Tawang Monastery, Tawang Town, Arunachal Pradesh

"Tawang Town – The Home to the World Famous Tawang Monastery"

Tawang Monastery, Tawang Town, Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is the most North Eastern Indian State that shares international boundaries with China, Burma and Bhutan. Most natives of this place belong to the descendants of the Tibeto-Burman people and hence, the State has a major influence of the Tibetan local culture. This is also seen in the religious practices of the people here with Tibetan Buddhism being predominantly practiced. This brings us to the Tawang Monastery, which is considered as hugely significant by the locals here as well as by Buddhists from all over the world.
The Tawang Monstery, located in the Tawang Town, can be easily considered as the crown of Buddhism in Arunachal Pradesh. The biggest monastery of India and second largest in Asia, the Tawang Monastery is based on the Lamaistic faith of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, also known as the Galden Namgyal Lhatse, this monastery was built by Merak Lama Lodre Gyamtso in the year 1860-61.
Standing at 10,000 feet above the sea level, the Tawang Monastery is offering a picturesque view of the Himalayas, giving tourists a lot more than just spiritual peace.


Let’s Take a Peek at the marvellous Tawang Monastery

It would be no exaggeration to refer to the Tawang Monastery as majestic. The huge monastery, with its eastern wall running 925 feet long and 10 to 20 feet high, has a very distinct appeal that attracts tourists, and not only Buddhist pilgrims. The northern side of the monastery has a huge stone gate, the Kakaling gate, which is a hut-like structure. The kakaling gate itself is designed beautifully with the interior roof painted with Mandalas or Kying-khores. The walls of the gate have pictures of saints and all things divine.
There are several separate structures within the walls of the Tawang Monastery. The most prominent of these small structures being the Dukhang or the assembly hall, which is a three-floor complex having a temple and a Labrang. The interiors of the Dukhang are particularly tasteful with magnificent art work. This hall also has the largest statue of Lord Buddha, which is 26 feet high.
Situated at the back of the monastery is another prominent structure, the Court. The stone-slab court hosts religious ceremonies. There is a Par-Khang, a library on the western side of the court, which stocks some of the most sacred Buddhist scriptures and texts.
The monastery complex also has about 60 shas or huts which serve as residential quarters for over 300 monks.

Things to take care of!

  • Visitors are allowed to wear shoes in and around the temple grounds. It is recommended to wear easy slip-on shoes to avoid inconvenience.
  • Visitors are required to maintain silence in the monastery premises.
  • Visitors should not touch the Buddha statues, images, monks or nuns.
  • Spitting and throwing litters in the monastery is absolutely prohibited.
  • Consuming alcohol, drugs, and/or tobacco is strictly forbidden in and around the monastery

Travelling to Tawang Monastery

By Air

The nearest airport is the Tezpur Airport (Assam), which is at a distance of 365 kms from the Tawang Town. The airport has flights from some of the major North Indian cities including Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. Taxi services can be hired from the airport to reach Tawang.

By Road

Buses and private jeeps (cars) are available from Bomdila (185 kms), Guwahati (555 kms) and Tezpur (365 kms).

By Train

The Guwahati Railway Station is the nearest convenient station at a distance of 555 kms from Tawang. The Rajdhani Express connects this railway station to Delhi and Mumbai. Private cabs and taxis can be easily hired from the station to reach the monastery.

Visiting Tawang Monastery – Timings

  • The Monastery is open all days of the week from early morning to evening.
  • The best time to visit the monastery is between March and October.
  • Important Information – For a hassle free stay in Tawang
  • Some Renowned Hospitals - District Hospital: Tel: 03794 224 432
  • Police Contact Details - Tel: 03192 273011

Don’t Miss – For the foodie in you

If you are a food lover, you will find a lot to experiment with your taste buds here in Arunachal Pradesh. The local cuisine is hugely influenced by the local tribal culture. The rice beer, made from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage (alcoholic drink) here. The rice beer is available in a variety of flavours too. Thukpa is a popular local dish that you must try. Fish and rice are staple foods for the locals along with a variety of green vegetables.

Did You Know?

The Dukhang (assembly hall) in the monastery has a silver silk casket with the Thangkas. These Thangkas are dedicated to the chief deity of the monastery, Goddess Shri Devi or Palden Lhamo. These Thangkas are believed to have been painted with the blood of the fifth Dalai Lama, drawn from his nose.
The main festivals celebrated at Tawang Monastery are the Losar and Torgya. The Losar festival is celebrated in January and marks the beginning of the New Year as per the lunar calendar. This is a 15 days festival that is celebrated with lightening of lamps, prayers and hoisting of paper flags. The other festival, Torgya, is celebrated by the Lamas of the monastery from the 28th day of the eleventh month for 3 consecutive days. The festival signifies victory of good over evil.

Exploring Tawang - Places You Must Visit!

Sela Pass
This is perhaps the most popular tourist spot in the whole Arunachal Pradesh. It is the only high-altitude mountain pass in the world which is motorable. As a matter of fact, this pass is the only way to reach Tawang by road. Sela Pass offers some very spectacular views that will leave you mesmerized and fascinated.

Gorichen Peak
If you are an adventure loving traveller, the Gorichen Peak is definitely a place you should not miss out on. The highest point of Arunachal Pradesh at a height of 22500 feet, the Gorichen Peak is a challenge that every trekker would love to take up.


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