Tibetan Buddhist Monastery: The Spiritual Gem Of Dehradun
India is a land filled with wonderful Buddhist Monasteries. Dehradun is one such town that is filled with wonderful monasteries. One such monastery is the Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. Read through this blog to know about the wondrous Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Dehradun and you will find yourself packing your bags by the time you finish reading it!.
A Bit Of History
Before I start, I would like to delve in a little bit of history about this Monastery. The Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Dehradun is also popularly called the MindRolling monastery. In the Tibetan language, this means- ‘place of perfect emancipation’.
This Monastery adheres to the Nyingma school fo thought which is the oldest school of translations. It was founded on the principles found in the first translations of the Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit to Old Tibetan. According to this school, Padmasambhava is the founder of this tradition. Padmasambhava was the first master of Buddhism to spread the religion in the Tibet. He was also popularly known as Guru Rinpoche.
In 1959, the original MindRolling monastery was destroyed due to a Communist invasion. Eventually, a few monks spearhead by Khochhen Rinpoche decided to re-establish the monastery in 1965.
My Journey to Dehradun
My journey started in the tranquil town of Dehradun. As I soaked in the soft sun and the rolling breeze, I realised this was the perfect place for the monastery. The little influence Buddhism can be seen in Dehradun in small places. From prayer flags to small gongs, you will find such trinkets here.
After relishing the clean Dehradun air I continued to my path. As the roads started getting narrower and the air cleaner, my driver quipped that this is the largest Buddhist monastery in India. The roads to the monastery are pretty twisted and without a guide, I would have been completely lost. All through the way, there were cute little cafes. One of the cafes were serving hot momos and I just couldn’t resist myself. After helping myself to some steaming hot momos I made my way to the monastery.
The Wonderful Monastery
As I entered the Mindrolling Monastery Dehradun I was swept away with a sense of calm. The place was completely quiet, save for the occasional hum of the monks and the noise of the monkeys jumping around. Several monks in red robes and complete devotion went past me. They were devoted to their chores and worked without a noise. The entire area was so clean as if the dust also didn’t want to break the beauty of this place.
The Mindrolling Monastery Dehradun complex is pretty big and it is easy to get lost here. It houses several shrines, stupas, the living quarters of the monks and even a college. The sheer size left me dazed, as it was not easy to maintain such a structure. Yet, these monks content in their lives were doing a brilliant job.
Ngedon Gatsal Ling
After roaming around a bit I entered the main monastery which is called Ngedon Gatsal Ling. The moment I entered I was amazed by the art that adorned the monastery. It was lined with colourful pillars, awe-inspiring windows and elaborate frescos It was as if I was walking inside an art exhibition. The colours were bright yet radiating a sense of positive. There was undoubtedly a strong influence of the Japanese style of architecture too.
The ceilings and walls were decorated with stunning murals of dragons, Buddhist figures and flowers. Along with this, the monastery had the magical quality of instilling peace instantly and that’s exactly what it did to me as well. I felt at peace and lovely kind of warmth as I admired the beauty around me.
Stupa & Gompa
The next sight that makes MindRolling Monastery Dehradun a stunning creation is the Stupa. It is believed to be the world’s tallest Stupa and has a range of wonderful artwork on its walls. The Stupa is erected in the traditional Buddhist style. It symbolises the descent of Buddha from the Devaloka.
It is said than within the stupa the relics of Buddha Kashyapa, relics from Guru Padmasambhava’s tooth and other sacred texts are kept.
As I study the Stupa closely I realised that it each part of the Stupa symbolises something. Each part talks about deep thought, sermons, quality or aspect of Buddha. The depictions of these things are so lovely that I found myself staring at the Stupa for hours to understand it better.
There are also a series of shrine rooms inside the Stupa. While not all are open to the public, you can read about them on the signboards. The highlight of the Stupa is the 35 m hight Sakyamuni Buddha statue that makes the stupa looks out of the world. The glittering gold statue is visible from afar and is truly iconic.
After studying the Stupa in the MindRolling Monastery Dehradun, I decided to visit the wonderfully landscaped garden. There is a huge prater wheel in the centre, along with statues of Padmasambhava and Yangchenm.
The Padmasambhava is absolutely a sight to behold. It is so authentic and lifelike. It is marred with intricate and detailed carvings. The red and gold colour makes the statue more striking and visible from far away. This huge statue rests upon a beautiful structure with an ornate door. The door is so beautifully decorated and carved that it is difficult to tale your eyes away from it.
After spending some more time at the lush green garden I decided to make my way back. This trip taught me the true beauty of India and the cultures that it has allowed fostering. The MindRolling Monastery Dehradun is the perfect example of beauty through art that can emerge if cultures and different religions are allowed to grow peacefully. The Monastery is not only the perfect place to relax and meditate but also a wonder int the art world! If you want to treat yourself to the most amazing Buddhist artworks while feeling a sense of tranquillity, then pack topic bags and head over to the MindRolling Monastery Dehradun.
Summer Timings : 8:00 AM – 12:00 Noon and 02:00PM – 07:00 PM
Winter Timings : 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon and 1:30 PM – 06:00 PM