Dalai Lama Temple Complex

Things to Do and Things to See in Dharamsala & Mcleod Ganj

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Dalai Lama Temple Complex
There are many Dharamsala attractions to choose from, but among the top things to do in Dharamshala is a visit to the residence, monastery, and temple of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama temple complex, on Temple Road, is just a short walk from the Mcleod Ganj bus stand in upper Dharamsala. The temple complex is open daily, from sunrise to sunset, and visitors are welcome to explore the peaceful ambiance of the surroundings.

In the early morning, you are welcome to participate as the monks chant and meditate. You can join local residents for a meditative walk around the temple/monastery complex. Along the way you will see many prayer flags and "mani" stones.

Residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
The residence is directly opposite Tsuglagkhang, the main Tibetan temple.

Tsuglagkhang - Central Cathedral
Tsuglagkhang is the temple of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

dharamsala  butter lampsmaking a sand mandalaTibetan traditional texts dharamsala
Public services and prayers held at Tsulagkhang each day.

In the evening, butter lamps are lit to dispel the darkness.

A Tibetan monk creates a sand mandala.

You may even have the opportunity to see a sand mandala in progress.

A collection of sacred texts, the Khagyur, direct teachings of Buddha, and Tengyur, commentaries on the Khagyur by Indian & Tibetan scholars can be seen here.
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Description of image

Within the Dharamsala Tsuglagkhang temple are three principal images.

The central image, seen from the entrance,
is that of Shakamuni Buddha.

Description of imageNearby is Padmasambhava, the Indian yogi who introduced Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century.

Also nearby is Avalokitesvara or Chenresig, of whom the Dalai Lama is considered to be the current emanation.

Description of image

Both Padmasambhava and Avalokitesvara sit facing Tibet.

The image of Avalokitesvara, sculpted in silver with eleven faces, one thousand arms, and one thousand eyes, has an interesting story.

The original image at the Tsuglagkhang (Jokhang) in Lhasa, had been an object of devotion since the 7th century when it was commissioned by King Songtsen Gampo.

During the cultural revolution when statues and religious objects were tossed out and destroyed, Avalokitesvara, ended up in a heap of rubble with all the others.

Somehow, both a wrathful and peaceful aspect of the face were discovered and salvaged from the rubble.

The images were then carefully passed from hand to hand, and eventually found their way to India, then to Dharamsala, where they were encased as precious relics into the newly sculpted image of Avalokitesvara.

Kalachakra Temple
Next to the Tsulagkhang is a temple devoted to the Kalachakra. This temple is decorated with frescos depicting 722 deities of the mandala, Shakamuni Buddha, and the central Kalachakra image.

The frescos were completed by a team of painters over a period of three years under the direction of the Dalai Lama and three master painters.

Along the walls and columns of the temple are many traditional Tibetan Thangka paintings.

Namgyal Monastery

Across the Dalai Lama Temple courtyard is
Namgyal Monastery.

Every afternoon and evening, you can see
young monks debate in traditional Tibetan
style embellished with hand clapping and
emphatic gestures.

Tibetan Monks in Lively Debate

Namgyal Cafe

The Namgyal Cafe, located on the lower level of the temple complex, serves delicious cakes and vegetarian fare.

Snow Crest Inn, Naddi, Dharamsala
After a day of experiencing the peaceful ambiance of the Dalai Lama Temple complex, the Snow Crest Inn offers the ideal retreat.

Retire to the comfort of your cozy room, relax on your private balcony and take in the panoramic view of the stunning Dhauladhar mountains.

The Snow Crest Inn's tranquil atmosphere, beautiful decor, spacious accommodations, and knowledgeable and attentive staff, ensure that each guest's stay is pleasant and comfortable.

The Snow Crest Inn is the perfect hotel for a truly memorable holiday experience. Experience all the Dharamshala attractions and things to do in and around this hill station resort and the beautiful Kangra Valley.

Whether you're planning a weekend holiday or an extended stay, we look forward to welcoming you to our peaceful inn.

Go to Norbulingka Institute - Go to Tibetan Monks Debate.

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