Puri

The biggest monastery in central Ladakh, Thiksey carefully watches over the town of Leh with its magnificent views. On a cloudy day you can see the town enveloped in clouds with a grey hue across the atmosphere. The winds are pure and it is a pleasure to stick around the monastery while the monks and nuns carry on their daily routines. The residents of this monastery in India are extremely friendly. A restaurant near the monastery gate serves delicious food throughout the day; there is a library as well from where you can pick up some ancient books on Buddhism.

Where: Ladakh

Credit: Leh Official

Photo of The Lamayuru Monastery, Lamayuru by Pritha Puri

Lamayuru is one of the most enchanting Buddhist monasteries in India you will ever visit in your whole life. It rests in isolation away from the main town and comes on the way to Leh from Kargil. This monastery in India has a small hotel adjoining its boundaries where you can stay along with the nunnery quarters. The monks are friendly love to engage in conversations! A restaurant outside the gate has the most delicious aromas from its quarters filling the air and making you hungry throughout the day. Lamayuru is an experience in itself. For people looking for complete silence and isolation from the outside world, it is best to stay here.

Where: Ladakh

Credit: Madhav Pai

Photo of Hemis Gompa, Hemis by Pritha Puri

The biggest and the richest monastery in the whole of Ladakh, Hemis Monastery is a few kilometres away from Leh and hides behind a barren hilltop. The same road to Hemis also extends to Hemis National Park. This monastery in India is known for its famous annual festival where vibrant dances and Buddhist rituals are performed. The monastery also offers stay for tourists who come here to visit. For people who prefer some interaction with travellers the Hemis Monastery is the perfect place to be in. Every year thousands of travellers come to visit the monastery and the numbers increase especially during the Hemis Festival. Wake up early to attend the early morning prayers and get awe-struck by the sublime atmosphere the sound of music creates.

Where: Ladakh, Kashmir

Photo of Tabo Monastery, Himachal Pradesh, India by Pritha Puri

Like most Buddhist monasteries in India, Tabo Monastery is built atop a hill. Despite being the most important monastery in Spiti, it still does not attract as many tourists as any other monastery in India does. To stay in the big rooms of the monastery in winters is just an out of the world experience. The Tabo Monastery looks over a small village that is just as quiet and tranquil. Walls of the monastery are adorned with exquisite silk paintings called thangkas and precious Buddhist texts. Peace in abundance and solitude are just a few experiences that a journey to this monastery will enrich you with.

Where: Spiti, Himachal

Credit: Eshank Sehgal

Photo of Nako Gompa, Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Pritha Puri

Spread across the vast valley in Lahaul and Spiti, the Nako Monastery is nestled in the tiny Nako village. One of the most scenic Buddhist monasteries in India, you must experience a stay inside the premises at least once in your lifetime. The monastery receives a considerate amount of footfall during the summer months but during winters the monastery remains fairly remote. Nako Lake freezes in the winters and converts to a haven for migratory birds in the summers. Nako hides treasures of ancient Buddhist practises with thangkas and clay made statues and figures of deities. If you are unable to find a room to stay in the monastery you can easily opt for a home stay in the village, the locals are always happy to help.

Where: Spiti, Himachal

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Phugtal Gompa, Kargil by Pritha Puri

Etched on verticals of a rugged mountain, Phugtal Gompa is very famous but is mostly known for being extremely isolated. To reach Phugtal one needs to cross the Zanskar Rangdum road which is fairly bumpy. The main monastery is inside a cave in the cliff gorge. The monastery provides a stay for the tourists that would like to stay back after a long hike to the village. The experience of visiting and staying in Phugtal Monastery is nothing short of mind blowing!

Where: Ladakh, Kashmir

Credit: Kate Harris

Photo of Rangdum Gompa, Rangdum by Pritha Puri

Rangdum Monastery comes on the way to the ever isolated Zanskar valley. The road used to be bumpy but the local authorities are making an effort to improve the highway that connects Ladakh to Zanskar. The Rangdum Gompa stands alone on a hill looking over the tiny village below. The life at Rangdum is slow and lazy but the monks are very friendly and eager for interesting conversations. You can even learn about Tibetan Buddhism while spending time in there.

Where: Ladakh, Kashmir

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